By Joe Ellis

31st Dec, 2022 | 8:35pm

Alan Shearer hails Leeds United after 0-0 draw v Newcastle United

Leeds United caused a small upset as they held high-flying Newcastle United to a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park, not to Alan Shearer’s liking.

The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer and lifelong Magpies fan watched the game from the BBC Match of the Day studios and wasn’t pleased as Eddie Howe’s side failed to secure another three points on home soil.

But he did accept that Jesse Marsch’s side had played very well to contain the rampant Toon and proclaimed such on Twitter in his assessment of the game.

“Not for the want of trying, but it wasn’t meant to be in front of goal today for the Toon,” he said via his personal Twitter account. “Well done Leeds.”

The point doesn’t help enormously for Leeds United but they do move above AFC Bournemouth in the table to 14th after the Cherries were beaten 2-0 by Crystal Palace at the Vitality Stadium.

Building blocks

After a season of good performances and no results to show for it, Marsch and his men needed a solid performance and a clean sheet more than most and that is exactly what the final game of 2022 provided.

Too many times this season Leeds United have scored two or three times and not won because of defensive liabilities so a clean sheet, even with no goals to show for it at the other end, represents progress.

That would be the case against any team in truth but to do it against Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, who could have leapfrogged Manchester City into second with a win, is a big statement.

2023 could be the year that sees the Whites go onto new heights if the board are willing to back Marsch in the January transfer window and relegation has to become a distant thought to keep the club moving in the right direction.

In other Leeds United news, the boss was quizzed about a mooted signing at Elland Road after the game but refused to comment.