Leeds United secured a hard-fought 1-0 win against Watford at Elland Road on Saturday to bag their first Premier League victory in 2021-22.
Diego Llorente returned from injury to grab a first-half goal that was enough to take Marcelo Bielsa’s side out of the relegation zone heading into the international break, but the Hornets almost drew level in the second-half.
Illan Meslier dropped the ball and it deflected in off Christian Kabasele, but the Watford defender had committed a foul in the build-up, and the goal was chalked off.
The Frenchman’s fumble almost proved costly, and it was a huge let-off for Leeds.
Jermaine Beckford was not pleased with the mistake, slamming the goalkeeper on BBC Match of the Day.
Garth Crooks said (as shared on their official Twitter account): “Correct decision. I think that Meslier has dropped the ball. No question about it. I agree with the reporter, he’s dropped the ball.
“Having said that, there has been an altercation prior to him getting the ball in the box. Two players have come together, and the referee has deemed it as a foul, and Leeds get a reprieve.”
Beckford agreed, chipping in: “I completely agree. It was a howler, and a very rare howler at that from Illan Meslier.
“It’s something we are not used to seeing, which is why it’s such a big deal. However, Liam Cooper was getting fouled just before that…”
“It was a howler, and a very rare howler at that from Illan Meslier!”
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) October 2, 2021
Leeds were lucky to have had the goal cancelled as they might not have been had it been under a different circumstance.
Meslier lost concentration a bit and could have been punished for it, and he cannot afford to do such again.
The Whites needed this win badly in front of their fans, and Watford proved very difficult to beat.
A draw would have been tough for the hosts to take, and they can count themselves lucky for holding on to all three points.
Despite the win, there is no denying that the players should have done better, and things need to improve after the international break.
Meslier is definitely a relieved man, and he will learn from his error.
He is one of the most reliable players at Leeds, and a mistake would not have changed that.
He is young and is not perfect, and he is definitely going to keep getting better going forward.
The Yorkshire side finally won a Premier League this term, and while it was tough to get, it would not matter as they look to return a better side when action resumes.
In other Leeds United news, Simon Jordan has suggested Whites player should be block from int’l duty by PL.
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