Soccer-Impressive Leeds crush Newcastle with late surge

LEEDS, England, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Leeds United claimed their first home win in the Premier League for three months as they scored three late goals to beat Newcastle United 5-2 in a rip-roaring contest on Wednesday.

The two sides went toe-to-toe at Elland Road before Leeds pulled away with goals by Stuart Dallas, Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison securing the points for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Jeff Hendrick had given the visitors the lead against the run of play before Patrick Bamford nodded in a close-range equaliser. Rodrigo headed the hosts in front just past the hour mark but Leeds’s defensive frailties allowed Ciaran Clark to drag Newcastle back on level terms three minutes later.

Once again, however, Leeds showed why they are such an exciting side to watch as they found another gear to overwhelm Steve Bruce’s team with three goals from the 77th minute.

It was nearly 17 years since the last top-flight clash between two of the big names of English football and although there were no fans inside Elland Road to witness it, it proved a memorable contest as Leeds scored five times in a Premier League home game for the first time since May 2001.

Leeds under Bielsa guarantee goalmouth action and it was not long before they were peppering Newcastle’s goal with visiting keeper Karl Darlow forced into some early saves.

Yet it was Newcastle who struck first in the 26th minute though when Callum Wilson flicked on a cross and Hendrick’s volley gave Leeds keeper Illan Meslier no chance.

The lead last only nine minutes as Rodrigo’s looping header beat Darlow and came back off the crossbar with Bamford on hand to head in from point-blank range.

Leeds went ahead in the 61st minute thanks to a masterful touch by Harrison who plucked a ball out of the air before volleying in a cross that Rodrigo met with a diving header.

A resolute Newcastle hit back three minutes later when Clark met Ryan Fraser’s corner and headed home.

Leeds produced a grandstand finish though as Dallas guided in Mateusz Klich’s bouncing cross.

With Newcastle pressing forward, Leeds showed how lethal they can be on the counter-attack as Alioski was played in by substitute Pablo Hernandez to finish in style.

Harrison then capped a fine display in the 88th minute as he found the top corner with the sweetest of left-foot strikes.

“It was a spur of the moment thing. I didn’t think about it too much. We’re always trying to be intense and play until the final whistle,” Harrison said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Toby Davis)


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