Leeds United 5-2 Newcastle United
Leeds United 5-2 Newcastle United
A Jeff Hendrick tap in from 6 yards following a Fraser cross and Wilson flick would give Newcastle United an unlikely lead in the first quarter of tonights game, as the Magpies travelled to Elland Road for what would be an ultimately embarrassing first trip to Leeds for 17 years.
Leeds predictably enjoyed far greater possession throughout the game and it was no surprise when they eventually forced an overload on 34 minutes ending with Bamford nodding in from 2 yards as Rodrigo finally got the better of Darlow only to see his looping header come back of the Newcastle crossbar.
Newcastle seemed to have a clear shout for a penalty waves away early in the second half following Cooper's clumsy tackle on Wilson inside the Leeds penalty area.
But a wonderful long range header from Rodrigo, after some brilliant play from Harrison, then put Leeds ahead before Newcastle themselves would find their own equaliser, this time Clark heading in a Fraser corner.
And thought of Steve Bruce and his men taking anything from this game were short lived however with a buoyant Leeds not to be denied. And with goals from Dallas following another Sean Longstaff mistake and then on the break from Alioski and a stunner from Harrison, Leeds would hammer the nail into what was nothing short of a humiliating performance from the visitors.
Steve Bruce took his Newcastle United side to Elland Road for the first time in 17 years in one of tonights early kick-offs with the full programme of fixtures this week taking up their temporary home on Amazon Prime as COVID restriction and all live matches being shown live on television continues.
For Bruce there would be a number of changes which included a return to the starting line up for Fenandez whilst Hendrick and Fraser would also get rare starts on the flanks (see FactFile at the foot of this page for full team news and other match stats).
Newcastle would make the early pace with a mishit cross from Hayden on the left finding it way fortuitously onto the top of the crossbar before the visitors would waste an early free kick. Fraser and Joelinton would also combine well early on but their neat play would come to nothing.
The best chance of the early stages for either side would come on 13 minutes when Harrison found Rodrigo who was wasteful in smashing the ball high over Darlow's crossbar.
Darlow himself was then thrown into action after a long throw ended with Cooper getting a fine header on target only to be denied by the Newcastle stopper.
Leeds now well on top possession wise, although to be fully expected.
Next it would be Raphinia who would be wasteful in front of goal with a high, wide and not very handsome attempt, before Clark would break at the other end to set up Wilson who couldn't quite force an attempt on goal.
But Newcastle would get their goal moments later on 27. A neat break would see Fraser cross to Wilson who couldn't get more than a flick on the header but in doing so played the ball straight into the path of Jeff Hendrick who did the rest. Side footing home from 6 yards.
Darlow would again be forced into action as the game settled back into the same pattern after Newcastle's goal. Raphinia again striking from close range with Darlow brilliantly saving again.
Leeds would be level on 35 minutes however. Patrick Bamford scoring again, with his 8th of the season, nodding home from 2 yards out after a Rodrigo header looped over Darlow and came back off the bar. Too easy on this occasion as Leeds get an overload and make the most of it.
Into the second half and Newcastle set off with the same early intent they had int the first period. Pushing higher up the pitch that at any point seen in the opening period in any numbers.
On 53 minutes Newcastle had a huge shout for a penalty when Cooper seemed to take Wilson's standing foot from under him in the box. Yes, Wilson made the most of the challenge but replays seemed to show there was certainly contact. No joy for Newcastle though as both the referee and the Video official giving nothing.
Just after the hour mark Leeds would get themselves ahead. A ball pinged into Harrison was brilliantly controlled before his centre was headed with power and precision into the bottom left hand corner of Darlow's goal. Whilst the cross and finish were something to behold, the marking from Newcastle certainly wasn't.
2-1 to the home side.
Wilson almost got themselves straight back into the match. A corner pretty much straight from kick off, for Leeds, ended in Murphy, now moved to right wing, racing clear and crossing to Wilson who somehow managed to find the target and forcing Meslier into a scrambling save.
And they weren't to be denied. Leeds, having struggled from set pieces all season conceded from the resultant corner. Fraser this time with the corner and Clark raising brilliantly to head home to get Bruce's men level.
A mistake from Sean Longstaff then allowed Leeds to recycle the ball with Klich floating a cross to the back post allowing Dallas to steal in at the back post, totally unmarked, to slot home. Awful from Longstaff, meaning Newcastle's players were totally caught out of position and helpless to stop the inevitable outcome from Dallas.
Bruce had thrown Almiron and Gayle on by this point, in the desperate hope of getting a winner themselves, and with Leeds tiring and continuing to push forward in their own Biela style, there was certainly a thought the Magpies would get at least one more chance to rescue a point.
But with Newcastle pushing men forward in the last 5 minutes they were hit with a sucker punch. Leeds breaking forward with 6 against 2 men as Newcastle's players clearly couldn't be bothered to chase back and prevent a 4th goal for the home side. Alioski with the easiest of finishes with Darlow swamped and Bruce's men torn to ribbons.
Give it two minutes and it was play and repeat. Another Newcastle corner. Another break. Another Leeds goal. This time Jack Harrison smashing home a stunner from fully 25 yards.
Leeds totally dominant and dishing out a footballing lesson to a footballing dinosaur.