Player ratings as visitors put pressure on Steve Bruce
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds beat the winners 2-1 against Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Tuesday night, securing their first-ever Premier League brace against the Magpies and dooming Steve Bruce’s side to their sixth straight loss.
Early exchanges were suspicious, but it was Leeds who became the game faster than their hosts. A good breakaway led by Patrick Bamford ended in Raphinha, who calmly returned from a withdrawal by Rodrigo to open the scoring.
Rodrigo and Raphinha both came close to increasing the lead at half-time, but were unable to extend the score to 1-0.
The second half was much more hectic as the game opened up completely. The hosts came out seemingly invigorated and the Magpies found an equalizer as Miguel Almiron nearly finished ahead of Illan Meslier after a radical team move. However, their visitors found an instant response as Raphina chose an unmarked Jack Harrison from the box, who finished sublimely to restore Leeds’ advantage.
Newcastle responded well, however, and hit the top of the bar twice in two minutes before Jonjo Shelvey missed the opportunity to level them up, as he put a free header down Meslier’s throat. It turned out to be the home side’s last big chance as Leeds held on to get all three points.
Now let’s move on to some player ratings.
Karl Darlow (GK) – 5/10 – There wasn’t much I could do for goals, and other than that he made some solid saves to turn Leeds away.
Isaac Hayden (CB) – 6/10 – He looked quite solid and did well defending Luke Ayling’s long diagonal, winning five aerial duels at right-back. Made a crucial tackle in his team’s equalizer build-up.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – 6/10 – Strong defensive performance, making five clearances and two tackles. Also brought the ball out of defense at times.
Fabian Schar (CB) – 7/10 – Ultimately his highlight was a fantastic forward dribble resulting from a great effort on goal. But also defensively, making three interceptions at crucial moments.
Jacob Murphy (RWB) – 5/10 – Looked much brighter after being pushed to right midfielder, providing some good crosses, but was in charge of Leeds’ second after leaving Harrison unmarked.
Jonjo Shelvey (CM) – 6/10 – Came to life after an hour and provided quality in and around the area. Was unlucky not to get an assist as Pascal Struijk cut an out, but should have made it 2-2 in a corner with 15 left to play.
Jeff Hendrick (CM) – 7/10 – I went under the radar in the Toon midfield but made some crucial digs and used the ball really well at times.
Miguel Almiron (CM) – 7/10 – Couldn’t get into the game early after the Leeds engine room ousted him, but he was influential after the break. Capped a good team move to equalize and was at the heart of Newcastle’s attacking play.
Jamal Lewis (LWB) – 4/10 – Very quiet from left-back, fails to deliver quality in the box and misses a golden chance at 2-1.
Ryan Fraser (CF) – 6/10 – Had a much bigger impact when moved to the left. The Scotsman put in some quality balls but couldn’t tell the difference.
Callum Wilson (ST) – 6/10 –Had very little service in a team not eager to pass the ball, but managed to secure an assist for Almiron with a skillful layoff.
Allan Saint Maximin (LM) – 7/10 – Had an instant impact after its introduction, marauding with ease. I should have landed an assist after throwing Lewis brilliantly.
Dwight Gayle (ST) – 5/10
Illan Meslier (GK) – 7/10 – Very good outing for the young Frenchman on his return from injury. Demonstrated composure and agility between the sticks, and almost kept Almiron’s close effort.
Luke Ayling (RB) – 6/10 – Brilliant energy in the top 45, advancing the ball efficiently. Also demonstrated a great range of passing, completing four diagonals of cross field to the opposite wing.
Liam Cooper (CB) – 7/10 – Showing no frills to the captain. Won the ball five times and made six clearances.
Diego Llorente (CB) – N / A – Forced with what appeared to be a hamstring injury after just ten minutes.
Ezgjan Alioski (LB) – 5/10 – An unusually quiet evening for the Macedonian as most of the good things unfolded to the Leeds right, failing to make a single cross before returning.
Kalvin Phillips (DM) – 7/10 – Showed how important he is alongside Bielsa on his return from suspension. Was everywhere, distributing the ball efficiently, while filtering his four fullbacks with six digs.
Stuart Dallas (CM) – 6/10 – Showed great dynamism in central midfield. I got on and off the pitch really well while using the ball well, making a key pass from the center of the pitch.
Rodrigo (AM) – 8/10 – Very brilliant performance and looked hungry from the start. The Spaniard constantly pressed and challenged, while still finding a forward pass, and capped a great outing with an assist for the opener.
Raphinha (RW) – 9/10 – Finished cleanly to mark the first game of the first half and got a nice assist for the second on time. Was easily the man of the match.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – 5/10 – A few misplaced touches and a disappointing header in the first half was all Bamford pulled off before being pulled out after an hour.
Jack Harrison (LW) – 7/10 – Showing pretty uneventful from the winger, until he finished beautifully on the half end to secure the winner just past the hour mark.
Pascal Struijk (CB) – 6/10 – Came and packed for Llorente, making seven total clearances as well as three interceptions.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – 6/10
Tyler Roberts (ST) – 6/10