Defender Rasmus Kristensen scored a second-half equaliser to give Leeds United a share of the points in a thrilling Premier League 2-2 draw with Newcastle United that saw Leeds miss one spot kick, concede two more, and have a man sent off in stoppage time.
Leeds is still in the relegation zone but moved up one spot to 18th on 31 points, one point behind Everton in 17th, while Newcastle remained third in the table on 66 points, three ahead of Manchester United and four ahead of Liverpool.
“A point today is massive for us, especially with how we did it,” Leeds goal-scorer Ayling told BT Sport.
Leeds took the lead in the seventh minute as Rodrigo got his head on a Patrick Bamford cross and though Nick Pope saved superbly, Leeds captain Luke Ayling was on hand to fire home a rebound.
The home side could have gone two up in the 28th minute when Joelinton bundled over Junior Firpo in the box, but Bamford’s spot kick was saved by Nick Pope, and it was to prove a costly miss minutes later when Newcastle striker Alexander Isak was hacked down by Maximillian Wober.
A penalty was awarded and Callum Wilson stepped up and stroked his effort low into the bottom-left corner to level just over three minutes after Bamford’s miss.
Newcastle was awarded a second penalty midway through the second half when Firpo handled the ball, and this time Wilson blasted straight down the middle to put his side in front.
The drama wasn’t over however, and when Newcastle failed to clear a corner in the 79th minute, Kristensen popped up on the edge of the area to hammer home a deflected equaliser and re-ignite the home crowd’s hopes of top-flight survival as they held on for the draw.
Firpo was sent off in second-half stoppage time for a second yellow card, but Newcastle were unable to make the most of their advantage, much to the delight of the home crowd, who applauded the Leeds players off the pitch.
“We had a chance to go 2-0 up and then that (the Newcastle penalty) happened. In weeks before we’d probably lose that four or 5-1,” Ayling said.
“The fans have been with us all season. It’s been hard for them sometimes. They stuck with us today ... hopefully we can kick on from here.”
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