Leeds United ended a run of three straight defeats in all competitions with a 2-1 away win over Newcastle United thanks to goals from Jack Harrison and Raphinha – and Leeds fans have applauded the efforts of Illan Meslier.
The Whites came into the match having suffered defeats to Tottenham, Crawley and Brighton. They had failed to score a single goal in 2021, with question marks being raised once again over Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics and style of play.
But Leeds stuck to their guns – even after Diego Llorente was forced off through injury. A brilliant counter attack involving Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo saw Raphinha lash home a left-footed effort from 15 yards, after a brilliant first touch.
Newcastle were much improved in the second half, and Miguel Almiron broke through after a nice flick from Callum Wilson – tucking the ball underneath Meslier. The French goalkeeper could do very little about the Paraguayan’s strike.
But Leeds were not level for long, as Raphinha chipped a beautiful pass into Harrison – who lashed home an inch-perfect finish past Karl Darlow. Meslier had to make numerous saves, denying Jonjo Shelvey’s header with a brilliant tip over the bar.
Leeds fans took to Twitter after the match to applaud their £16,500-a-week goalkeeper (Spotrac) – who has conceded 34 goals in 18 Premier League games, keeping just six clean sheets.
No wonder Rennes fans were pissed when the club sold him. I had never heard of him but he is very good it seems. Meslier saved the game for Leeds though. Some great saves.
— PointlessSword (@PointlessSword) January 26, 2021
How good was Meslier tonight, again!! Kid is gonna be one of the best goalkeepers in the Prem #LUFC
— Phil Cooke (@7_Cookie) January 26, 2021
World class saves from Meslier today. Good to see him back! #lufc
— Michael pollard (@pollard500600) January 26, 2021
Meslier gets some flack for distrabution at times but again he has saved us with some key saves when its mattered. Within 3 years he will be pushing for a full call up from France. #lufc
— Matt (@MWJS82) January 26, 2021
Raphinha deserves MOTM 100% he was excellent but Meslier deserves all the credit for that win. Some of the saves he made was world class and that’s exactly what we needed that match. Grinded out the win when. Not happy with the 2nd half performance but am extremely happy overall
— bensharp1846 (@bensharp1846) January 26, 2021
Meslier Superb again for me, Man of the match
— Carl Winters (@Carl_Uk_) January 26, 2021
Reckon we could sell Meslier for circa £100 million in the summer. If we wanted too! #LUFC
— Graeme Singleton 🏴🇵🇱🇪🇺 (@Graemelufc) January 26, 2021