Joao Palhinha and Manor Solomon’s miraculous goals put Fulham into FA Cup quarter-finals.
The two magnificent goals that advanced Fulham into the quarterfinals must have made new Leeds boss Javi Gracia scream as he saw a series of far simpler opportunities for his team come and go.
The initial strike was magnificent; Joao Palhinha cleverly hit from 30 yards as his parting gift before serving a two-game ban; the ball grazed the post on its way in.
The second came from a player who was closer in but no less impressive: Manor Solomon. Solomon has scored off the bench three times in a row and proved that he can succeed as a starter by launching his own curling attempt following a one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The long-range finishing by Fulham was a dramatic contrast to the considerably closer-to-the-goal finishing by Leeds.
Two goals got occasionally ruled out, the first harshly due to bad luck. They were reckless and wasteful at times, and it was puzzling that none of their 16 tries were successful.
If there was any question, a late penalty area scramble that included three near misses in one furious effort removed everything. It was not their night.
Leeds’ only current concern is their relegation battle, which will get back up on Saturday against Chelsea, not far from Craven Cottage.
Joao Palhinha scores a 30-yard STUNNER and Manor Solomon scores his fourth goal in as many games to propel the Cottagers into the FA Cup quarter-finals.
In the meanwhile, Fulham, who are now in sixth place in the Premier League, can look forward to the last eight for the first time since 2010, and they can continue to daydream of visiting Wembley.
Marco Silva, the manager of Fulham, said it was difficult to pick a favorite between the two goals. They’re both fantastic moments.
“I indicated right away that our goals for this tournament are really lofty. Although other teams are the favorites, we are modest enough to acknowledge that we aspire to participate in the semi-finals.
We were a little unfortunate, Gracia admitted. We had a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t take them, and we didn’t finish coolly. You have no chance if you don’t score.
Leeds’ difficulties start when referee Chris Kavanagh disallowed Rutter’s tap-in because Weston McKennie as made to have hit Harry Wilson earlier in the game, according to Kavanagh.
Gracia was accurate when she stated, “That was very, very soft.”
An alert Palhinha stole Tyler Adams’ pass seven minutes later, and with his subsequent touch, he fired an unbelievable shot past Illan Meslier.
Silva apparently complaining to the umpires about a potential foul challenge on Antonee Robinson being abandon when he attempted the shot, but it was still a great stroke.
Willy Gnonto’s goal couldn’t make count as disallowed for offside against Leeds, and Rutter’s header struck the post.
Imagine the frustration when Solomon copied Palhinha and put the ball around the diving Meslier from outside the box to teach Leeds a lesson after the break. Solomon exchange passes with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
While Leeds did not give up, there was still opportunity for a comeback, and Silva believed his team should have played with more control.
If only Leeds could seize opportunities as effectively as they did.