Leeds scored at the death with their only shot on target of the second half to frustrated Newcastle and claim a potentially vital play-off-related point
Right then, I’m off. That was a superlatively enjoyable game of league football, a credit to everyone involved. Newcastle will wonder how they failed to win it, but Leeds’s spirit and dedication was excellent throughout, they fought to keep themselves in the game and produced probably the game’s finest moment of attacking quality at the very last. I’m not sure what Newcastle’s defenders were up to while they did so, mind. Anyway, ta-ra!
Related: Chris Wood’s late strike for Leeds dents Newcastle’s drive for top flight
“What an excellent mugging,” says Nick Miller, seated opposite me at Guardian HQ. “I like a good mugging.”
So Newcastle can’t go up on Monday – though surely it’s a delay rather than a cancellation – and sit four points behind Brighton in the chase for the title.
Leeds had one shot on target in the second half.
Chris Wood talks to Sky:
It’s great to come here and snatch a point, it’s a tough place to come, so we’re delighted. You always hope to get one chance, if it comes in the 1st minute or the 91st it doesn’t matter. I just kept going and stuck it away. The back four have been fantastic all season and credit to them, they kept us in the game on more than one occasion. We were under the cosh a few times, but we stood up and kept fighting right to the end. That’s what we’re about: we fight to the end, and it shows us what we can achieve. It’s going to be tough, four games to go, but we’re full of confidence and we’re going to keep going forward.
90+7 mins: The final whistle sounds to end a truly exciting game. Newcastle should have won it, but it was Leeds’s hard work and dedication rather than their own failings that stopped them.
That’s Leeds’ first decent attack of the half, but it was a superlative one: Roofe’s cross from just outside the box is phenomenal, and picks out Wood all alone in the penalty area to volley in!
90+4 mins: Jack Colback is booked for the most cynical two-footed foul of this or many evenings, to halt a potentially dangerous Leeds break.
90+4 mins: Newcastle win a corner, keep it in the corner, and win another. Shelvey is booked for wasting time before taking it.
90+3 mins: There has been one minute of actual play in stoppage time, but now there’s another stoppage because Mitrovic has cramp. To his credit, he’s worked tirelessly throughout. Well, tirelessly until now, because he seems pretty tired.
90+2 mins: The first of the additional minutes is spent dealing with a pitch invader.
90+1 mins: Into stoppage time we go, and there are loud boos from the stands because there’ll be a surprisingly generous five minutes of it.
90 mins: The last substitution of the evening sees Perez, whose movement has been fine but who has done little on the ball, come off and Mohamed Diame replace him.
89 mins: Newcastle break, and Yedlin screams down the right, gets picked out, and then his cross is deflected goalwards – Green saves once again.
88 mins: Leeds attack again, but Anita once again does well and Newcastle end up with a throw-in. I’ve now looked up the fourth official and he’s not so young after all.
86 mins: Another corner. Also on the subject of the referee, he, this near-side linesman and the fourth official all look remarkably fresh-faced. I haven’t had a close look at the other one, but if he isn’t also very young he’ll be feeling very old.
84 mins: The excellent Ritchie is replaced, DeAndre Yedlin coming on.
83 mins: Anita nicks the ball very smartly in his own penalty area, before passing to a team-mate and setting another attack in motion. That was unshowy, but very good defending.
81 mins: Taylor flies in on Ritchie, so late it was almost posthumous. He too could hardly have complained had he been booked, but he receives no more than a ticking-off.
80 mins: I do like the way Chris Kavanagh has refereed this game. David Moyes may not know who he is, but he’s a referee to watch. He took charge of West Brom v Southampton last week, the first Premier League game of his career but not, I’d wager, the last.
79 mins: And then Newcastle make their first, Jack Colback coming on for Hayden.
78 mins: Leeds make their final change: Charlie Taylor comes on for Gaetano Berardi.
76 mins: Eventually Shelvey takes the free kick, but slams it high and wide.
76 mins: A second substitution for Leeds: Souleymane Doukara comes on in place of Bridcutt.
75 mins: Phillips jumps into Mitrovic for no good reason, and gets his booking.
74 mins: Great save by Green! The corner is taken short, given back to Ritchie, and then swung viciously into the area, where Perez flicks it goalwards from six yards. It may well have hit Green in the face had his hands not got in the way, but though he had a fraction of a second in which to react, they did.
73 mins: Newcastle win another corner, their 15th (Leeds haven’t had any yet).
