The Whites took the lead on 17 minutes after a cagey start to the game as Leeds won the ball on the halfway line, with Bamford leading the break on an exposed Toon defence. Bamford shifted the ball to Rodrigo on the right, with the past carrying too much weight to t open a shot for the Spaniard. Instead he turned onto his left and cut the ball back to Raphinha who turned inside before hitting a low shot across goal, curling into the back of the net.
Blistering counter-attack— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 26, 2021
Leeds' big summer signings deliver the goods as Rodrigo finds Raphinha to open the scoring at St James' Park!
That's a beautiful finish pic.twitter.com/CcdL5d4JW2
Leeds kept attacking but Newcastle were making it difficult as their aggressive press and block were effective in stifling play. Raphinha hit the post from a tight angle while Rodrigo might’ve scored himself as he cut inside on the right channel and had a small window to test the goalkeeper from a tight angle, but he took a touch and missed the opportunity on this occasion.
Newcastle came out the blocks even more aggressive while adding more creativity and attacking danger. The goal was coming and it arrived on 58 minutes as Bamford was dispossessed with a poor pass, the ball breaks for Newcastle in the Leeds third and open up the defence with a beautiful triangle which ended up with Almiron firing into the left-corner despite Meslier getting a lot of contact on the shot.
The Whites kicked into gear and regained the lead just a few minutes later as Raphinha came inside in the Newcastle third. Jack Harrison had acres to work with on the left side and Raphinha picked him out brilliantly with a dinked pass with his left-foot. Harrison took a touch at a tight angle, propping the ball up for a sweet volley which nestled in the side netting.
Loving the nonchalance of Jack Harrison— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 26, 2021
Raphihna picks him out and Leeds' lead is restored with the coolest of finishes! pic.twitter.com/LszbSsqeoA
Despite the goal, the momentum did not shift. Newcastle kept plugging away and came close to a deserved equaliser. Josh Murphy almost scored a screamer of a volley from 25-yards as it swerved just past the post. Lascelles hit the top of the crossbar from a corner-kick while centre-back partner Schar was allowed to maraud through the midfield before calling Meslier into action from 20-yards with a dangerous strike.
Regardless of the performance, this was a huge win for Leeds against a tough opponent, regardless of their recent form. A good result to build upon as Leeds not look ahead to an even tougher test as they travel to Leicester on Sunday.