By Daniel Feliciano

31st Dec, 2022 | 5:00pm

Illan Meslier shines with 8/10, Brenden Aaronson flops with 4/10 - Leeds United player ratings v Newcastle United

Leeds United will enter the new year having held in-form Newcastle to a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park in a solid defensive performance on New Years Eve.

The Whites stood firm in the first half in a fairly even contest, although they could count themselves lucky not to have conceded a penalty when Tyler Adams collided with Fabian Schar on the stroke of half-time.

Jesse Marsch pushed for more attacking impetus at half-time by changing it up slightly, but the visitors struggled to create any real openings in the game.

A solid defensive showing saw Leeds able to keep Newcastle out throughout, and ultimately they earned a well deserved and hard-fought point.

Here is how we rated each player’s performance during the game…

Illan Meslier – 8/10

A great performance from the Leeds stopper once again, including a huge save early in the second half from Chris Wood. His distribution and leadership seem to improve with each outing, and his reflexes are fantastic. What a player.

Luke Ayling – 7/10

The experience of Ayling seems to have helped stabilise the defence here, and he was excellent when going up against Joelinton on the wing. Allan Saint-Maximin gave him a rough ride later on, but he deserves his plaudits.

Robin Koch – 7/10

Without a doubt the best defender at the club this season continued to show why, with great leadership and reading of the game throughout. Made some vital clearances and is building a strong partnership with Cooper.

Liam Cooper – 8/10

Much like Koch, looked at home when defending deep and being asked to head the ball away and make clearances. He led from the back, was vocal throughout, demanded the standards were upheld and celebrated tackles like goals. Arguably his best showing of the season.

Pascal Struijk – 6/10

Going forward he didn’t have much joy at all over the 90 minutes, and defensively it wasn’t his best showing. Got booked after being done by Almiron but did enough to help get a deserved clean sheet.

Tyler Adams – 5/10

The American was strong defensively in midfield but was maybe lucky not to concede a penalty in the first half. Good passing, great running and a leader still. Hugely important to a big result.

Adam Forshaw – 5/10

A decent performance from the experienced midfielder, but Roca’s introduction at half-time was more about getting a foot on the ball than Forshaw struggling. A good outing nonetheless.

Brenden Aaronson – 4/10

Once again lots of energy but little else in his play, but he’s clearly a favourite of Marsch’s. A serious lack of quality in the final third means chances often go begging when he’s around, but can’t fault his commitment.

Jack Harrison – 5/10

A quiet showing from Harrison overall. He couldn’t get his dribbling and passing going playing in the number ten role, and certainly seems to prefer playing out wide. Clearly has quality but doesn’t look fully fit, and potentially not fully committed to the cause.

Wilfried Gnonto – 6/10

The brightest spark on the pitch in the attacking third by a distance for the Whites. The Italian was quick and direct, but also strong and worked hard defensively. Showing he is more than ready to make an impact in the Premier League, despite his young age.

Rodrigo – 5/10

Had a couple of efforts leading the line, but his overall play left a lot to be desired and shows why we’re so desperate for a striker in January. Passing was poor, movement wasn’t great, but he pressed well from the front.

Substitutes

Marc Roca – 6/10

Roca came on to offer more control in midfield and while Leeds got overwhelmed by the quality of Newcastle in the second half, he put a shift in defensively and ultimately helped the team to see out the performance and get a good result.

Mateusz Klich – 5/10

A good, energetic performance once again from the experienced man who was unlucky not to get a chance late on when going through on goal, only for Rodrigo not to see him and play an overhit pass. Will be sorely missed if he leaves.

Crysencio Summerville – N/A

Rasmus Kristensen – N/A

In other Leeds news, club set to complete major new transfer in £10m+ deal