Leeds United came to St James Park on Friday night and executed the perfect smash and grab.
Whilst the Police were dragging Leeds fans out of the Leazes End for acting up, their players were taken apart on the pitch as Newcastle United at last showed they do have quality in the team that is a step above this division.
As the stats show below, Newcastle had 19 corners compared to zero from the visitors, whilst the shots count was 22 to 4 in the Magpies’ favour.
In the aftermath of the game last night, some Leeds supporters were claiming that the fact Newcastle had only four shots saved by the keeper was proof that all but total dominance for NUFC hadn’t been the case.
However, you do get matches where bad luck, bad finishing, the woodwork and some very good desperate and dogged defending, as well as some brilliant saves by the keeper, somehow keeps the score down – two or three of the interventions by defenders that diverted what looked certain goals were the equal of anything Rob Green did.
To prove the point, read these extract from the Leeds United media covering the match.
The Yorkshire Evening Post:
‘Chris Wood averted defeat by robbing Newcastle United in time-honoured fashion. With the clock ticking down on a Newcastle onslaught, Wood timed his run to meet Kemar Roofe’s cross and stab a volley into the corner of the net as the game ran into the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Having taken the best part of 40 minutes to feel their way into the match, Benitez’s players dominated ruthlessly from then on. Newcastle’s control of the second half underlined why they are a handful of good results from the Premier League while Leeds are plotting a path to the play-offs.
With a precious point in his hand, Monk had the additional consolation of knowing that none of Leeds’ remaining fixtures will serve up opposition like this.
The selection issues beforehand were more pressing for Benitez, albeit with the aid of a much larger squad than Leeds possess, but the absence of injured top scorer Dwight Gayle felt immaterial until missed opportunities crept up on Newcastle.
Newcastle refused to sit on that goal and Green’s net remained under siege, leading to more impressive saves from a keeper who could not have done more to stem the tide.’
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Leeds 1
Newcastle: Lascelles 67
Leeds: Wood 90+5
Possession was Leeds 44% Newcastle 56%
Total shots were Leeds 4 Newcastle 22
Shots on target were Leeds 2 Newcastle 4
Corners were Leeds 0 Newcastle 19
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Ritchie (Yedlin 84), Shelvey, Hayden (Colback 79), Gouffran, Perez (Diame 90), Mitrovic
Elliot, Hanley, Murphy, Atsu
Crowd: 52,301 (Leeds 3,200)
(To give us your player ratings go HERE)
(The instant fan/writer reaction from Friday night’s match HERE)
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])