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Bielsa Ball vs Brucie Ball

Four days after a glorious victory at home to West Brom, Newcastle were in West Yorkshire to play a seemingly out of form Leeds United in the top flight for the first time in seventeen years after the Yorkshire sides hiatus from the Premier League.

Bruce kept the 4-4-2 formation with a few changes with Darlow in goal. The back four consisting of Murphy, Fernandez as Captain, Clark and Lewis. We played a flat midfield of Hendrick, Longstaff, Hayden and Fraser. Completing the attack were Joelinton and Wilson.

Newcastle started bright, winning a couple of freekicks and looked like we were going to give Leeds a harsh return to the top flight. Hendrick got us underway with a nice goal played in by Ryan Fraser and flicked on by Wilson, similar to Almirons first Goal against West Brom Hendrick tucked it away.

Leeds responded well, Rodrygo's header hitting the Crossbar and rebounded for a clear header for Patrick Bamford who really could not miss. No pressure from the defense, Bamford was left unmarked with all the time in the world to nod it home. The Newcastle defense might aswell have been sat besides myself watching from the sofa.

With the score at 1-1 Wilson had a strong case for a penalty when Wilson was brought down in the Box by Liam Cooper and despite the foul being looked at by VAR nothing was given. Robbie Savage and former Premier League referee Mark Clattenberg even stated that it was a penalty all day long but those at Stockly Park appeared to disagree.

In the second half Leeds went 2-1 up after a lovely piece of controlling of the ball by Jack Harrison. Collected out wide and crossed in to be met by a diving header from Rodrygo, beating Karl Darlow to put the Whites ahead. And yet again the defense joined me on the sofa as mere spectators.

Three minutes later Leeds played an awful corner, collected by Fraser who ran it up the pitch, crossed it in and won a corner up the other end of the pitch. Our first corner of the game. Fraser took it and it was headed back out for a second corner. Fraser had another effort which was successfully headed in past Meslier by Clark. 2-2.

Leeds then took the lead again when Harrison played a tame ball in the box which fell to Longstaff who had a terrible game. Lonstaff failed to clear the ball and was dispossessed by Harrison who ran into the box showing the kind of determination our players so very lacked. Harrison passed theball to Bamford, who played the ball out wide to Klich. Klich crossed the ball in to find Stewart Dallas's head to make it 3-2.

Things only went from bad to worse for Bruce's side. Longstaff again dispossessed this time in the Leeds box by Phillips with a long clearance that found Raphinha. Lewis backtracking, Raphinha laid it off to Pablo Hernandez who played a low ball through to find Alioski who fired the ball into the roof of Darlows goal. 4-2.

Did Leeds have time for one more? Oh but of course they did. Exactly the same as Leeds fourth goal from the Leeds area the ball was played to Jack Harrison who picked it up on the centre circle and was allowed to dribble it all the way to the Newcastle box where he unleashed a devastating strike from outside the area to hammer home a crushing defeat for Bruces Mags.

Final score 5-2 to Leeds United.

I just want to apologize to our readers for this particular article. If you follow the Toon im sure that you feel the same as I do. This defeat has left me absolutely furious. I live in West Yorkshire so I am surrounded by Leeds supporters who whilst writing this, have sent me messages. And they weren't exactly offering their support. I am a very passionate Newcastle fan and I won't be responding to those messages tonight. This defeat was totally unacceptable. Especially given the fact that the likes of Almiron and Gayle were left out of the starting lineup, but did eventually make an appearance. And Shelvey, as well as Carroll, were left out altogether. Shelvey for me would have been key to unlocking the Leeds defence and would have helped Hayden command that midfield, where we lacked essential leadership. Longstaff had the worst game I've seen him play. He gave us nothing in that midfield and was at fault twice for two of their goals. Steve Bruce's tactics were spot on in the previous game at St James Park vs West Brom. But the same can not be said for today's horror show at Elland Road. Despite Hendrick scoring I don't think he should have started. We needed the pace in the midfield from Miguel Almiron and the creativity of Jonjo Shelvey.

I sincerely hope that Bruce learns from this mistake going into Saturday's fixture against Fulham. This performance was unacceptable and should not be repeated.

Sam West.



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