The brilliance of Allan Saint-Maximin did not spare Steve Bruce another penalty as Newcastle had to come back from behind to draw with Leeds.
The 24-year-old Frenchman managed a superb equalizer to cancel Raphinha’s opener on an evening when home support sections among a crowd of 50,407 at St James’ Park again chanted the player’s departure from 60 years.
A 1-1 draw at the end of a thrilling encounter has left both sides awaiting a first Premier League win of the campaign and with Bruce knowing his critics are far from appeased, but also that his players play for him.
Leeds took the lead 13 minutes from time when Raphinha crossed from the left and Rodrigo tried to heel the ball towards goal, but appeared to make little contact, in the process goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who did not could only watch in horror. as he sailed in his net.
Chants of “We want Brucey out” immediately echoed through the stadium as the collective mood took a decided turn for the worse, and that did not improve as the home team worked in their efforts to keep. Leeds in distance.
The Magpies eventually responded with Miguel Almiron dragging an attempt through the goal after Matt Ritchie’s cross was only half clear and Joelinton shot straight at goalkeeper Illan Meslier after St. Maximin.
However, Rodrigo took a 25th-minute shot when he could have done better and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips was also inaccurate four minutes later with the visitors picking holes at will.
Darlow had to get down well to claim the deflected strike from Mateusz Klich, but his counterpart Meslier needed the help of a post to prevent Ritchie’s effort in the 35th minute after he cut a defender on the way to the goal.
As the half-time whistle approached, Bruce gave up the three full-backs he had started with to a four and his team restored parity in the penultimate minute of half-time.
Saint-Maximin, by far Newcastle’s most impressive performer on the night, recovered Joelinton’s square ball from the edge of the box and avoided two potential challenges before crushing a low drive through Meslier and into the net .
Bruce’s half-time address could have been very different had Raphinha or Junior Firpo managed to complete a stoppage break with his defenders at six and seven, but they somehow survived. another one.
The home team had better and more resilient form about them immediately after the break, although Daniel James still had time and space to shoot a 50th minute volley and Darlow had to have a nice reaction backing up his teammate. Jamaal Lascelles. head clearance.
But with Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Almiron repeatedly stretching Leeds’ defense, the Magpies continued to carry a threat and Meslier had to save the Frenchman at his nearby post with 59 minutes left.
Patrick Bamford should have restored Leeds’ advantage with 18 minutes remaining, but obediently shot Darlow with a perfect through ball from Rodrigo, and Meslier made a vital save in the 84th minute to deny Saint-Maximin which would surely have been the winner.