By Joe Ellis

1st Jan, 2023 | 10:10am

Leeds United earn high praise from Alan Shearer on Match of the Day after draw v Newcastle

Alan Shearer begrudgingly accepted that Leeds United had defended expertly to deny Newcastle United all three points at St James’ Park.

The Whites, who had worked on defensive scenarios during the World Cup break, put their work on the training pitch into practice against the high-flying Magpies as the game ended goalless.

Illan Meslier was in fine form in between the sticks while centre-back Liam Cooper also received high praise from the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer.

“It was a combination today of really good goalkeeping, some really good defending but also some poor finishing from Newcastle,” Shearer said on Match of the Day. “It was one-way traffic in that second half but Leeds were hanging on.

“You have to give them credit for that. Cooper defends really well there not just once but finds himself in the right place again in the 18-yard box.

“It’s a really good point for Leeds and not so for Newcastle but they’ll move on and what a year they are about to have.”

Small steps

As much as Leeds United fans go into every game hoping to win, sometimes a point is more valuable in the long run as to not get too excited and then drop points needlessly down the line.

That solitary point in the North East is actually a tremendous result in the grand scheme of things considering the red-hot form Toon had been in which currently has them third in the Premier League.

Jesse Marsch should be delighted that his side were able to keep a clean sheet on Tyneside even if there were no goals to shout about at the other end because this result is one to build upon.

Too often this season, Leeds have found themselves in high-scoring games and on the wrong end of them too so if he can find a way to partner this defensive masterclass with the free-flowing attacking football prior to the World Cup, then he is onto a winner at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, after the game, Marsch was asked about one transfer saga heating up at Thorp Arch but reacted as you might expect.