90min reporting from Elland Road as Newcastle United gave their hopes of staying in the Premier League a huge boost with a 1-0 win against Leeds United.
The only goal of the game arrived with just 16 minutes left as Jonjo Shelvey’s low driven free-kick got the better of Leeds keeper Illan Meslier.
Leeds enjoyed the majority of possession but they did little with it as Martin Dubravka was barely tested in the Newcastle goal.
Raphinha and Dan James did their best but Leeds’ lack of a striker was apparent throughout.
Shelvey had kept Newcastle ticking over from his deep lying midfield role and almost put them ahead late in the first-half when his dipping volley was tipped wide by Meslier.
But the former England international was not to be denied as he was handed the chance to win the game as Diego Llorente hauled down substitute Javier Manquillo on the edge of the box.
Shelvey lined up the shot and curled it around the wall and Meslier could only help the ball into the net as Newcastle claimed their first win of 2022, which puts them within just one point of safety.
Illan Meslier (GK) – 4/10 – Rarely troubled but produced one outstanding stop from Shelvey’s volley but he should have saved the free-kick.
Luke Ayling (RB) – 5/10 – Started well but Saint-Maximin ultimately got the better of him.
Diego Llorente (CB) – 5/10 – Looked composed until pulling back Manquillo which led to goal. Big mistake.
Pascal Struijk (CB) – 6/10 – Did what he had to against Wood when asked. Solid enough.
Stuart Dallas (LB) – 5/10 – Didn’t see as much as you would like in the last third as he was pushed back by Trippier.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – 5/10 – Some nice passing but struggled to make a big impact in the game and was taken off.
Robin Koch (CM) – 5/10 – Solid enough playing a holding role, but not very mobile.
Jack Harrison (LW) – 5/10 – Very quiet other than a couple of crosses in the first-half.
Rodrigo (CAM) – 3/10 – Offered virtually nothing throughout, really disappointing.
Raphinha (RW) – 7/10 – Clearly the best player on the pitch and was at the heart of anything good, but the final ball was lacking.
Dan James (CF) – 6/10 – Worked his socks off in an unfamiliar role, but he is not a centre-forward. Booked for nasty challenge on Dubravka.
Tyler Roberts (CF) – N/A
Joe Gelhardt (CF) – N/A
Martin Dubravka (GK) – 6/10 – Did his job but he did not have much to do.
Kieran Trippier (RB) – 7/10 – Looked a class act throughout, good in defence and offered a good outlet going forward. Good performance in front of Gareth Southgate.
Fabian Schar (CB) – 6/10 – Struggled at times against a quick Leeds attack, but stood firm.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – 5/10 – Went off injured but was not at his best at all, looked nervy.
Ryan Fraser (RM) – 6/10 – Kept his shape but offered almost nothing in attack apart from one cross into the box late on.
Joe Willock (CM) – 6/10 – Only glimpses of the player we saw last season, stuggled to get involved.
Jonjo Shlevey (CM) – 8/10 – Good first half and almost scored, marshalled the midfield well before slamming home the winning free-kick.
Joelinton (CM) – 5/10 – Went off in the first-half but had looked decent to that point.
Allan Saint-Maximin (LM) – 7/10 – A constant threat and become more of a danger as the game went on.
Chris Wood (CF) – 5/10 – Well marshalled by the Leeds defence and did not see much of the ball.
Sean Longstaff (CM) – 5/10 – Came on for Joelinton and did ok.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – N/A
Javier Manquillo (LB) – 6/10 – Won crucial free-kick which led to goal.