Winter is here and the English football is celebrating one of the most prestigious domestic events in form of the Emirates FA Cup. Today’s outings started with the early kick-off fixture between League Two side Newport County against Championship outfit Leeds United. The Exiles have already been beaten 5-1 in a League Cup game by Thomas Christensen’s men, they, however, were looking to cause an upset this afternoon at Rodney Parade and proceed through to the fourth round of the competition. Leeds are having a roller coaster Championship campaign and currently clinging on to the sixth spot of the league tally. They are in contention for a play-off place having missed it out the last term narrowly and a good run in the Cup would uplift their spirit following two unfavourable league outcomes.
The game, however, was thought to be a stroll in the park for the Peacocks who despite having a first-half lead ended up as the losing side following two late goals of the hosts who scripted a historic win to progress through to the next round knocking Leeds out of the competition and accomplished the revenge of their League Cup defeat.
Below are the Leeds United players rated from their shocking 2-1 defeat against Newport County.
Andy Lonergan: 5.5
The veteran custodian had to make some routine stops but could not help his side protect a one-goal lead when Conor Shaughnessy put the ball into his own net. To add to the misery, it was Newport substitute Shawn McCoulsky who headed home in closing minutes to grab a late winner for the minnows.
Vurnon Anita: 6
Anita played in a makeshift right-back role in place of injured Luke Ayling. Had a sparkling first-half with a balanced attacking as well as defensive display, but struggled in the second-half when the hosts piled the pressure up in search of a comeback which they eventually did by leaving the Leeds defence in complete shock.
Conor Shaughnessy: 5
was having a shining afternoon until he scored an unfortunate own goal late in the game which allowed the Exiles to stage a comeback win with a late winner. Impressed with his passing, made some clearances but failed to maintain the defensive composure when it was needed the most.
Gaetano Berardi: 7
The skipper scored his first career goal with a stunning long-range effort and was ecstatic for obvious reasons, but his excitement was marred following a dismal defensive display after the break as the Whites suffered a shocking defeat. Did well in a makeshift centre-back role initially but struggled against Newport’s relentless pressure from set-pieces and long balls.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson: 6.5
The Manchester United loanee had a rare start this afternoon but lacked confidence as the hosts were repeatedly attacking down his left-hand flank. Was taken off and replaced by Liam Cooper around an hour mark.
Hadi Sacko: 5.5
His pace and runs were instrumental in constituting few attacking moves, but the winger mostly remained ineffective despite having moments of sparks down the right flank.
Kalvin Phillips: 6
Phillips was all over the pitch as he was tackling, defending as well as helping the attackers up front to hit the target. However, the youngster lacked the passing accuracy tonight as his deliveries were without end products on most occasions.
Mateusz Klich: 6.5
Earned a rare start but did relatively well in midfield with tackling, interceptions, crucial blocks and clearances. Tried to win back possession and keep control of the midfield battle for his side.
Pawel Cibicki: 6.5
Was impressive with his movements, whipped in a few crosses and was combining well up front with the front two. Had a quiet second-half though as he failed to secure a win for his side.
Jay-Roy Grot: 6
The youngster had few decent one-twos with Lasogga but failed to keep his efforts on target on most occasions. Lost duels, was dispossessed a few times and was taken off in the second half to be replaced by Samuel Saiz.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga: 6.5
His goal drought continues as the German forward failed to hit the target on a number of occasions despite winning plenty of duels inside the box. His movements were swift, combined well with fellow attackers, but failed to win the game for his side mostly due to his missed opportunities.
Liam Cooper: 5
Was brought in to make things stable at the back and protect the narrow lead. However, the defender looked nervy since coming on and two late goals turned out to be quite opposite of Christiansen’s strategy.
Samuel Saiz: 4
Not only he failed to bring his side back in the game, but also conceded a late red card that put an end to Leeds’ comeback hopes.
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