Eddie Howe has stated he doesn’t know whether or not he’ll meet Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah subsequent week however any dialog with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler is certain to be significantly simpler after this.
Newcastle’s supervisor just isn’t taking his gamers to a heat climate coaching camp on the Pink Beach till Sunday however at the ultimate whistle he resembled a person feeling the solar on his again for the primary time following a protracted, onerous winter.
Jonjo Shelvey’s second-half free-kick secured Howe’s Saudi-owned facet solely their second win of the season, lifting Newcastle to the heady heights of 18th place. They nonetheless solely have 15 factors however they’re just one in need of Norwich, 4 shy of Everton and solely seven behind Leeds; immediately one of many Premier League’s best escapes look possible.
Marcelo Bielsa’s alternately despairing and infuriated physique language highlighted the severity of this blow to his Leeds staff who, not for the primary time, failed to show dominance into objectives earlier than coming undone at a set piece.
Gareth Southgate seemed on from the stands and, after witnessing a few of the early wobbles amongst Newcastle’s defence, England’s 51-year-old supervisor may nicely have fancied his possibilities of rolling again the years and getting a recreation at centre-half for Howe’s facet.
Solely a tremendous, point-blank save on Martin Dubravka’s half saved Dan James’s shot out after a splendidly fluid attacking transfer additionally that includes Rodrigo and Raphinha. Slick and fast, Leeds persistently dissected Newcastle with the convenience of a knife slicing by means of butter. Paul Dummett is an underrated, positionally clever, left-back however he joined a protracted line of counterparts who’ve struggled to include Raphinha.
On the other flank Stuart Dallas impressed enormously as an attacking left again for Bielsa’s facet and his harmful attacking incursions steadily prevented Howe’s proper again, Kieran Trippier from performing as a visiting attacking catalyst.
The resultant scarcity of crosses left Newcastle’s £25m one-time Leeds centre ahead Chris Wooden largely remoted, together with his facet’s principal hope of a objective hinging on the type of odd vibrant counterattacking second which concluded with Ilan Meslier doing very nicely to avoid wasting Shelvey’s volley.
Usually although Meslier was nicely protected by a 4-1-4-1 system that includes Robin Koch, Bielsa’s German centre-half, doing an honest job serving as a midfield anchor within the enduring, harm induced absence of Kalvin Phillips. Koch’s affect emphasised Howe’s want for a midfield enforcer along with at least one new central defender.
Bielsa might have finished with out Patrick Bamford being, as soon as once more, sidelined by harm. Within the absence of their key striker, Leeds couldn’t make their dominance and dynamism rely and had nobody to shine off Raphinha’s deliveries.
If Howe’s staff invariably seemed in hassle when Leeds moved the ball huge, Bielsa turned agitated each time Allan Saint-Maximin assumed possession for Newcastle. It was not Saint-Maximin’s finest recreation however he nonetheless fazed a Leeds staff unable to capitalise on Jamaal Lascelles’s central defensive weaknesses.
Newcastle’s captain has not been at his finest these days and right here Lascelles repeatedly forfeited possession, typically across the midway line. Certainly he injured himself trying to retrieve one such concession of possession and limped off to get replaced by Ciaran Clark.
By then Howe had already misplaced Joelinton and Dummett to harm however, for as soon as, not fairly all the pieces was going in opposition to him. When Diego Llorente dragged the overlapping Javier Manquillo, on for Dummett, again Leeds conceded a free-kick in a harmful place simply outdoors the field.
Shelvey bent it low and it evaded everybody en route previous the beforehand assured however horribly unsuitable footed Meslier who might solely assist the ball on its journey into the again of the online.
After that Llorente cleared off the road to disclaim Ryan Fraser, Saint-Maximin was livid to not have had a penalty after being upended by Koch and Meslier saved well to maintain Joe Willock’s shot out.