Jack Harrison’s superb second-half strike consigned Newcastle United to a fifth straight Premier League defeat as Leeds won 2-1 at St James’ Park.
Leeds were the better side throughout a sluggish first-half and went in a goal to the good at the break thanks to Raphinha’s excellent curling effort on 17 minutes.
However Newcastle came out with far more intent after the break and deservedly equalised through Miguel Almiron after intricate interplay between Jonjo Shelvey and Callum Wilson had teed up the Paraguayan for a one-on-one.
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The Magpies continued to press forward even after the equaliser, asking serious questions of the Leeds defence – particularly through second-half substitute Allan Saint-Maximin.
But it was Leeds who won it on the break, with Harrison rounding off a counter with a brilliant finish in-off the far post.
The result moves Marcelo Bielsa’s side to within a point of Arsenal in 11th, while Newcastle remain 16th.
TALKING POINT - Newcastle in desperate need of inspiration
Steve Bruce will be under serious pressure after five straight league losses, particularly given that the supporters have so clearly turned against him. For all of their attacking intent in the second-half it is clear that Newcastle are crying out for a spark, and they might just be about to get that in Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Frenchman's long recovery from Covid has really impacted Newcastle, but a very lively performance off the bench suggested that the attacking midfielder may be back close to full fitness.
His brilliant work to set up Lewis in the second half should have led to a goal, and he immediately looked like Newcastle's best player following his introduction. Whether he'll be able to provide enough inspiration to save Bruce's job is another matter.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Jack Harrison (Leeds United)
Harrison was excellent throughout down the Leeds left and his winning goal was a beautiful finish, calmly hit in-off the far post in a manner that made it look far simpler than it was. Speaking after the match Harrison said:
The manager told us as a team to bring personality and character and we went into this game with a lot of grit and a lot fire. Not all the games are easy, but I thought we did well.
“It was a great ball from Rapha and I just wanted to get it on target, luckily enough it went in,” he added modestly.
Newcastle: Darlow 6, Murphy 6, Hayden 6, Lascelles 6, Schar 7, Lewis 5, Almiron 7, Shelvey 7, Hendrick 6, Fraser 5, Wilson 6. Subs: Saint-Maximin 8, Gayle 6.
Leeds: Meslier 6, Ayling 7, Cooper 6, Llorente 6, Alioski 5, Phillips 7, Raphinha 7, Dallas 7, Rodrigo 7, Harrison 8, Bamford 6. Subs: Struijk 7, Klich 6, Roberts 6.
17’ GOAL! Newcastle 0-1 Leeds (Raphinha): It had been coming and Leeds take the lead through Raphinha. Newcastle lost the ball in the middle of the park and Leeds player streamed forward. Bamford looked to have overhit his pass to Rodrigo, but the midfielder kept his cool and cut it back to Raphinha, who curled in a delightful finish.
57’ GOAL! Newcastle 1-1 Leeds (Almiron): Newcastle are back in this! Leeds give the ball away and sumptuous play from Shelvey and Wilson tees up Almiron for a one-on-one. He makes no mistake with the finish, sliding it past Meslier to make it 1-1.
61’ GOAL! Newcastle 1-2 Leeds (Harrison): What a lovely finish that is. Jack Harrison puts Leeds back ahead with a terrific effort in off the far post after his drifted run in from the left saw him get on the end of a flowing attack from the visitors.
66’ MISS! Saint-Maximin’s impact is immediate as he turns brilliantly into space and feeds Lewis, who is wide open in the box. He takes his time to line up the shot, but still fires over. Saint-Maximin can barely believe it, and his reaction is nothing compared to that of Steve Bruce on the touchline.
- Newcastle have lost six straight games across all competitions, the club’s worst run since May 2015.
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