Leeds deserved all three points

Even the most die-hard Newcastle United fans would admit that Leeds United deserved all three points tonight. 

At times, it was hard to decipher which team was supposed to be the newly promoted side, a testament to Marcelo Bielsa's brilliant pressing philosophy - which left Newcastle looking overwhelmed throughout. 

The home side had had 68.5% possession, 25 shots on goal (10 on target) and over double Newcastle's total passes as they dominated the ball for 90 minutes. If not for the heroics of Karl Darlow, (a theme of Newcastle's season) it could have easily been more than five. 

Newcastle capitulated late on

Heading into the closing stages, it seemed as though a fatigued Newcastle United were going to leave Elland Road with at least a point. 

That optimism swiftly became despair for Steve Bruce's men, who conceded three preventable goals in the last thirteen minutes. 

Ciaran Clark labelled the defensive errors as ‘schoolboy’ ones when speaking to the media

Newcastle will avoid major criticism, and fairly, due to their COVID-19 outbreak that has had a catastrophic effect on their preparations for a busy winter period.

Many players, including midfielder Isaac Hayden (who publicly addressed his struggle with the virus) struggled throughout the game due to their intense return to action despite only a few days of light training. 

The players only had four days to recover from Saturday's gruelling affair against West Bromwich Albion, so it is no surprise that they collapsed to close to the finish line. 

Despite defeat, there were some silver linings for Newcastle United

Despite the result and the largely uninspiring performance, there were in fact some positives to take from the game for Newcastle United. 

The most prominent positive was the individual performance of Ryan Fraser, who certainly had the 'new signing' impact that Steve Bruce promised in his pre-match press conference. 

Fraser, who has only started one Premier League this term,  played a crucial part in both of Newcastle's goals with excellent deliveries - registering his first Premier League assist for Newcastle by way of a pin-point cross for Ciaran Clark from a corner kick.  

The Scotsman has battled with injuries over the last 18 months, but looked to be back to his effervescent self throughout the game, often looking like Newcastle's best player. 

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