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Kristensen keeps Leeds’ survival hopes alive in Newcastle draw

Rasmus Kristensen kept Leeds in contention to avoid relegation as his late leveller secured a dramatic 2-2 draw that dented Newcastle’s bid to finish in the top four on Saturday.

Kristensen struck with 11 minutes left at Elland Road as Leeds hit back after conceding a pair of Callum Wilson penalties.

Leeds captain Luke Ayling had opened the scoring in a pulsating encounter with connotations at both ends of the table.

Patrick Bamford missed a spot-kick that would have put Leeds two goals ahead before Wilson’s penalties for Newcastle.

After Kristensen’s equaliser, Leeds had defender Junior Firpo sent off for a second booking in second-half stoppage-time.

Leeds moved up one place to 18th and now sit one point from safety, having played a game more than fourth-bottom Everton, who host Manchester City on Sunday.

Sam Allardyce’s side travel to West Ham next weekend before hosting Tottenham in their final game of the season.

Leeds, without a win in seven games, face another nerve-wracking fight for survival after avoiding relegation on the final day of last season.

For Newcastle, their attempt to qualify for the Champions League via a top four finish is also set to go down to the wire.

Eddie Howe’s men remain third but they are only three points above fourth placed Manchester United and four ahead of fifth placed Liverpool.

The Magpies need six points from their last three games against Brighton, Leicester and Chelsea to be sure of a top four finish.

Beaten 2-1 at Manchester City in Allarydce’s first game last weekend, Leeds were playing at home for the first time under the former England boss.

Allardyce’s eight-month reign as Newcastle clearly left few fond memories with the Magpies fans who loudly jeered him before kick-off.

Even the reception from Leeds supporters for their new manager was polite as opposed to rapturous in an indication they viewed his appointment as a panic move after the sacking of Javi Gracia.

But the mood in the stands changed from unconvinced to jubilant when Leeds made the perfect start after seven minutes.

Leeds refuse to surrender

Rodrigo met Bamford’s cross with a header that Nick Pope could only push out to Ayling, who took advantage of Newcastle’s sloppy marking to slot home from close-range.

Leeds squandered a golden opportunity to extend their lead in the 28th minute.

Firpo burst into the penalty area and Joelinton responded with a despairing challenge that sent the Leeds defender sprawling.

However, Bamford’s penalty was far too close to Pope and the dived to his right to save the spot-kick.

Allardyce held his head in his hands in disbelief, and there was more angst to come for the Leeds boss when Newcastle won a penalty of their own three minute later.

Bruno Guimaraes’ pass picked out Alexander Isak and he was upended by Max Wober’s rash tackle, conceding a spot-kick that Wilson smashed past Joel Robles.

Firpo was lucky to avoid a red card for a studs-up foul on Guimaraes, but that escape came back to haunt Leeds in the 69th minute when the defender conceded a penalty.

Jumping to challenge Isak, Firpo’s out-stretched hand made contact with the ball after a slight push from the Newcastle forward.

The spot-kick was awarded after a VAR check and Wilson drilled his strike high into the roof of the net.

It was Wilson’s 10th goal in his last nine appearances.

To their credit, Leeds refused to surrender and they snatched an equaliser in the 79th minute when Kristensen’s shot beat Pope via a hefty deflection off Kieran Trippier.

Firpo was dismissed for barging over Anthony Gordon but Leeds held on.

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