Five-star Leeds smashes Newcastle through Raphinha, Harrison

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Leeds – Newcastle: Jack Harrison had a goal and an assist as dominant Leeds United broke two deadlocks with Newcastle United in a badly-needed 5-2 win at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark scored the first and fourth goals of a game pretty much run by the hosts, as Newcastle and Leeds both have 17 points. The Magpies have played one fewer match.

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Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford led a home comeback for Leeds but a 2-1 second-half lead did not hold up. That led to goals from Stuart Dallas, Ezgjan Alioski, and Harrison, with Pablo Hernandez assisting the final two.

Mateusz Klich and ex-NYCFC man Jack Harrison had assists as Leeds won for just the second time since the calendar turned to November.

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Three things we learned from Leeds – Newcastle

1. Raphinha gets his tail up: Leeds’ Brazilian winger turned 24 on Monday and must’ve had some birthday. Raphinha took five shots and had two key passes while chipping in with two tackles and two interceptions. He might’ve had an assist on Bamford’s goal when he clipped the cross bar and looked the part of a man who’d find a winner.

2. Wilson continues to be an inspired buy: Clubs that don’t focus on possession need an economical player up top and Callum Wilson has been that for the Magpies. Coming off a relegation season with Bournemouth that saw his numbers dip, the four-times capped England international has seven goals and three assists in 11 Premier League outings for the Magpies. That includes his deft flick to the back post on Hendrick’s opener.

3. Harrison’s wild career ride continues in Premier League: Jack Harrison was with the academies of Liverpool and Manchester United before moving to the United States, where he starred at Wake Forest and became the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft. He spent time with New York City FC, was bought by parent club Manchester City, and went on loan to Middlesbrough and Leeds.

This is his second season on loan to Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa will be angling to buy the 24-year-old, who has two goals and four assists in the PL this season after scoring 10 goals with 11 assists in two Championship seasons for Leeds.

His assist and goal were Wednesday wires.

Man of the Match: Mateusz Klich

Unsure any name was said more often than the Polish midfielder, who set up Dallas’ winner and showed tidy touches in dangerous areas and three key passes.


Leeds – Newcastle recap

There was a lot of ping-pong in the first quarter-hour without danger in the box.

Klich couldn’t get on the end of a Raphinha cross and might’ve been offside anyway in the 16th minute.

Cooper was saved in-tight by Karl Darlow and Ciaran Clark blocked Raphinha’s bid at the rebound. The hosts were moving well toward an opener.

Hendrick put Newcastle ahead when Callum Wilson flicked a cross to the back post and the ex-Burnley was first to the ball to beat Illan Meslier.

Darlow was back in action with a 32nd-minute stop on Raphinha, and Klich saw a bite at the rebound blocked.

Leeds deservedly leveled the score when Bamford headed home a rebound off the cross bar after Raphinha’s cross was put off the bar.

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The second began in Leeds’ favor and referee Simon Hooper waved away Callum Wilson’s shout for a penalty in the 54th.

Leeds got the go-ahead goal through a Rodrigo diving header after Jack Harrison lunged to cross a ball into the mix from the end line.

Meslier then made a fine leaping save on Wilson to give Newcastle its first corner, which led to the second.

As good as Meslier has been, he’ll want that one back. Clark got on the end of a Ryan Fraser corner kick and his head found the inside of the near post.

Leeds scored thrice more, burying the game with its fourth goal via a counter that saw three players at the back post. Alioski was the one who smashed past Darlow, and Harrison added a thumper to finish the scoring.