Jonjo Shelvey’s clever free kick fooled Illan Meslier and that’s all Newcastle United needed in a 1-0 win over Leeds United on Saturday.
The Magpies move back into 18th-place, a familiar one-point back of 17th, but the team above them is now Norwich City. And it’s only four points behind Everton after the Toffees flopped against Aston Villa on Saturday.
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The win is just the second of the season for Newcastle, who’ve collected nine draws to keep them in the mix for safety.
Leeds has 22 points, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Leeds vs Newcastle final score, stats
Leeds 0, Newcastle United 1
Goals scored: Shelvey 75′
Shots: Leeds 13, Newcastle 15
Shots on target: Leeds 4, Newcastle 3
Possession: Leeds 63, Newcastle 37
Three things we learned from Leeds vs Newcastle
1. Howe he needed that! Eddie Howe’s team has had its fair share of disappointments under Eddie Howe, twice in relegation scraps. Newcastle took an early red card at Norwich City and held on for a point and took a point off Watford last week… but they needed three. Throw in an FA Cup exit at home to Cambridge United and some questionable personnel preferences, and Howe badly needed a win especially with an international break approaching and the team off for a camp in Saudi Arabia. You’re welcome, say Shelvey and Martin Dubravka.
2. Even great young goalkeepers are young goalkeepers: There’s a lot to love about the future of Illan Meslier, but Leeds’ young keeper absolutely butchered Jonjo Shelvey’s low free-kick around the wall. Meslier bet on Shelvey bidding to whip a ball over the wall and didn’t trust it, and Shelvey went right where Meslier started his movement. The keeper still had a chance to handle his business, and most certainly did not.
3. DIffering results for new boys: Chris Wood is still trying to find his scoring and shooting boots at St. James’ Park as he’s no longer living in the Burnley world of as many as 300 airborne crosses per game. But he’s getting into scoring positions and that is good. Now how fast can he up his speed of play? Speed of play is not an issue for Kieran Trippier, who has been very good. A football junkie who’s more of a wolf (or angry badger?) than a man, Trippier is making the right flank absolute misery for the opposition.
Man of the Match: Martin Dubravka — You have to get to the second half scoreless to score the lone goal in a second-half away win, and Martin Dubravka made a phenomenal save amongst his four to secure the bag for Newcastle.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Set piece saves the day
Jonjo Shelvey scores a crucial goal for Newcastle United! Looks what it means to the players and fans!
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 22, 2022