The match between Leeds United and Newcastle United reaffirmed a few of the game’s salutary lessons.

One of them is that, invariably, in football if you don’t take your chances you will leave to regret it.

The football cliché “paying the penalty” aptly describes how Leeds United paid the price for spurning a gilt-edged opportunity to establish a stranglehold on the contest on Saturday.

We got off to a very good start. Good was poised to get even better when we were awarded a penalty, the perfect opportunity to double our lead after Luke Ayling’s early opener.

Myself and the lads were glued to the TV, our thoughts racing as Leeds went from the bottom three to sixteenth place, and then a penalty. A 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes is a solid platform to build on for the rest of the match.

But, lo and behold, we contrived to surrender the initiative to Newcastle United as Patrick Bamford fluffed his spot-kick lines.

Moments later the Magpies made the most of the let-off by converting a penalty of their own.

Unlike Bamford, Callum Wilson dispatched his spot-kick with aplomb before repeating the same trick in the second half as the visitors turned the match on its head.

With three games to play and Leeds United needing to win to stay in the survival reckoning, the margin for error going into the match was wafer thin.

Credit to the players for refusing to let their heads drop. In the end were able to salvage a point, but it could easily and should have been three. It was a case of two precious points dropped and one valuable point gained.

The point keeps our survival hopes alive. We even gained one league position in the table, even though we remain in the relegation zone. That is not insignificant in a relegation battle of fine margins.

End of Saints’ adventure

Spare a thought for Southampton whose 11-year stay in the Premier League came to an end following a 2-0 home defeat by Fulham.

I caught a glimpse of the scenes at St Mary’s after the final whistle; distraught players slumped to the floor and fans, hands on heads, anguish etched on their faces.

Witnessing the sombre mood at St Mary’s felt like a sneak preview of our own Premier League fate. I couldn’t help thinking that could be us as early as next weekend or on the final day of the season. It’s a sickening feeling.

Down to the wire

If Leicester fail to beat Liverpool on Monday then Bournemouth’s Premier League status will be confirmed for another season. West Ham could also secure safety with a win at Brentford on Sunday.

That would leave Leicester, Leeds United, Everton and Nottingham Forest to battle it out for the two remaining safe spots with two games to play.

The fight for survival looks set to go down to the wire.

But how costly was Bamford’s penalty miss? Was it the moment Leeds United finally lost the fight against relegation?

Premier League Table Last updated: May 14, 2023 3:57pm
Premier League Table Last updated: May 14, 2023 3:57pm

Leeds United, how do I love thee!

Leeds United’s remaining fixtures
21 May – West Ham v Leeds United 13:30
28 May – Leeds United v Tottenham 16:00

Everton’s remaining fixtures
20 May – Wolves v Everton 15:00
28 May – Everton v Bournemouth 16:30

Leicester’s remaining fixtures
15 May – Leicester v Liverpool 20:00
22 May – Newcastle v Leicester 20:00
28 May – Leicester v West Ham 16:30

Nottingham Forest remaining fixtures
20 May – Nottingham Forest v Arsenal 17:30
28 May – Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest 16:30


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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