Tuesday 21 November 2017

Gouffran's clinical strike gives Leeds dose of reality

Newcastle 2 Leeds 0

Yoan Gouffran scored the second goal for Newcastle
Yoan Gouffran scored the second goal for Newcastle

Martin Hardy

The romance of the cup, it transpired, was limited to a good old-fashioned away following of 6,000 at St James' Park.

For Leeds there was no shame, and a reminder, in such sizeable numbers, of what the club once was. For Newcastle, however, there is a place in the last 16 of a domestic cup competition, and there have been precious few of those in recent seasons.

A goal in each half won it for them. The first, from Papiss Cisse, was much needed, as the forward had not scored for 12 games. The second came just past the hour mark from Yoan Gouffran, who was excellent.

Pardew had been brave in his selection, his team not far from his best. In six years under the ownership of Mike Ashley, Newcastle have yet to make the fifth round of a domestic cup competition. It is a pitiful record.

Retained

Much rests on the domestic trophies this season. Seven players were retained from the starting XI who lost to Hull on Saturday.

For Cisse, it may have helped. The Senegalese had passed the 1,000-minute mark without a goal when Newcastle broke on the half-hour.

One local player, Paul Dummett, played a fine ball down the left to another, Sammy Ameobi, who crossed first time with pace and Cisse arrived to crash a header past Paddy Kenny.

Newcastle's second goal came on 67 minutes. Gouffran, afforded a starting role, took a pass from Ameobi on the edge of the Leeds area, turned quickly and fired his shot past Kenny. A third should have followed, but Kenny blocked Gabriel Obertan's shot.

Leeds might have gone ahead after five minutes. Ross McCormack, the visitors' best player, beat two men and clipped a delightful shot over the head of Tim Krul which hit the crossbar. (© Independent News Service)

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