Illan Meslier reveals his ‘message’ to noisy Fulham fans in Leeds United’s penalty shoot-out win

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Leeds United stopper Illan Meslier was hailed for his penalty save which secured the Whites’ passage to the next round of the Carabao Cup earlier this month.

Fulham’s Rodrigo Muniz saw his spot-kick saved during sudden death of the two sides’ penalty shoot-out after contesting a 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.

Meslier dived low to his left to prevent the game running any longer, after the likes of Joe Gelhardt and Stuart McKinstry had dispatched their spot-kicks on their competitive debuts for the club.

The United goalkeeper has begun the season in fine form, despite the team’s collective struggles.

Meslier has been to thank for numerous first-class saves in Leeds’ opening six league games, as well as clean sheets versus Crewe Alexandra and Fulham in the League Cup.

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Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds earlier this week, Meslier covered a range of topics, including that penalty save and the drama of a penalty shoot-out with Leeds.

When asked what was said between the French goalkeeper and the home supporters behind the goal at the end of the match, Meslier said: “I say nothing, the Fulham fans, they shout a little bit too much.”

Fulham had won the toss and elected to stage the penalty shoot-out in front of their own supporters at the opposite end of the ground to the 5,000-strong Leeds contingent.

As a result, the Whites’ spot-kick takers and Meslier were heckled from behind the goal throughout.

“Ok no problem, if I didn’t save the penalty and I win, I send a message,” Meslier added.

“But I don’t talk just, I look [at] the stand because we won the game so I was happy. I send them a little bit [of a] small message.

“It’s a little bit motivation,” Meslier said of the taunts, revealing he remained level-headed in the immediate aftermath of his penalty heroics.

This weekend, Leeds face Watford at Elland Road with Meslier set to reprise his role between the posts.

The hope will be that the young Frenchman who displays maturity beyond his years will not be called upon too often against the Hornets.

However, his early season form suggests he will be equal to any threats posed by the newly-promoted club, who make their first visit to Elland Road since 2015.

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