Newcastle United frittered away chances and Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier was there when it didn’t in a scoreless draw at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
The Magpies held a 2.05-0.42 expected goals advantage and Fotmob credited them with seven big chances to Leeds’ zero, but Meslier made five saves as the hosts learned a lesson in the fine margins of a top-four race.
Newcastle stays third for the moment with 34 points while Leeds climbs into 14th place, three points above the bottom three.
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What we learned from Newcastle vs Leeds
Sometimes it’s been to keep these things simple: Newcastle blazed some huge chances wide of the frame — twice by Sean Longstaff as the most glaring examples — and Illan Mesler claimed a whole load of crosses with aplomb.
Newcastle also showed what it was prior to the arrival of Callum Wilson, who entered the game as a sub. Chris Wood was forced to start again with Wilson recovering fitness and Alexander Isak still injured, and he’s a good line to draw between functional forward and firing forward.
Leeds got good performances out of Liam Cooper and Robin Koch and really firmed up once Rasmus Kristensen entered for Luke Ayling.
But the real star was Tyler Adams, who dealt well with the challenge of Bruno Guimares and Miguel Almiron. The USMNT man had nine recoveries and created a pair of chances via Fotmob, one of the few Leeds players who can make such a claim on the day.
A late scrap between Illan Meslier, his teammates, and Newcastle over time-wasting added some late spice to a rainy day at SJP, but a good would not arrive in Northeast England.
Stars of the Show
Illan Meslier: Stacking recoveries on top of saves, the reason this stayed scoreless.
Kieran Trippier: Critical component of everything Newcastle does, absent receiver(s).
Dan Burn: Should a big man be able to be so adventurous and agile?
Joelinton: A force.
Tyler Adams: See Joelinton, only a bit smaller and less flashy.
Newcastle heads to first-place Arsenal on Tuesday, while Leeds hosts West Ham on Wednesday.
How to watch Newcastle vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Newcastle’s season has not had one MVP, as Bruno Guimaraes has been sensational in the center of the park, Sven Botman imperious at the back, and Miguel Almiron finally looking like the man who habitually roasted MLS defenses for Atlanta United.
USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams returns to Leeds after serving a suspension and has been very good combining with Marc Roca in the center of the park. Illan Meslier’s been so good between the sticks for Leeds, and now needs more support from the goal scorers.
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Jonjo Shelvey (lower leg), Alexander Isak (lower leg), Emil Krafth (knee), Paul Dummett (calf).
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Luis Sinisterra (ankle), Archie Gray (ankle), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Patrick Bamford (groin).
Leeds frustrates wasteful Newcastle at soaked St. James’ Park originally appeared on NBCSports.com