Leeds United got back to winning ways after two successive defeats to Chelsea and West Ham United with a stunning 5-2 win over Newcastle United – despite going behind to Jeff Hendrick’s opener. Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo, Stuart Dallas, Gjanni Alioski and Jack Harrison all got their names on the score sheet – with Ciaran Clark also netting for Newcastle.
Here are three things learned from the match – including Helder Costa’s situation and how Tim Sherwood got his pre-match verdict so wrong:
Helder Costa situation – January?
Marcelo Bielsa told his post-match press conference that Helder Costa’s exclusion from the Leeds squad was not down to an injury. So why was he left out of the squad? Certainly, if it is not down to an injury – then with January looming, we have to question his position at the club.
A £16million signing, Costa has seemingly fallen down the pecking order behind Harrison, Raphinha and Ian Poveda – who was on the bench. Should Costa be considering his future? Or is it just a one-off lesson from Marcelo Bielsa, perhaps following his mistake against West Ham.
Tim Sherwood gets it completely wrong
Before the match, Sherwood spoke of the defeat to West Ham. The ex-Tottenham manager claimed on Amazon Prime Video Sport: “Dare I say it, these look like they’ve blown a gasket already. They looked tired against West Ham. They’re supposed to be the fittest team in the League.”
With the scoreline reading 3-2, and 85 minutes on the clock, Leeds broke from a Newcastle corner to score on the counter attack – with five Leeds players up with the ball against two Toon defenders. Alioski scored, and also made Sherwood eat his pre-match claim.
Liam Cooper a man possessed, point to prove?
According to WhoScored, Cooper won seven aerial duels, completed three tackles and made five interceptions. That is a stunning list of stats for a player that has come under criticism of late for his performances – alongside the club’s inability to defend from set-pieces.
Yes, Leeds conceded another corner as Clark peeled off Luke Ayling to head home. But Cooper was a wall in the air against Callum Wilson. With doubts from supporters over whether Cooper is Premier League quality, the Leeds skipper stood up to the plate and starred – keeping the England striker quiet. More of the same, please.