Leeds are very much the junior member of the Premier League with substitutes that cost nothing next compared to teams with subs that cost tens of millions. Injuries have plagued Leeds and continued to do so. Llorente who is part of the new stars straight into the starting eleven managed barely 11 minutes of only his second start before going off with another injury. The lack of depth in our squad is shown by that Struijk is the replacement – a good player but not Premiership quality.
Opening 11 minutes very disjointed by injuries and repeated free kicks. Leeds playing much better with one touch football missing in previous matches.
After 16 minutes Leeds score the first goal. All the original hallmarks are there. Six players in the box when Raphinea scored.
In return Newcastle looked to expose Leeds’ weakness in the penalty box and pressing Leeds when playing out by Meslier The rest of the first half descended into more on field injurires firstly to Dallas and then an unnecessary collision between Alioski and Meslier. It all livened up in the last 10 minutes with two shots from Leeds hitting the post. And then another on field injury to Raphinea.
The second half starts with a hilarious goal by Dallas with his left arm. Rodrigo having a better game setting up goal opportunities. Leeds then showed their defensive weaknesses with firstly a poor pass from Cooper that allowed a Newcastle shot on goal and then Alioski outside the penalty box had his pocket picked leading to a dangerous free kick. Alioski paid the price with an early bath. Inevitably poor passing leads to a Newcastle equaliser. Leeds really need to work on bringing the ball out from the back. A poor start to the second half by Leeds.
After a promising return the arrival of Tyler Roberts should help to bring some pace to the Leeds forward movement. After only 60 minutes Leeds had used their three subs. And Leeds score the coolest of goals by casual build up and a sweet Harrison goal.
As the game moved on Newcastle took hold of the match. Leeds held on and Rodrigo fought back with his first booking of the season, and Harrison battling too also getting a yellow card. Late pressure from Leeds nearly led to a Newcastle own goal.
It was a match Leeds just needed to win. And Newcastle probably played their best football in the second half all season. Better defending in the second meant Leeds could hold on.
Bielsa is a man apart. Weathering the storm. Instead of shaking hands with Bruce he makes the effort to share warm words and smiles. How often do you see managers do that?
Man of the match: Rodrigo