1 Green, 2 Ayling, 5 Bartley, 18 Jansson, 21 Taylor, 14 O’Kane, 25 Vieira (Sacko 62), 7 Roofe, 23 Phillips, 11 Doukara (Antonsson 78), 9 Wood
26 Darlow, 8 Anita, 6 Lascelles, 2 Clark, 3 Dummett, 11 Ritchie, 4 Colback (Hayden 83), 12 Shelvey, 20 Gouffran (Diamé 76), 17 Pérez, 9 Gayle (Mitrovic 79)
A Gale swept through Elland Road on Sunday afternoon as a brace from Dwight Gale extended Newcastle United’s winning run to eight games and keeps the magpies on track to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.
A packed Elland Road witnessed the biggest game outside of the Premier League which proved a test for both sides and which bought the 36000 strong crowd together in the 11th minute, as a minute’s applause broke out for Gary Speed who wore the number 11 shirt for both sides.
It took an error from white’s keeper Rob Green for the deadlock to be broken in the 23rd minute after Green spilled an easy catch right into the path of Gale who swept in to poke the ball home.
(At fault Rob Green)
Leeds responded well however, and a Eunan O’Kane effort was impressively saved by Karl Darlow and defender Pontus Jansson had a strong claim for a penalty waved away before Gale added Newcastle’s second (and his thirteenth in the league) in the 54th minute.
Leeds were in no way outplayed and gave a good account of themselves. Head coach Garry Monk will be pleased with the aptitude shown from his players and on another day it would have been Leeds who would have taken the three points.
As it is Newcastle now look destined to return to the top flight and hold a very impressive five-point lead at the top of the Championship table with Leeds dropping one place to seventh.
Garry Monk – Leeds United
“It was a clear cut penalty, if that goes in and we get that decision it changes the dynamic of the game and through some of the chances we just needed a goal.
“We have to respect we’re playing a good side, it’s alright going gung ho but we have to be smart, I thought we got to grips with it and all in all we were competitive again.”
Rafael Benitez – Newcastle United
“The atmosphere we were talking about as intimidating but we controlled ourselves. We knew what they could do but the players applied themselves and it’s a credit to them.
“Everything we tried to do we did well, set-pieces, control of the game and counter-attack. There is room for improvement but I can’t complain because we did very well.”