71 mins: This has really been a terrifically fun game. Leeds have defended excellently, if desperately at times, but could really have done with just slowing proceedings down a bit from time to time, even if that would have made the game a bit less fun.
68 mins: See, I told you.
The corner is cleared, recovered, sent back in, headed back across goal by Mitrovic and nodded in by Lascelles, Green clawing it out of goal but only after the ball had crossed the line!
67 mins: Another Newcastle corner. This can’t end goalless.
65 mins: An official attendance of 52,301 makes this the most-attended game of the Championship season.
64 mins: Jansson clears off the line! Ayling’s headed back-pass is short, Mitrovic gets to it before Green, and the ball is looping towards goal until Jansson nods it behind!
63 mins: Newcastle attack, until one of their players flings himself to the ground. So Leeds attack, until one of their players flings himself to the ground. So Newcastle attack, until one of their players flings himself to the ground. Through all this the referee remains entirely unimpressed.
61 mins: Leeds make a change: Pedraza is off, and Hadi Sacko is on.
60 mins: Ritchie drops his shoulder, spins and sprints into space with a befuddled Berardi totally fooled, but a pass to Perez sees the move peter out.
57 mins: I haven’t seen a corner count, but Newcastle must be heading towards a 20th. They win another, which is flicked on by Lascelles but Mbemba can’t quite reach the ball – at least partly because Ayling is hauling him backwards by the arm. The linesman doesn’t spot this one.
55 mins: It looked entirely accidental, by the way, both at the time and in replays.
53 mins: Newcastle attack down the right, but when the ball is played in there’s nobody anywhere near it – because Mitrovic had been tripped by Bartley in the middle. The referee waves play on, but the linesman waves his flag. It takes a while for the referee to notice, but not only does he eventually award the free-kick, Bartley gets a booking to boot.
52 mins: Then he books Jansson 30 seconds later, which stops Newcastle taking a quick free-kick from which they had already broken menacingly into the penalty area.
51 mins: Kalvin Phillips brings down Perez in midfield. It looked a booking all day long, but the referee – who has let the game flow wherever possible, to his credit – appears to have left his book at home.
48 mins: Hayden is fouled just outside the area, and Rob Green shouts himself hoarse in attracting the attention first of the referee and then of his wall, before diving to his right to tip Ritchie’s shot round the post.
47 mins: From a throw-in Newcastle work the ball to Hayden, who bursts into the area and attempts a pull-back, which is turned behind by the alert Bartley.
46 mins: Peeep! Hernandez, still heavily bandaged, gets the second period under way.
The players are on their way back out. Surely this won’t finish goalless. It simply can’t.
45+2 mins: A first half of frantic action comes to an end, with Mitrovic spending most of the additional minute lying on the ground with his head in his hands in protest at a challenge from behind. He doesn’t get anything, except eventually a 15-minute sit-down. I’m sure they all need it, it’s been absolutely remorseless.
45+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there will be just one minute. There have been lots of set pieces, but very few extended delays.
42 mins: Newcastle win a corner, from which Mbemba’s bullet header is brilliantly saved by Green! And then from the next corner, Mitrovic gets the ball five yards out but with his back to goal, and he spins and strikes wide!
41 mins: Newcastle hit the post! Hernandez’s poor touch presents the ball to Gouffran, and the Leeds man tries to take his opponent down from behind by way of atonement. Gouffran doesn’t go down, advancing instead to the edge of the area before unleashing a low drive that smacks the woodwork and rebounds out!
39 mins: Curious game, this: both sides look capable of scoring at any moment, but having said that neither has really created a decent chance.
37 mins: Anita passes to Mitrovic, bang central and just outside the area, who dives theatrically and looks up optimistically, but is getting nothing for that.
35 mins: Now Pedraza is found on the left corner of the area, and he drives the ball in low and hard. It’s very nearly a goal – whistling just wide of the far corner of goal – and very nearly an assist – zipping just in front of Roofe, but in fact it’s a goal kick.
33 mins: This time Leeds break, but it ends with Pedraza dallying on the left before crossing poorly.
32 mins: The pressure is building, though. Another corner is cleared, collected, re-crossed, cleared, re-crossed, and headed behind for another corner.
30 mins: Newcastle are certainly doing most of the attacking, but Leeds’ defence is doing splendid work to repeatedly repel them before they get into the area. As I type that, Ritchie does get into the area, but Bartley clears his low cross.
