Prolific attacker to miss final two games of season after Leeds tunnel incident - Times
By Alex Stevens
Matt Ritchie will miss the final two matches of the season after an incident in the tunnel during Newcastle United’s clash against Leeds United, according to a report.
The Times claim the in-form winger has been suspended for aiming abusive comments at a match official in the immediate aftermath of Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Leeds earlier this month.
Minor and only partially accurate – was after the Leeds game. ???? https://t.co/dJX4P1mH78
— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) April 27, 2017
It is said that Scotland international Ritchie approached fourth official Trevor Kettle in the players’ tunnel following the clash at St James’ Park on 14 April.
The heated an exchange was subsequently included in the match report of referee Christopher Kavanagh.
The 27-year-old, who has had an outstanding season since joining from Bournemouth for £10million last summer, will now miss the Magpies’ matches at Cardiff City on Friday night and at home to Barnsley the following weekend.
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The Times report that Newcastle have decided not to contest the ban, which comes at a time when the club have already secured promotion back to the Premier League.
Ritchie has been integral to the Magpies securing the second automatic promotion spot, scoring 16 goals and supplying 10 assists from 48 matches in all competitions.
Leeds are also attempting to secure promotion although their play-offs bid has been left in tatters after four defeats in six matches left them relying on rivals to slip up.
The Yorkshire giants are preparing for their final two matches of their league campaign, a home clash against Norwich on Saturday and a trip to Wigan eight days later.
Garry Monk’s team have accumulated 73 points from 44 matches and can still secure a top-six finish and a place in the play-offs, but are relying on their rivals Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading slipping up.
In other Leeds United transfer news, a stunning £14million bid is being prepared as deal edges closer with Premier League big hitters.