Newcastle United 1-1 Leeds United: Saint-Maximin stars in entertaining draw
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United and Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leeds United at St. James Park on September 17, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In a firey draw which saw both teams have chances to secure all three points. Newcastle United and Leeds United couldn't break the deadlock set by Allan Saint-Maximin after Raphinha put Leeds ahead twelve minutes into the game. 

Firey is a perfect word to describe this encounter, with both goalkeepers in Karl Darlow and Illan Meslier having a busy evening in order to keep their sides level. 

The result leaves both teams still looking for their first Premier League victory of the season, and both sides will be disappointed they didn't leave St James' Park with three points. 

Story of the match

It took just twelve minutes for Leeds to take the lead without any real chances beforehand. Raphinha crossed the ball, looking for any player to get a touch to turn it goalwards, and Rodrigo was the closest player. The Brazilian, however, dummied the ball, fooling both Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow. 

The Leeds assault continued with constant pressure as Raphinha nearly made it two with a low shot inside the area, only for Darlow to save it with his feet. 

Newcastle took 20 minutes for their first effort on goal as Matt Ritchie crossed in from the left-hand side, a loose ball broke to Miguel Almiron, but the Paragyians effort was wide. 

With twenty-three minutes gone, Saint-Maximin creates problems down the right-hand side and puts in a low effort only for the ball to fall to Joelinton, whose shot is saved from six yards out. 

A minute later, Rodrigo's curling effort goes wide of the Newcastle goal. Since the goal went in, both teams tempo intensified for the next ten minutes. Leeds looking for a cushion, and Newcastle something to tame the St James' Park crowd. 

Leeds have two more chances before the half-hour mark with Rodrigo causing the Magpies all sorts of problems. 

Life is shown from Newcastle with Saint-Maximin creating chances for Newcastle. The Frenchman's long dribble down the right-hand side, the ball is slipped to Matt Ritchie, but the wing-backs effort is deflected onto the post. 

Eventually, the end to end nature of the first half petered out, and solid branches of possession took hold. Thankfully for the crowd, it was Newcastle who took hold of the game. 

The equaliser was coming, and it was only going to come from one man. Allan Saint-Maximin, who received the ball from the left-hand side and went wider and wider and wider until the Geordie talisman slotted it across the face of goal to bring both sides level. 

On the stroke of halftime, Leeds counter-attacked Newcastle perfectly with three opportunities to take the lead, but Junior Firpo had the best chance from six yards out. The left-back couldn't convert and lashed his effort into the upper tier of the Gallowgate end.  

Leeds started the second half strong with Raphinha and Daniel James both having shots on goal. Neither troubled Darlow, but the end to end nature automatically resumed. 

Leeds gain the upper hand with James growing into the game. The Welshman's cross was deflated goalwards if not for Darlows acrobatics.

Newcastle build their attacks through Saint-Maximin the winger is taking a one-man role seriously with two solid chances. With one finding the side netting and one hilariously being stopped by an impending Mike Dean

With changes coming from both sides midway through the first half, the game patters out and stalls until Patrick Bamford creates excellent space for himself, his shot is weak, and Darlow collected easily. Leeds fans will be disappointed with Bamford as a player of his calibre should have doubled the Whites lead. 

Newcastle and Leeds both shared blows in the last ten minutes, Saint-Maximin with the best chance as the Frenchman pounces on a lackadaisical header from Luke Ayling, the run produces a powerful shot which Illan Meslier was equal to. 

Newcastle ends the game looking back on chances missed, as will Leeds. As the referee blew the full-time whistle, a draw was nothing but a disappointment from both sides. 

Key Takeaways

Allan Saint-Maximin must be protected at all times

Newcastle has a superb talent on their hands in Allan Saint-Maximin and they must protect him at all times. This season Steve Bruce has not substituted the winger once. Burnout is not an element of Saint-Maximin's game, but frustration is. Ideally, you want him on the wing with an excellent leading striker (Callum Wilson, when fit is exactly the image you have). Still, the solo option of running channels and being the point on a counterattack is a no brainer from Bruce.  All Newcastle fans will be devastated if Saint-Maximin gets an injury, as bright sparks do not come around often on Tyneside.

Raphinha shines but doesn't get enough recognition

Raphinha is a player that seems to shine among teams that defend deep. Tonight against a deep back three Newcastle defence, the Brazilian ran riot, creating the most chances in the game.

Tonight also showed the reason why recognition is not given often. Raphinia had an opportunity to add to his tally of goals on Tyneside three times in the first half and in the second. The question is,  why? It is not a lack of confidence that the Brazilian has in droves. Is it technique? Many times wingers tend to take too many touches and not hit the ball first time.

Raphinia is a talent, and if he continues to pull out performances like this, Leeds will have a hard time keeping a hold of him. 

Starting XI's

Newcastle United: Darlow; Manquillio, Hayden, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie; Longstaff, Willock, Almirón; Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Firpo, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips, Klich; James, Raphinha, Rodrigo; Bamford.

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