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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Leeds 0 Newcastle 1

4 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Leeds 0 Newcastle 1.

An end to end game an in the closing stages two tired teams, Newcastle wanting it a little bit more than Leeds and after Shelvey scored the goal, the home side never looking likely to equalise…despite the nerves of the travelling fans!

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 David Punton.

POSITIVES

The all-important win

It was a must win game after the late heartbreak against Watford. Thankfully, and amid nerve shredding tension, we left West Yorkshire with three massive points. Phew.

Newcastle never do it the easy way but they have somehow clawed their way on to 15 points. It gives us a glimmer of hope that we can actually get out of this drop zone.

The good result against Leeds may also be a huge psychological boost for the players that they can see a game out when it’s tight.

We now head into the break in much better spirits and with time to get injured players back, and, perhaps more importantly, sign a few more new players, which is going to be critical. A big week lies ahead.

Classy Kieran

The Match of the Day team highlighted Trippier’s performance and rightly so.

He had an excellent game, he really did. Positional sense, distribution, and leadership qualities. He’s also very good in the attacking third for a right back, as expected.

We all knew he was a good player but having been starved under Ashley, it’s taking a bit of getting used to that we actually have a prime cut of beef.

With Lascelles possibly carrying a knock, who better to skipper United than Kieran Trippier.

We’ll need a lot more from him between now and May, but he’s the type you want around when the chips are down, bags of experience. If he can help us to stay up then he should get a knighthood.

Eddie progress

Social media wasn’t a great place after Watford. People were left wondering about Eddie Howe as manager. It’s easy to get sucked into that.

It remains tough for Eddie but this game was a sign he could well be starting to make some progress on the training ground.

Why we sat back against the Hornets was baffling, but that appeared to have been addressed, and we were more on the front foot at Elland Road.

He got excellent performances from Trippier, Shelvey, Longstaff, Willock, Wood and Dubravka, and ASM is a constant thorn in the side of teams. Longstaff in particular deserves a mention, as he came on and did very well, adding to the attack and balancing up the midfield. It was brilliant. He now needs to find that consistency

It is maybe the case that Howe isn’t out of the woods yet, but we have to hope that he and his coaching team can oversee this turn around in our fortunes, because we simply cannot change manager again between now and May. That would be madness.

NEGATIVES

Video nasty

Once again, a key moment arrived that required the intervention of VAR.

This time it was contact on ASM in the Leeds penalty area – it really did scream stonewall penalty.

To our astonishment the video assistant didn’t deem that a spot kick. Absolutely incredible. Robbed of the chance to make it 0-2. If Leeds had of scored then we’d be pointing to this one as the moment officialdom sent us down.

I don’t believe in conspiracies but my word we are certainly not getting any help.

Never have I see a more blatant penalty. What was the reasoning not to award it? The contact was clear.

Walking wounded

The team bus pulled away with injuries to Lascelles, Dummett and Joelinton. Not ideal. Let’s see how they settle down and what the scans say.

Jamaal has been getting stick lately and a few of his detractors will no doubt suggest we won’t miss him. It’s a debatable point but it certainly highlights the need to bring in a fresh face at centre half.

The club hasn’t signed a new senior centre back since 2018. Astonishing.

Big Joe will also be a miss, given his transformation under Howe, and you have to feel for Paul Dummett if he’s back into the treatment room long term. Mr Dependable, when fit.

Problems outside the ground

There were issues with a crush / poor queue management at the Elland Road turnstiles before kick off, where away fans were trying to get in.

Not what you’d expect to happen in 2022.

Anyone who got caught up in this or witnessed it, can relay info to the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) and it can be looked into, in order to avoid a repeat (email [email protected]).

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 22 January 3pm

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Goals:

Leeds:

Newcastle:

Shelvey 75

Possession was Leeds 63% (64%) Newcastle 37% (36%)

Total shots were Leeds 13 (8) Newcastle 15 (9)

Shots on target were Leeds 4 (1) Newcastle 3 (1)

Corners were Leeds 6 (4) Newcastle 7 (3)

Crowd: 36,405 (2,690 Newcastle)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles (Clark 69), Schar, Dummett (Manquillo 63), Shelvey, Willock, Fraser, Joelinton (Sean Longstaff 42), Saint-Maximin, Wood

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Lewis, Hendrick, Murphy, Almiron, Gayle

(Match Report – Danger at the turnstiles for Newcastle fans but no danger of giving up this lead at Leeds – Read HERE)

(Marcelo Bielsa blames himself and match officials after Newcastle United beat Leeds United – Read HERE)

(Eddie Howe reacts to essential away day win at Leeds – ‘Heroic’ players and ‘Brilliant’ fans – Read HERE)

(Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s massive win! Read HERE)

(Leeds 0 Newcastle 1 – The fightback now begins with brilliant gutsy NUFC victory – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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