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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Leeds 5 Newcastle 2

1 month ago
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Wednesday night ended Leeds 5 Newcastle 2.

Newcastle totally outplayed but somehow taking the lead.

Then later pulling it back to 2-2, only for Leeds to convert their superior play into the goals it deserved late on, for a comfortable 5-2 win in the end.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Davey Hat-Trick:

POSITIVES

Karl Darlow

It’s bizarre that a keeper who conceded five goals has a decent game…but he did.

He was, perhaps, caught out for Leeds’ first goal but otherwise barely put a foot wrong.

That says more about his team mates than him of course but it was another good display by one of this season’s better players.

We understand the plan

There was a time, when I felt Steve Bruce’s Newcastle team didn’t know what it was they were supposed to be doing, but I can’t say that any more.

Whether we play five or four at the back, we defend deep and try for the counter. I hate the plan, it didn’t work tonight, but we stick to it and I’d grudgingly accept that it works just often enough to keep us out of the relegation places.

If anyone reading this thinks / hopes it’s going to change, I think you will be disappointed.

Ciaran Clark’s forward runs

It’ll probably get him dropped by Steve Bruce but Clark showed a degree of attacking intent that his midfield colleagues seemed incapable of.

A couple of 60-yard runs out of defence demonstrated how nervy this Leeds team could be. It’s a shame it didn’t catch on.

NEGATIVES

We are not very good

Seems like an obvious thing to say but it’s a fact.

We sit in mid-table, despite our level of play, rather than because of it. We gave the ball away, we were sluggish and we looked like we’d given up at one point.

It says something that when Hendrick – who I’d never pick – was subbed, I was upset. There were plenty of players out there who were doing far worse than him.

One in particular – I won’t name names – played as if he knows he’s going to be at a different club in January.

We are not very fit

I’ll give the lads the benefit of the doubt given the Covid outbreak that laid the squad low, but one of our players was blowing like a whale on 40 minutes despite his lack of contribution, and a few of them were done in long before the full-time whistle.

But it’s not just that. We’ve been outworked by Southampton and Brighton this season, we were again tonight.

Two of Leeds’ goals were scored via the rapid counter-attacking tactics that Steve Bruce probably imagines Newcastle playing in his head.

We’d sent the cavalry up for set-pieces, yet conceded within a few seconds both times without putting a meaningful challenge in.

When the other Premier League coaches (and Brentford’s!) watch the tape, they’ll be licking their lips.

VAR

In defence of the team, we wouldn’t have been sending the cavalry up for set pieces had we been awarded a penalty when Wilson was toppled in the Leeds area.

VAR has come to our rescue a few times in the past but it failed to do so on this occasion.

They didn’t even advise the ref to take a look at the incident on the screen and I feel we deserved that at the very least.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leeds 5 Newcastle 2 – Wednesday 16 December 6pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Hendrick 26, Clark 65

Leeds:

Bamford 35, Rodrigo 61, Dallas 77, Alioski 85,  Harrison 88

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Leeds 69% (70%) Newcastle 31% (30%)

Total shots were Leeds 25 (14) Newcastle 10 (4)

Shots on target were Leeds 10 (4) Newcastle 4 (2)

Corners were Leeds 7 (2) Newcastle 4 (0)

Referee: Simon Hooper

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis, Hayden, S Longstaff, Hendrick (Krafth 62), Fraser (Almiron 75), Joelinton (Gayle 74), Wilson

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, M Longstaff, Carroll, Shelvey

Crowd: 00,000

(Leeds 5 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Leeds 5 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s hammering – Read HERE)

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