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Monday, May 27, 2024

Player ratings as Magpies fail to make dominance pay

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Leeds United had Illan Meslier to thank as they held on to a 0-0 draw with high-flying Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday.


The Magpies, who had won seven in a row heading into this one, enjoyed 60% of the ball and 16 shots on goal but simply could not find a way past the Frenchman in Leeds’ net.

An entertaining affair was kicked off with a chance from Chris Wood who, surprisingly, found space behind the Leeds back line and rounded Meslier with his first touch, but he couldn’t sort his feet out and fluffed the shot from a tight angle.

Newcastle were lively in possession but Leeds looked a threat themselves going the other way in the first half, although the hosts had the better chances in the first half as Fabian Schar headed wide and both Dan Burn and Sven Botman failed to beat Meslier – the Newcastle defenders doing most of the heavy lifting in attack.

Schar also wanted a penalty late in the first half after going down under duress from Tyler Adams but the referee was having none of it.

After the break, Schar had yet another sight of goal as he fired over from a corner, before Meslier got down well to deny Wood, and Schar was once again thwarted by the Leeds stopper as his header was turned around the post.

The pressure on the Leeds goal was immense and Sean Longstaff should have done better as he found some space in the box shortly after the hour mark, instead sending his effort high and wide – a feat he repeated five minutes later after a cut-back from Miguel Almiron.

It was defence vs attack for large parts of the second half, with Leeds throwing 11 men behind the ball in an attempt to stifle Newcastle. While the Magpies did have their chances, Leeds definitely stopped them from reaching their best.

The story of the day was summed up five minutes from time as Joelinton worked his way into the box and blazed into the stands, with Eddie Howe’s side forced to settle for a draw.

GK: Nick Pope (7); RB: Kieran Trippier (8); CB: Sven Botman (7); CB: Fabian Schar (7); LB: Dan Burn (7); DM: Bruno Guimaraes (7); CM: Joe Willock (6); CM: Sean Longstaff (7); RW: Miguel Almiron (7); ST: Chris Wood (6); LW: Joelinton (7).

SUB: Callum Wilson (5); Allan Saint-Maximin (6); Jacob Murphy (6).

GK: Illan Meslier (8); RB: Luke Ayling (6); CB: Robin Koch (7); CB: Liam Cooper (8); LB: Pascal Struijk (7); DM: Adam Forshaw (7); DM: Tyler Adams (7); RW: Brenden Aaronson (5); AM: Jack Harrison (7); LW: Wilfried Gnonto (6); ST: Rodrigo Moreno (6).

SUB: Marc Roca (7); Mateusz Klich (6); Crysencio Summerville (6); Rasmus Kristensen (6); Joe Gelhardt (6).

Player of the Match – Illan Meslier

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