By Nick Ware

20th Mar, 2021 | 11:10am

Mark Schwarzer sings praises of Illan Meslier for heroics in Leeds v Fulham

Illan Meslier produced countless saves in the first half of Leeds United v Fulham on Friday evening and he was the reason the sides went in level at 1-1.

That is according to former Premier League goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer speaking on Sky Sports [21:00, 19/03/21] during the interval and he referenced a stunning stop from Josh Maja as the pick of the bunch.

“Once he makes that decision he does well,” he said.

“This save, what I like about it is he’s reset, he’s not anticipating, he’s waiting for the shot.

“We were talking about it in the first half that absolutely, without Meslier playing as well as he has in the first half, it could easily be Fulham up 3-1.

“Again a very good save [from Frank Zambo-Anguissa]… Meslier just holds his ground, waits and thinks ‘go and beat me’ and he reacts really well to it, gets a really strong hand behind it.”

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Meslier masterclass

The 21-year-old stopper had a sensational start to the game and he really did keep us in it.

While we had more of the ball and looked dangerous Fulham had the best chances and the corner kicks were raining in as they won that contest six to none in the first half.

We needed Meslier to be on song to stand up to a stern Fulham test and boy did he deliver.

He has been criticised at times but his first-half display really backs up Marcelo Bielsa and his steadfast belief in his abilities.

At such a young age he is proving to be a brilliant bit of business by the club and the £20,000-per-week [sportekz] ace will only get better as he grows into this side.

He has not been helped by some shoddy defending in front of him at times but we think with a more settled defence, one less disrupted by injuries, Meslier will convert those critics into fans.

In other Leeds United news, club make move for 17y/o Celtic ace.