With the Premier season winding down, Weston McKennie and his American compatriots at Leeds are in trouble, but the boys at Fulham can pat themselves on the back as a strong season by Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream and their fellow Cottagers means they’re clear to play in the top flight again next season.
West Ham United 3 – 1 Leeds United
Things are looking bleak for Leeds United and their trio of Americans, after the team travelled to the east end of London and left with nothing as they hope to not end up in the Championship next season.
Weston McKennie started for Leeds and also provided the assist for Rodrigo’s goal but his international team mate, Brenden Aaronson didn’t get onto the field until the 62nd minute, when he replaced Adam Forshaw. USMNT captain Tyler Adams was forced to be a spectator as he recovers from his season-ending injury.
It was the visitors who struck first when McKennie launched his long throw-in into the crowded Hammers’ box. Nobody picked up Rodrigo, who was lurching on the edge of the box. When the ball was whipped into the area, the Brazilian attacked and belted it right inside the top corner for his 13th, and team leading goal of the season.
However, their joy was short-lived.
Fifteen minutes later Joel Robles was picking the ball out of the back of his net after Arsenal target, Declan Rice, pulled West Ham even.
In the second half the hosts took charge, this time with Danny Ings slipping Jarrod Bowen past the sleeping Leeds defense and the Englishman getting the job done in the 76th minute for the 2-1 lead.
The final nail in the coffin was in stoppage time, with Manuel Lanzini’s 94th minute score, his first goal of the season.
With just one game left, Leeds sits in 18th place but will need some goals to get the three points, as well as a bit of luck in the form of Bournemouth beating Everton. The Whites will face Tottenham Hotspur at home on Sunday to close the season.
Fulham 2 – 2 Crystal Palace
Antonee Robinson was in the starting line-up for the Cottagers as they ended up sharing the points with Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. Tim Ream is already out for the season after an arm injury, while Chris Richards was an unused sub for Palace.
The hosts took the lead in the 34th minute after a counter attack after a Fulham corner kick. Eberechi Eze grabbed the ball and played it forward to Edsonne Edouard, who got off his shot and placed it into the top left corner, giving keeper Bernd Leno no chance at getting to it.
Before the intermission however, things were all squared up thanks to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s spot kick. Left back Tyrick Mitchell clumsily brought down Harry Wilson in the box, and the Serbian did the honors deep in first half stoppage time.
If the first half ended well for the Fulham, the second half started even better when Mitrovic struck again in the 61st minute. This time he used his head to score goal number 14 of the season, which came from a Willian free kick from the right side of the box. The Brazilian spotted the Serbian international’s run and picked him out.
With less than 10 minutes on the clock, the Eagles snatched a goal and a point when Joel Ward struck the ball, but saw Leno knock it away. Fortunately for the English defender he got a second stab at it and this time didn’t miss.
The point leaves Fulham in 10th place, where they will finish the season regardless of their final result. Their season finale will be up north where they’ll take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Christian Pulisic was an unused substitute for Chelsea on Sunday as they fell by a 1-0 margin to champions Manchester City.
Matt Turner was on Arsenal’s bench on Saturday for their 1-0 road loss at Nottingham Forest.