Newcastle United struggled to a 2-2 draw with Leeds United at Elland Road in the early Saturday kick-off, and Eddie Howe doesn’t know what to make of the game.
Eddie Howe struggled to gather his thoughts on Saturday’s early kick-off game as Newcastle came from a goal down to lead 2-1 and then ultimately finish all square in a game that had a bit of everything.
Newcastle had the lion’s share of the possession, played the better football overall and still, can count themselves lucky they got a point from this one. Leeds hit us early with Luke Ayling’s goal coming in the seventh minute after some terrible defending by the Magpies.
Eddie Howe didn’t know what to make of the game at full-time
Leeds then missed a penalty thanks to a brilliant stop by Nick Pope and as the dust was settling on that particular play, Newcastle were awarded a penalty of their own which was coolly despatched by Callum Wilson. The visitors were awarded another penalty on 69 minutes which was once again emphatically finished by Wilson.
From then on Newcastle looked to be in control but as Leeds attacked Newcastle conceded a needless corner and from that, after a spot of pinball in the box, the ball fell to Rasmus Kristensen who lashed a shot goalward which took a wicked deflection off Kieran Tripper which wrong-footed Pope and levelled the score.
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The drama wasn’t over still, as Junior Firpo brought down Anthony Gordon right on the edge of the box on 90 minutes, earning himself his second yellow and putting Leeds down to 10 men.
Annoyingly though, Firpo shouldn’t have been on the pitch to bring Gordon down in the first place as it was his handball that awarded Newcastle with their second penalty. Having already been booked, he should have been shown a second yellow then, but referee Simon Hooper, who had an awful game, failed to brandish the card.
And that’s not to mention the enraged fan who accosted Eddie Howe in his own technical area.
Newcastle are still in control of their own destiny this season
So after all that, it was little surprise to hear that Eddie Howe didn’t really know what to say at full-time when BT Sport asked him for his verdict. Howe puffed out his cheeks and said: “I don’t know. I’m struggling to make sense of it all. One-nil down, could have been two-nil down, two-one up, hoping to win the game. We didn’t. So a lot of emotions. Ultimately I think we have to take our medicine and our point today and return home now with two massive home games to come.”
While a draw to Leeds looks damaging on paper, Newcastle are still in control of their own fate. Before kick-off Newcastle needed seven points to secure Champions League football, now we just need six. With two home games, it’s still very achievable.
As long as none of those games are 12:30pm kick offs on a Saturday as our run of not winning on Saturday lunchtime continues. The last time we did was in 2015.