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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 4 March 2021

Jeff Hendrick 4, Miguel Almiron 7; Raphinha 8, Patrick Bamford 5: Newcastle United v Leeds United player ratings

The Magpies are now winless in nine Premier League games after Leeds take all three points at St James' Park

Leeds United wingers Raphinha and Jack Harrison secured a 2-1 win at Newcastle United on Tuesday, piling more pressure on Magpies manager Steve Bruce after the north-east club's poor Premier League run stretched to nine games without a win.

With seven defeats in those nine, the result left Newcastle 16th on 19 points from 20 games, seven points above the drop zone, while Leeds stayed 12th on 26 points from 19 matches after ending their three-game winless streak in all competitions.

Leeds also failed to score during that run and Harrison pointed out that manager Marcelo Bielsa had asked his side to show grit against Newcastle, who seem to be heading into a relegation battle after another poor performance.

"The manager talks about having personality and character and we went into this game with a lot of fire," said Harrison.

"We knew it was going to be a challenge. We'd been preparing all week for this and we had to come out strong which we did. We'll keep our heads down and keep working hard game-by-game."

Brazilian Raphinha fired Leeds ahead in the 17th minute when he sidefooted a clinical finish into the bottom right corner after a fine build-up, as Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo carved open the Newcastle defence.

The home side lacked any bite up front and were fortunate not to be trailing by more goals in the first half but they equalised out of the blue in the 57th minute as Miguel Almiron burst forward and steered a low shot past goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Leeds had lost the ball in the danger zone and Jonjo Shelvey took advantage as he fed Callum Wilson, who in turn released fellow forward Almiron to sidefoot home as Meslier got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Newcastle's joy was short-lived, however, and they fell behind again four minutes later when Harrison was given time and space on the left to take Raphinha's pass into his stride and volley past keeper Karl Darlow into the far corner.

Newcastle pressed in the closing stages and missed several chances to salvage a point, with Meslier pulling off two good saves to deny Shelvey and Fabian Schar.

The beleaguered Magpies are now without a win in 11 games in all competitions, having taken only two points from the last 27.

"That's the best we've played in weeks," said Bruce after the match. "It was good to see the forward players on the pitch to make that possible for us, what a difference if we keep Ryan Fraser right – and Miguel Almiron – then we know we are going to be that threat.

"I don't think I've started them yet all season. I was more pleased with the performance but obviously disappointed that we didn't take something from the game."

Updated: January 27, 2021 10:17 AM


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