PLAYER RATINGS – Leeds 5-2 Newcastle: One 8, two 7’s, several 5’s & 6’s + a few awful 4’s

Goals from Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark had us in the game at one point, but a late collapse from Newcastle United saw Leeds run riot at Elland Road.

Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with ours marks out of 10:

Starting 11:

Darlow – 7 – It says a lot that he conceded FIVE goals yet was probably our second best player on the night. Made several good saves to keep it at 1-1 going into the break and could do little about Leeds’ flurry of impressive finishing late on.

Murphy – 5 – Good going forward, bad defensively. Struggled to cope with their flurry of attacks down the left in the first half – which is perhaps no surprise given he’s a winger playing at right-back in a four-man defence. Also a gave Harrison a bit too much space to cross for their second, however he did use his pace to good effect at the other end, carrying the ball forward well at times and creating a brilliant chance for Wilson.

Fernandez – – Didnt always get close enough to his man when Leeds flung balls into the box, but made up for that with a few brave blocks. Pretty solid considering how much pressure we allowed Leeds to put on our back four.

Clark – 8* – You’re probably wondering how you can concede five goals and get such a high mark, but I thought he did very little wrong. Carried the ball out of defence confidently to start attacks, made several blocks and clearances to keep them at bay early on and scored a towering header to make it 2-2.

Lewis – 4 – Another weak and unconvincing display, sadly. Aside from a decent ball into Wilson that should have won us a penalty, he lacked conviction going forward and switched off too often at the back, with him sucked in as Dallas made it 3-2 at the back post.

Hendrick – 6 – Covered a lot of ground, getting back to help Murphy but also arriving in the box at just the right time to hand us an early lead. Nothing special and typically limited in possession, but a decent shift based on the low standards he’d set recently.

Hayden – 5 – Moved into midfield after starring at centre-back on Saturday, but struggled with their intensity. Made a few too many fouls and was immediately walking tightrope in the second half after being booked for a mistimed tackle from behind on Klich. Bruce said he was fatigued before the game at it showed – not that he got much help from Longstaff.

S Longstaff – 4 – Dithered on the ball to gift Leeds possession moments before their third and couldn’t get anywhere near their high-energy midfield all night. Looked lethargic and lacking in quality – two things you’d never have said about the man who burst onto the scene so impressively under Benitez. I’m not sure how his agent expects him to land a move to Spurs on current form…

Fraser – 6 – Failed to make the most of a few decent openings on the counter, but played a key part in both ours goals. The first being his floated cross that lead to Hendrick’s opener and the second coming from his corner kick that Clark headed home. Signs of rustiness but a few quality deliveries.

Joelinton – 6 – Was the main man looking to link midfield and attack, often picking up the ball on the turn in our own half to carry us forward on the counter attack. The issue was that he was forced to pick up the ball too deep at times, combined with the fact some of his touches were sloppy. A handful and a few signs of promise in a support role that suits him much better, however he does need to work on that touch of his.

Wilson – 7 – Played a key part in our opener, with his clever glance across the box setting up Hendrick and should’ve won us a penalty – only for VAR to ignore the fact he’d been hacked down from behind. Will never annoyed he didn’t convert a second half chance created by Murphy but battled for everything and lead the line well.

SUBS:

Krafth – 5 – Caught in no mans land as Leeds hit on the counter in the final 10 minutes.

Gayle – N/A – Barely got a kick after replacing Joelinton late on.

Almiron – N/A – Caught half asleep for Dallas’ goal, with him failing to track the right-back’s run.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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