'Gutted' - Liam Cooper reflects on Allan Saint-Maximin battle and urges Leeds United action after Newcastle United draw

Liam Cooper said Leeds United were left 'gutted' by Friday night's draw at Newcastle United - and admitted his Whites must start taking their chances in front of goal.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 3:35 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 3:38 pm

Marcelo Bielsa's Whites looked on course for a first Premier League victory of the season in Friday's clash at St James' Park after Raphinha's cross sailed past 'keeper Karl Darlow in the 13th minute.

But the second-bottom Magpies drew level one minute before the break when pacy Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin worked space around the Whites defence and fired home a precise shot into the bottom left corner.

Friday's contest featured a plethora of chances for both sides and Saint-Maximin had five attempts at goal on his own, four efforts saved by Illan Meslier and another blocked.

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RAPID: Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin, right, is chased by Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, left, in Friday night's 1-1 draw at St James' Park. Photo by Bruce Rollinson.

The Magpies managed 17 shots at goal, seven of which were on target.

But Leeds fired in 22 shots on goal of which nine were on target and Cooper said his side paid the price for only one of those hitting the back of the net in addition to a 'sloppy' concession at the other end.

"It's frustration," said Cooper, speaking to Premier League Publications.

"We came here to play our stuff.

"We knew it was going to be tough, it's never an easy place to come.

"We got the goal early which is what we wanted and what we needed and then we conceded a sloppy goal on our behalf and I thought after that we reacted well.

"We were going for the win and unfortunately we couldn't get the goal.

"I don't know how many chances we created but it felt like a lot on the pitch and we just need to start putting them in.

"We all know how big it is in this league to put chances in and keep them out at the other end as well. Gutted to be honest."

Assessing the battle to contain Saint-Maximin, Cooper admitted: "We all know how good he is with the dribble.

"He is probably one of the fastest players in the league so you have got to be on song.

"You have got to be switched on at all times.

"He likes the ball to feet and he can run in behind so it's always a tough night playing against him.

"But I thought we coped pretty well with him apart from the goal obviously.

"He's a fine player and very good for Newcastle."

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Thank you Laura Collins