How are your nerves? With the scoreline reading 2-1 in Leeds United’s favour after Jack Harrison hammered Marcelo Bielsa’s men into the lead – both Jamal Lewis and Jamaal Lascelles had efforts that hit the bar. Still, we managed to come away from Tyneside with three points – and an away win in the Premier League is worth nabbing, whichever way you earn it.
Leeds will look back to the first half in which they should have capitalised on a beleaguered Newcastle by more than just one goal. But ultimately, Leeds hace 26 points from their first 19 matches and the initial objective of Premier League safety is easily within their grasp. Here are three talking points from Tuesday night’s win:
Struijk performance overlooked
There were many stand-out performers. Luke Ayling back at right-back was excellent, Illan Meslier produced some crucial saves after criticism, Rodrigo probably produced his best so far. But Pascal Struijk’s efforts were overlooked on Tuesday night – especially given he was thrown into a match from inside 10 minutes, when he would not have expected to be.
The 21-year-old has been shaky at times this season, mostly when used in midfield. But in his best position as a left-sided centre-back, he excelled. The fact his efforts were understated shows just how well he played – and he deserved enormous praise for coming on and covering the loss of Llorente.
Raphinha and Rodrigo partnership
As said, Rodrigo enjoyed one of his best performances in a Leeds shirt so far – and so did Raphinha. A goal and an assist for the Brazilian proved crucial in the Whites overcoming struggling Newcastle. Leeds are renowned for dominating possession and under Bielsa, it has been a recurring frustration to see Leeds control a match without the end product.
Raphinha and Rodrigo are beginning to change that. Rodrigo’s pass for Raphinha’s goal and the Brazilian’s touch was immense – before scoring. The connection between the two Brazil-born attackers was brilliant throughout, and gives Leeds the Premier League flair required.
Leeds really need a striker
We love Patrick Bamford at LeedsUnited.News. We are desperate to see him do well and we have been the first to heap plaudits on him – whether it be his hat-trick against Villa, touted for an England call-up or more. Bamford has earned the right to start every single Premier League game this season – even if Tuesday’s win was not his night.
But Leeds need another option. Tyler Roberts came on and although he showed some nice touches, is he really a number nine? Probably not. Leeds need a striker that can replace Bamford when it is not working – and give them something else in the final third. Bielsa, though, has already suggested that the club will avoid the January market.