Leeds United have taken a draw from their Premier League clash with Newcastle United this afternoon at St James’ Park and Jesse Marsch will surely feel like it has lifted a weight off his shoulders going into the new year.
The Yorkshire club are now 14th in the league table and three points clear of the bottom three after their stalemate away from home in their final game of 2022, which is a great position to be in as they endeavour to eliminate their chances of falling into another relegation scrap over the second half of the season.
Despite having less possession (41%), fewer big chances created (0 v 7) and fewer shots on target (1 v 5), Leeds made up for their lack of attacking dominance against their hosts by putting on a formidable defensive performance with more tackles (32 v 16), clearances (23 v 11) and interceptions (11 v 9) won over the clash.
In the first half, Leeds matched Newcastle for possession and got stuck into the game quickly with six shots on goal in the first 45 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to break the 0-0 score-line was the half-time whistle was blown.
In the second half, it was much of the same at St James’ Park with neither team able to convert their chances which clearly built frustration from both sets of players with five yellow cards handed out in the last 30 minutes of the game with the points shared upon the final whistle.
Despite an exemplary and resilient defensive performance for Marsch to reflect on positively, the chances squandered will surely haunt the manager as Leeds gave Eddie Howe’s incredibly in-form side a game that could’ve led to three points if they had been more clinical in front of goal.
Brenden Aaronson was one of the main culprits that let Marsch down in the final third today as whilst his work rate remained high, the American attacker was unable to positively channel it into something game-changing for Leeds.
Over his 90-minute performance, the 22-year-old completed just 14 accurate passes, made no dribble attempts and no crosses, as well as losing six out of his seven duels, was dribbled past once and had fewer touches than Illan Meslier.
Aaronson earned a rating of just five out of ten according to Leeds Live, with the publication claiming that the player ‘lacked quality on the ball’ and ‘vision’ when dribbling the ball.
With that being said, there is definitely a lot for Marsch to take from the performance against Newcastle both positive and negative but ultimately the manager will surely just be relieved to have earned a point from the difficult clash ahead of the upcoming fixtures in the new year.