It was hard work for a while, but Leeds United showed their quality late on to run away with a 5-2 win against Newcastle United at Elland Road.
WHAT. A. PERFORMANCE.— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 16, 2020
Leeds were on top for the entire game, but Newcastle took the lead through Jeff Hendrick, before Patrick Bamford equalised, ending the first half at 1-1.
In the second half, Leeds took the lead through an excellent Rodrigo header, before Ciaran Clark scored the customary goal from a corner against Leeds. Stuart Dallas’ back post header put Leeds back in front, before two devastating counter attacks from Newcastle corners sealed the three points. Ezgjan Alioski got the fourth goal, before Jack Harrison scored an absolute screamer to seal it with the fifth.
Time now to look at each player and how they performed. As always you can tell me how wrong I am @mightywhitespod or @ThruItAllLUFC on twitter.
Illan Meslier - Couple of good saves, goals weren’t his fault. 7/10
Stuart Dallas - Had a solid outing at right-back before putting Leeds 3-2 up with a header arriving at the back post. 7/10
Luke Ayling - Brought the ball out well in possession. Callum WIlson got across him for the first Newcastle goal. Needed to do better against Ciaran Clark when marking him for Newcastle’s second goal. Not bad despite the two marks against him. 6.5/10
Liam Cooper - Solid, forced Darlow into a good save with a header from a corner. A bit fortunate not to give away a penalty for a sliding challenge in the area. 6.5/10
Ezgjan Alioski - Switched off at the back post to allow Jeff Hendrick a simple finish at the back post to put Newcastle in front. As always, lots of effort and today his quality was better than against West Ham. Topped the performance off by scoring the fourth goal from an incisive counter attack. 7/10
Kalvin Phillips - Solid game, went with Joelinton everywhere so sometimes ended up in a back three, sometimes in midfield. 7/10
Raphinha - Stood out massively in the first half, Leeds most creative player and had a few good efforts before putting in the cross for Leeds to make it 1-1. Lead the break for the final goal. Better in the first half than the second, probably the only player who can say that. 8/10
Mateusz Klich - Had an ok first half, let Fraser cross for the goal far too easily. Not at his best but got the assist for Stuart Dallas’ goal. Some nice moments of link up play. 7/10
Rodrigo - Unlucky not to score himself when he hit the bar with a great header before Bamford score the rebound. Did score his next headed chance from a great Harrison cross. Dropped deep a lot to get on the ball throughout. Leeds look more dangerous with him on the pitch. 8/10
I know the goal Harrison scored will get all the attention, and rightly so, but that header from Rodrigo was Pablo was class when he came on also #lufc— Sam (@SJMilner89) December 16, 2020
Jack Harrison - Big improvement from his display against West Ham. Fine in the first half but showed the ability he has just after the hour mark. A wonderful first touch and volleyed cross to set up Rodrigo to put Leeds 2-1 up. Scored an absolute screamer to make it five late on. That was the big performance he needed. 8.5/10
This Jack Harrison goal was crazy to cap off a 5-2 win for Leeds United. Their games are always exciting to watch. #lufc #LEENEW pic.twitter.com/JtBR6W1xgi— kev (@Kevinmarth) December 16, 2020
Patrick Bamford - In the right place to score the easy rebound to make it 1-1. Outside of that, the usual Bamford stuff. Worked hard, lead the line well, won possession high up the pitch. 7/10
Pablo Hernandez (for Rodrigo, 82mins) - Played 12 minutes, got two assists, good to see the magic man back on the pitch. 7.5/10
Pablo Hernandez came on with 8 mins to go and got 2 assists— hbkmikes (@MichaelMhangam2) December 16, 2020
Tyler Roberts (for Bamford, 83mins) - N/A
Jamie Shackleton (for Klich, 89mins) - N/A