Leeds United star makes 5-1 scoreline admission after ‘massive’ Newcastle United point

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Newcastle United were held to a 2-2 draw by Leeds United - but the result could have been very different a few weeks ago.

Leeds United stand-in captain Luke Ayling reflected on a “massive” point in his side’s fight to retain their Premier League status.

Ayling opened the scoring in the seventh minute after following up Rodrigo’s saved header. Two Callum Wilson put Newcastle United in front but Rasmus Kristensen’s deflected shot rescued a draw.

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The result wasn’t enough to take the Whites out of the relegation zone. Sam Allardyce’s side sit one point behind 17th-place Everton, who host Manchester City at Goodison Park this afternoon.

Leeds United's English defender Luke Ayling (R) scores the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England, on May 13, 2023. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)Leeds United's English defender Luke Ayling (R) scores the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England, on May 13, 2023. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)
Leeds United's English defender Luke Ayling (R) scores the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England, on May 13, 2023. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) | AFP via Getty Images

Leeds are relying on favours from elsewhere to stay in England’s top-flight but Ayling was pleased with the performance. Had this fixture been played a few weeks ago, the 31-year-old believes he and his teammates would have lost “four or 5-1”.

“A point today is massive for us, especially with how we did it,” Ayling told BT Sport afterwards. “We had a chance to go 2-0 up and then that happened. In weeks before we’d probably lose that four or 5-1.

“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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Meanwhile, Newcastle stay third in the table level on points with Manchester United (66), and four above fifth-place Liverpool, who travel to Leicester City on Monday night.

Presuming Jurgen Klopp’s side don’t slip up at the King Power Stadium, Eddie Howe’s men required six points from their remaining three games to guarantee Champions League qualification.

They play Brighton and Hove Albion at St James’ Park in their game in hand on Thursday before hosting Leicester City on Sunday. United then face Chelsea on the final day of the season.

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