By Craig Scott

19th Sep, 2021 | 11:19am

Martin Keown mocks Liam Cooper as Leeds United draw 1-1 v Newcastle United

Martin Keown mocked Liam Cooper for his lack of pace as Leeds United drew 1-1 against Newcastle on Friday.

After Raphinha put Leeds ahead at St James’ Park, Allan Saint-Maximin came into the game and started to cause problems for Marcelo Bielsa’s defence.

Saint-Maximin completely outpaced 30-year-old Cooper at one point prior to his goal, leading to Keown joking about the Scotland international’s attempt to keep up with the Frenchman.

“Saint-Maximin got them back into it,” said Keown on Match of the Day on Saturday night [via BBC iPlayer].

“I thought the crowd would turn on them but they were quite spirited. They changed the system with Isaac Hayden dropping into the midfield.

“But look at this for pace. Blistering pace.

“Cooper there needs to buy a ticket to get back into the game.

“Leeds dominated possession but significantly, when [Newcastle] attacked, every one of them looked like they wanted to do something.”

Tough job

Let’s face it, most centre-backs in the Premier League would struggle to keep up with Saint-Maximin when he’s in full flight.

He’s one of the fastest players in the division and even if Leeds had a fully fit defence available, it’s unlikely any of Bielsa’s centre-backs would have kept up with him.

Cooper was made to look really bad by the Magpies forward but it’s not as though he had much help from left-back Junior Firpo.

Since joining from Barcelona in the summer, Firpo is yet to really impress us.

He was regularly out of position against Newcastle and was regularly beaten by the pacey attackers in Steve Bruce’s side.

Cooper failing to keep up with fast forwards we can understand. But Firpo shouldn’t have been done the way he was at St James’ Park.

It’s still early days in his career at Elland Road but we feel as though we would have been better equipped to cope with Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock if Ezgjan Alioski was playing at left-back.

In other Leeds United news, Jamie Carragher slammed this Leeds player in the draw.