Newcastle United extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches after a 2-0 victory over Gary Monk’s Leeds side.
Dwight Gayle scored both goals and is now up to 13 goals in the League.
However, there was a more serious undertone to the match, the remembrance of former Leeds and Newcastle man Gary Speed. Speed played 248 matches for Leeds scoring 39 goals and made 213 appearances for Newcastle scoring 29 goals. Applause and chants of “Speedo, Speedo” rang around Elland Road on the 11th minute to remember the Welshman.
Gayle first struck in the 23rd minute when Rob Green fumbled a looping long ball towards him. The striker instantly pounced on the loose ball and put it in the back of the net; a proper poacher’s goal. Colback set up the goal with an over-hit ball from just inside Leeds’ half.
The home side’s first real opportunity at goal came when Ayling got his head to the ball from a freekick but couldn’t quite direct it goalwards and Darlow tipped it over for a corner.
Leeds had another chance from a set piece when striker Chris Wood got a header on target but couldn’t get enough venom on it and Darlow graciously fell on the ball.
Gary Monk’s side felt they could’ve had a penalty right before half time when Ronaldo Viera attempted to put the ball back into the box and struck Colback on the arm. I felt that it was not a penalty as Colback was too close to move his arm away and had his arm tucked right into his body. Had the penalty been given and converted, it may have turned the game on its head as Leeds were creating as lot of chances but their finishing really let them down.
The last talking point of the half was Pontus Jansson’s booking for complaining to the referee about the penalty decision, that was his fifth yellow meaning he is suspended for their clash against Rotherham United next Saturday.
Leeds had another chance 5 minutes after the restart when O’Kane dispossessed and turned Colback. The Northern Irish midfielder shot with his right foot, causing Darlow to stretch and get his left hand on it. Lascelles then cleared the ball out of danger.
Gayle then got his second of the afternoon after he finished a wonderfully crafted move by his teammates. Colback started the attack by placing a pass to Anita who played a one-two with Perez to shred through Leeds’ defence. The Dutchman put a low cross through the box and Gayle, at full stretch, got his left boot on the ball to net his 13th of the season.
After that, Leeds had two more major efforts on goal. The first of those coming when substitute Doukara got his head onto a cross into the box, but that wasn’t troubling Darlow who made another save. The Englishman putting in a serious bid to stay as Newcastle’s number 1.
With 10 minutes to go Leeds had one last attack when Ayling put a cross into the box but Marcus Antonsson mistimed his header and couldn’t register an attempt. Chris Wood tried to get onto the ball first but couldn’t move his body quick enough to pounce on the ball and the attack ended with Newcastle regaining possession.
The match finished 2-0 to the visitors as Newcastle went 5 points clear of second place Brighton and Dwight Gayle added two more goals to his growing collection.
Featured image credit: Ian Paterson