27 mins: Ritchie takes aim from long range, and his shot is fast and dipping, but doesn’t dip nearly enough. “Good evening, Liverpool red here, and I’ll be overjoyed to see the Magpies promoted,” writes Michael Cosgrove. “The Premier League just doesn’t feel right without their wonderful black and white striped strip doing the rounds of the grounds. Oh, and a big hat tip to good old Rafa too for a job very well done.” Well that’s remarkably magnanimous of you. I couldn’t give a monkeys about their strip to be honest, but they’re certainly a big and storied club with a fine manager in the dugout.
25 mins: Shelvey nearly scores from the corner! The midfielder curls the kick towards the near post, and it would have flown in but for Green’s diving save!
24 mins: Bartley does less well to concede a free kick just outside the area, courtesy of a hefty tug on Mitrovic’s shirt, and then redeems himself by winning the header. Another Newcastle corner.
22 mins: Another Newcastle corner, and Bartley does well to stop track Lascelles’ near-post run and head the ball behind for a corner, and he looks even better when the referee gives Leeds a goal kick.
19 mins: Replays show that Roofe went down very easily indeed, having basically given the ball away.
17 mins: Roofe gets the ball just to the left of Newcastle’s penalty area, jinks his way into it, and then gets shoved off the ball by Mbemba. The referee leaves his whistle alone.
15 mins: Now they have a corner, and Mitrovic heads this oen down as well. Ritchie runs onto it and shoots into a defender’s leg from an unlikely angle.
14 mins: This has been an extremely bright start. Newcastle cross from the right, Mitrovic chests down and about four people sprint towards the loose ball in the penalty area, a defender eventually winning the race.
10 mins: Now Pablo Hernandez is receiving treatment, after he stoops to head the ball and gets Shelvey’s boot in the bonce for his troubles. There’s enough contact to draw blood, so he’s getting properly wrapped up.
9 mins: Then Roofe tries to head in the rebound, but Darlow’s up quickly to palm it away!
9 mins: Leeds hit the bar! It’s Pedraza’s shot from 20 yards which flies past Darlow’s desperate dive, crashes against the underside of the bar and bounces down just the right side of the line from Newcastle’s perspective.
6 mins: Jansson gets Mitroviced as the pair compete for a high ball and the Newcastle player heads only his opponents temple. A bit of treatment and the Swede seems fine.
4 mins: Now Shelvey dinks the ball over a high Leeds defence, but Mitrovic can’t get to it before the onrushing Green.
1 min: Peeeep! Newcastle get the game under way, and within seconds Perez is bursting threateningly into the Leeds penalty area, but ends up with no more than a goal kick.
The teams are out!
And Garry Monk speaks too:
I think we’ve said to the group all season, we have to focus on what we’re doing. We want to show we’ve learned from the first game we had. It was quite a big build-up and occasion, I think we played the occasion more than the game. We need to show we’ve come on from that. We know we’re capable of putting on good performances, this young group’s been growing all the time so we want to show what we’re capable of. They’ve probably got the best squad in the league in terms of talent and potential, whatever team you face is going to be a difficult test, but one that we’re looking forward to.
Rafa Benítez has spoken to Sky, and this is (most of) what he said:
We have to concentrate on our performance and our game, and try to get three points. I think that everybody will try to win. They will try to win because they want to stay in the play-offs, we will try to win because we keep our position. We did really well in the first part of the season. They are a good team, a good manager. Will it be difficult? Yes, but the other games will be difficult anyway.
For those who prefer their team news in illustrated formation-assisting Twitter-based form:
TEAM NEWS: Here’s how Newcastle United will line up against @LUFC at St. James’ Park this evening (kick-off 7:45pm BST). #NUFC pic.twitter.com/jjACrJVxz9
Your Starting XI for tonight’s game against @NUFC pic.twitter.com/OplKBluI0n
Darlow; Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett; Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Gouffran; Perez; Mitrovic. Subs: Elliot, Yedlin, Hanley, Colback, Atsu, Diame, Murphy
The clock keeps ticking, the hour draws ever closer. Newcastle are surely going up, even if Collin Quaner’s 96th-minute winner for Huddersfield against Preston earlier today delayed the party a little longer. Still, if Newcastle win tonight it could potentially start on Monday, if they win at Ipswich and the Terriers slip at Derby. Even with promotion looking close to certain, with Brighton leading the title race there is no lack of motivation here.