How the Newcastle United players rated in their victory over Leeds United

Newcastle made it eight wins in a row as they beat Leeds 2-0 on Sunday to increase their lead at the top to five points. It came thanks to a brace from Dwight Gayle, who increased his own lead as the division’s top scorer. The match wasn’t all plain sailing as Leeds had chances of their own, but Newcastle are building momentum and don’t look like losing at the moment. Here is how their players rated on Sunday:

Karl Darlow – The goalkeeper had a good game, making some key stops to prevent Leeds from getting back into the game after the opening goal. The saves from Luke Ayling and Eunan O’Kane stand out as they came at crucial points in the game. Darlow is consolidating his position as Newcastle number one. 7

Vurnon Anita – He was recalled to the team today due to DeAndre Yedlin’s international exploits and the utility man delivered an impressive display. Defensively, he was solid and wasn’t beaten too often, but it was in attack that he was at his best. He played a vital part in the build-up to the second goal, showing both his energy and ability to play intricate passes. 7

Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle came under siege towards the end of the first half from set pieces, but they managed to hold out thanks to the leadership of Jamaal Lascelles. The captain organised the defence well and dealt with everything that was asked of him. 7

Ciaran Clark – The Irishman continues to keep Chancel Mbemba out of the side and his performance today showed why. He didn’t take any needless risks and did the defensive work required to help his side to a clean sheep. The centre back is very good in the air and that showed on Sunday. 6

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Paul Dummett – He isn’t the most exciting player in the side, but he does what is asked of him and showed his consistency once again on Sunday. The left back has developed a lot under Rafa Benitez and it is easy to see why he is one of the first names on the team-sheet. His safety first defensive style suits the Championship very well. 6

Jonjo Shelvey – After the off-field controversy that came to light over the international break, there were doubts about whether Shelvey would be in the right frame of mind this weekend. Benitez believed in him though and he showed why with a good midfield display. His passing was crisp and he dictated the tempo from deep. Newcastle will be hoping that he isn’t given a ban as he will be missed. 7

Jack Colback – Although he splits opinion on Tyneside, the midfielder is one of Benitez’s most trusted players away from home. He was excellent on Saturday, as he broke up the play and gave the more attacking players a platform from which to shine. Colback is yet another example of a player given a new lease of life since the appointment of Benitez. 8

Matt Ritchie – He isn’t an explosive winger by any stretch of the imagination, but his technical ability is matched by few in this division. In the first half, he played an excellent cross field ball to Yoan Gouffran and he was always looking forward whenever he was on the ball. Another good performance from the summer signing. 6

 

Ayoze Perez – It has taken some time for the Spaniard to adjust to the Championship and it was another testing environment for him at Elland Road. He was dispossessed quite often during the match and there will still be concerns about his physicality. That said, he played a key role in the second goal and has the quality to produce moments of magic. 6

Yoan Gouffran – The Frenchman has become an ever-present in this Newcastle side as he provides balance on the left wing. His tenacity when defending is commendable for an attacking player, while he can contribute in the attacking half. He came close from a good run and driving shot in the first half. 6

Dwight Gayle – It was debated about whether the Championship top scorer would start today as Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in great form for club and country. However, he was given the opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands. He never stopped running and his movement caused the Leeds defence all sorts of trouble. The striker scored both goals and will be happy with his contribution. 9

Mo Diame – The midfielder came on to help close the game out, adding some much needed physical presence up front. His movement could have been better at times, but he did what was required. 6

Aleksandar Mitrovic – The striker was full of energy after coming on and provided the side with a target to hit up front. His hold up play helped close the game out. 6

Isaac Hayden – He also helped close the game out, but he didn’t have enough time to make an impact. N/A

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