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Marcelo Bielsa blames himself and match officials after Newcastle United beat Leeds United

4 months ago
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Marcelo Bielsa was left reflecting on a first Premier League defeat in five weeks.

Consecutive wins over Burnley and West Ham had given Leeds confidence and momentum after starting the season with only three wins in their first 18 PL matches.

However, that all came crashing down as Newcastle United walked away with all three points after a feisty end to end affair at Elland Road.

The two teams sharing 28 shots but for so long this was looking like it could be only a second goalless draw in the league between the two clubs (at either Elland Road or St James Park) since 1957.

However, for the seventh time in his ten Premier League games so far, Eddie Howe eventually saw Newcastle score the first goal of the game, Meslier at fault as he allowed a standard Shelvey free-kick to somehow elude him and end up in the bottom corner he was protecting. Considering how many times individual errors from Newcastle players had undermined Howe’s efforts and led to draws not wins, this was sweet.

In the later stages of the match it looked a case of Newcastle really wanting this win more than Leeds, two tired teams with injury issues but it was NUFC who could and should have added more goals in the closing stages. Winning even despite yet another horrendous decision going against Newcastle, as both the referee on the pitch and VAR failed to give a stonewall penalty on ASM.

However, for Marcelo Bielsa, he amusingly blamed the match officials, at least in terms of supposed Newcastle United time wasting. A bit strange considering that Leeds never looked like scoring in the later stages no matter how long the ball had been in play.

Marcelo Bielsa also blamed himself and his players, as he thought Leeds had done enough before Newcastle scored to be in front.

Leeds had been the better team for the first hour or so, even though Newcastle still had their moments. However, the last half hour saw the visitors look increasingly the better team and more likely to score in the later stages.

By the final whistle I would argue that Newcastle deserved the win, as the away team they ended the match with more shots (15 v 13) and more corners (7 v 6), plus the fact that NUFC came into this game under so much pressure, whilst the home side were on the up.

Marcelo Bielsa reflecting on Leeds losing 1-0 to Newcastle:

“We had many moments to unbalance the game.

“We could unbalance them a lot but we couldn’t convert.

“Normally, in the games where you could score and you don’t, some detail unbalances the game against you, I have the sensation that’s what happened.

“Even if in the last 15 minutes we failed to create enough danger.

“Prior to that, in the rest of the game we had done enough to be ahead.

“We always got to the final third with ease.

“We could pick the final pass, whether it be from out wide or through the centre.

“But in the closing of the game we were lacking clarity.

“We lost the capacity to go on the outside.

“It [Newcastle United timewasting] was evident and those in charge have sufficient tools to prevent it.

“It was a game to show our differences, to have some consistency.

“It was a very important opportunity I couldn’t take advantage of.”

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

(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)

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