Newcastle – Leeds was an end-to-end, tight clash but the visitors won 2-1 to pile more pressure on Steve Bruce.
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Leeds took the lead through Raphinha and they dominated the first half, but Newcastle were much better when they had a go in the second half and Miguel Almiron equalized.
Jack Harrison scored a fine goal to seal all three points for Leeds and end their mini-slump as they are in 12th position on 26 points. Newcastle are without a win in eight, have lost five-straight games and are on 19 points.
Three things we learned
1. Former MLS wingers show off: Jack Harrison and Miguel Almiron both scored and the former MLS wingers showed their attacking class in the final third. The former NYCFC and Atlanta United stars have had very different paths to the Premier League and they now find themselves at very different clubs. You could argue that Almiron would flourish at Leeds under the stewardship of Bielsa, and this calm finish and clever running showed what he is capable of. Almiron has struggled under Bruce’s style, while Harrison could end up back at Manchester City next season when his loan spell is over.
2. Leeds struggling with defensive injuries: Diego Llorente’s much-anticipated return from injury lasted a few minutes as Leeds lost another center back to injury in the first half as he was subbed off. Robin Koch has been out too, and Marcelo Bielsa’s side have played with a patched-up defense for most of the season. If they could have kept defenders fit, who knows where they might be in the table? That said, this was a fairly comfortable win and they should have put it to bed in the first half. Being more clinical has to be right up there with keeping defenders fit when it comes to the next steps Leeds must take.
3. Newcastle better when they attack: Steve Bruce’s default is to line up defensively and the longer Newcastle are in this slump he will revert to being more defensive. He should do the opposite. Especially now. When Allan Saint-Maximin came on in the second half and Fabian Schar was pushed forward, they looked so much better. The first 45 was woeful as they were scared of Leeds, perhaps rightly so, but if Newcastle are going to get the six more wins they need to stay up they have to attack more as their goal showed the quality they do possess in the final third. Newcastle’s fans are crying out for more attacking play and Bruce should be asking his players for the same.
Man of the Match: Jack Harrison – Oozed class throughout and his goal summed up his display. Classy.
Newcastle let Leeds have plenty of the ball early on, while Jonjo Shelvey went close.
Diego Llorente’s comeback from injury only lasted a few minutes as he went off injured as he clutched his hamstring.
Harrison then had a great chance at the back post but shanked his effort wide, as Leeds looked the more dangerous and soon had the lead.
Raphinha slotted home a slick move on the edge of the box as Newcastle were caught on the counter after a poor giveaway.
Rodrigo and Raphinha both went close, with the latter hitting the outside of the post.
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Newcastle were better in the second half and they deservedly equalized.
Almiron was played clean through after fine play from Hayden, Shelvey and Wilson, and the Paraguayan slotted home.
Moments later, though, Harrison volleyed home a beauty after Raphinha found him as Leeds retook the lead.
Jacob Murphy then fired just wide and Lascelles’ header was flicked onto the top of the bar, as the game was end-to-end in the closing stages.
Shelvey’s header was well-saved by Illan Meslier as Allan Saint-Maximin made a huge difference off the bench as Meslier also denied Fabian Schar, as Leeds held on for the win.