Points shared at St James' Park.
Newcastle United 1 (Saint Maximin 44’)
Leeds United 1 (Raphinha 13’)
Newcastle: Darlow (GK), Clark, Lascelles (c), Joelinton (Murphy 90’), Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Hayden, Manquillo (Krafth 81’), Almiron (Fraser 62’), Willock, Longstaff.
Subs not used: Gillespie (GK), Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Fernandez, Gayle.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (Shackleton 89’), Firpo, Cooper (c), Bamford, Raphinha (Summerville 67’), Dallas, Rodrigo, James (Roberts 61’) Phillips, Klich.
Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Cresswell, McKinstry, Greenwood, McCarron, Kenneh.
Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United side came away from St James' Park with a point, after Raphinha's opener was cancelled out by Allan Saint-Maximin.
Inside the opening 10 minutes the only incident of note came from Raphinha, who nutmegged Matt Ritchie and was fouled, with the Newcastle winger being the first name into Mike Dean’s notebook.
🤷♂️ Some players just don't like to be nutmegged by Rapha! pic.twitter.com/IgrgzIID3c— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 18, 2021
Shortly after and with the first effort on goal of the game from a cross-shot, Raphinha opened the scoring. His whipped effort from the right-wing evaded everyone and found the corner of the net to put Leeds ahead.
🚀 "𝗜𝘁'𝘀 𝗴𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗶𝗻!" pic.twitter.com/5YRQMpSe3F— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 18, 2021
That goal sparked the game into life. Mateusz Klich was next to have an effort on goal well saved by Karl Darlow, before the ‘keeper saved again shortly after from another Raphinha strike.
The hosts had their first chance when Ritchie’s cross fell kindly in the box for Miguel Almiron, but his left-footed strike went wide. They went even closer moments later through Joelinton, with the striker forcing Illan Meslier into an excellent close range save.
Another swift Leeds breakaway was close to bringing about the second, but for another good save from Darlow. Ayling began the move and it worked its way wide to Raphinha who laid it off for Klich. The midfielder struck it low, but saw the strike saved.
Straight back down the other end, Ritchie was then a paint of coat away from getting his team level. He controlled a neat infield ball and hit with his right-foot, cannoning off the underside of the post with a slight deflection off Luke Ayling on the way through.
Shortly before the interval, some individual brilliance from Saint-Maximin drew the game level. Joelinton was free on the wing and passed the ball inside to the Frenchman, and he skipped his way into the Leeds area before firing low and hard beyond Meslier to make it one-one.
Remarkably in first half stoppage time there was still a chance for the Whites to go back in front. Again it was on the counter, with Raphinha being denied firstly, before Dan James was the next to have an effort blocked, which then fell to Junior Firpo to fire over the bar. The whistle went shortly after in a pulsating opening 45 minutes.
HALF TIME: Newcastle United 1-1 Leeds United
Neither team made any changes at the beginning of the second half and the game hadn’t changed in terms of entertainment with both teams looking to attack.
Both Darlow and Meslier were called into early action, with the home side ‘keeper stopping a potential own-goal from Jamal Lascelles’ flicked header, before Meslier made an equally impressive stop to deny the lively Saint-Maximin again.
On the hour mark the first changes of the game were made. Tyler Roberts replaced James and then a debut was made for Leeds as Crysencio Summerville came on for Raphinha. Ryan Fraser entered in place of Almiron for the hosts.
👏 "𝑫𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒆"— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 18, 2021
- Crysencio Summerville pic.twitter.com/nJiLwGpBqN
A big chance fell the way of Patrick Bamford with 20 minutes remaining. Rodrigo picked the ball up in midfield and slipped through the striker, who saw his low shot saved. Meslier was the next forced to make a stop, again from Saint-Maximin.
The match entered the final 10 minutes and had a familiar pattern to it. Newcastle’s main attacking threat continued to be Saint-Maximin and his pace was causing problems, as yet again he forced Meslier to make a solid stop.
In an entertaining encounter with both teams going in search of a win throughout, the game was brought to a close with a point each.
FULL TIME: Newcastle United 1-1 Leeds United
Venue: St James’ Park
Referee: Mike Dean
Booked: Ritchie, Almiron (Newcastle) Rodrigo, Firpo (Leeds)