Thanks to a narrow victory on the road, Leeds United are back to positive results. The Whites were welcomed to St James’ Park for their latest Premier League clash, which played out to a 2-1 win in the visitors’ favour.
Leeds took control early on by netting the first goal of the game in the 17th minute through Raphinha. They went into the break with the lead, but Newcastle hit back less than ten minutes after the restart with a Miguel Almiron equaliser. But the Magpies didn’t trouble Leeds for long.
Thanks to Jack Harrison, the Whites restored their lead and played out a much-needed win, banking an important three points. However, the second goal has seemingly flattered the Leeds winger’s overall performance against the Toon.
Whilst his 61st minute goal was undoubtedly the difference on the day for Leeds, Harrison struggled to pull off a solid performance out wide. It was a quiet evening for the Manchester City loanee overall, who was largely absent aside from his second half goal.
According to Sofascore, Harrison made fewer touches (49) than goalkeeper Illan Meslier (55) and lost a huge 80% of his attempted duels. The £45,000-per-week winger also gave up possession 21 times – which was the most out of anyone on his team – and failed to register a single cross from the flank.
In comparison to Newcastle’s left winger Almiron, Harrison seriously underperformed. The Toon wide-man not only contributed a goal but he managed to win nine of his 16 attempted duels and made three key passes, compared to zero from Harrison. His previous outing was also much better despite it being a defeat to Brighton. The Englishman was able to complete 3/4 dribbles and win six of his 13 attempted duels, losing just 53% compared to 80% at St James’ Park.
In hindsight, the performance doesn’t matter. Leeds secured the all-important three points, which breaks their three-game losing streak. However, for a player from Man City, you would expect his attacking prowess to be a bit more lethal in the final third, particularly as a winger.
Harrison is currently Marcelo Bielsa’s only recognised senior left winger, which is a worrying thought for if or when he leaves the club. Leeds may have an option to make the move permanent for the 24-year-old following the end of his loan, but if he wants to boost his chances of staying at Elland Road he must be utilising his skills as a creative player and put in stronger performances for Leeds than this one.
In other news, Leeds made right decision not to sign Michael Cuisance…