September 18, (THEWILL) – In a thrilling Friday night English Premier League football fixture between Newcastle and Leeds at St James’ Park, Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin spared manager Steve Bruce’s blushes when his equaliser cancelled out Raphinha’s opener for shared points after 90 minutes.
Leeds winger Raphina gave the visitors the lead with a cross that dumbfounded Karl Darlow, Newcastle goalkeeper, before finding the corner. The lead lasted until just before the stroke of half-time when Saint-Maximin’s rifled effort hit the back of the net.
The striker almost doubled his tally when another powerful shot was saved brilliantly by Illan Meslier, in goal for Leeds. As the game wore on in the second period, the two tiring sides struggled to create clear chances. Neither succeeded.
It was a result that meant Steve Bruce and Marcelo Bielsa remain the two Premier League managers who are still winless this season. This has left Leeds and Newcastle languishing dangerously close to the foot of the table after five matches.
As expected of Bielsa’s team, the visitors, who were typically electric from the off, forced Newcastle deep inside their own half, with Patrick Bamford and Raphinha seeing plenty of the ball but struggling to find loopholes to exploit in the Newcastle backline.
The Brazilian finally succeeded in breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute when his cross was dummied by Rodrigo, wrong-footing Darlow and finding the net.
Leeds pushed for a second but Newcastle looked dangerous on the counter through the brilliant Saint-Maximin and were unlucky not to equalise when Meslier pulled off a brilliant save to deny Joelinton.
Despite their lack of possession, the hosts threatened again as Matt Ritchie struck the post, and they finally had their equaliser as Saint-Maximin dummied his way into space on the edge of the box before lashing a shot past the keeper.
Saint-Maximin almost had another in the second half but his powerful effort was saved by Meslier’s fingertips. And at the other end, the near-anonymous Patrick Bamford almost notched a goal but his low shot was straight down the throat of a grateful Darlow.
With both sides tiring, a draw looked fair after a chaotic match where either side could have taken three points.