Newcastle United FC 0 Leeds United 0 – a scrappy point. Leeds earn a vital point against a top team through a combination of stubborn resliance and Newcastle’s own wastefulness in front of goal.
Heavy persistent rain added to the slipperiness of the pitch in a physical game with plenty of fouls. Fans on both sides were loud and added to the tense atmosphere.
Trippier was Newcastle’s best player on the right commanding the play. Newcastle tried to expose Leeds down the wings by crossing long behind the Leeds defence – a number of teams use this tactic.
For Leeds Gnonto was our best player making darting runs down the left creating chances in the penalty box. Rodrigo relied on Gnonto for passes into the penalty box – this could work in the future as Gnonto settles into the team.
Newcastle were dangerous with set piece on corners and numerous free kicks using their superior height in the penalty box. They created more chances in the first half but Leeds defence have protected Meslier well.
Nervous moment before half time when Shar clashes with Adams in the penalty box – a fifty-fifty if that is called as a penalty. Thankfully not.
Forshaw looked rusty with passes going astray. Leeds not comfortable with holding the ball and patiently building. Adams provided reassurance in defence. Aaronson and Harrison were energetic without creating many opportunities. Leeds again lacking shots on target.
Second half onslaught
Second half starts scrappily with one foul after another. Joelinton joining in needlessly to a foul on Roca (on at half time) and escapes without a card. Newcastle start brightly and win the free kicks and use their height to test Meslier.The shots keep coming in the first 30 minutes.
Every time Leeds go forward Newcastle win the back the ball. It’s excruciating to watch. A rare attack by Rodrigo ends up with an over pass. Finally Rodrigo has a shot on target after 55 minutes but otherwise Leeds are pinned inside their own half. Leeds bring on Klich to support the defence. Referee is struggling to hold on to the game as he books Gnoto for not being ten yards back from a free kick.
Leeds look to push forward with Sumerville replacing our best player Gnonto. Last ten minutes see Gelhardt haev an opportunity to make an impact.
It all kicks off in extra time as Newcastle are frustrated at Leeds taking them time. Callum Wilson for a needless push on Meslier. Bruno is carded for his anger towards Adams in the penalty box.
Leeds’ stubborn resilience earns them a point at St James’ Park. Newcastle fans not impressed by the wastefuless of Newcastle in front of goal.
Player of the match: Gnonto