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Newcastle United vs Leeds United - Match Report

Newcastle United vs Leeds United

The game got underway at St. James' Park as Steve Bruce and Marcelo Bielsa were keen to gain personal glory for their sides as they were fighting for their first win of the season. Bielsa gave Daniel James the nod as the Welshman made his return to the starting XI for Leeds United after Jack Harrison fell ill.

It was a rusty start to the game, but the hosts came through with their first attempt on goal as they fed off the energy from their fans.

The Peacocks kept pushing from the wings from the wings through Firpo, James and most notably, Raphinha and the Brazilian just whipped in a superb delivery into the box for Rodrigo, but the Spanish forward dummied the returning goalkeeper, Karl Darlow as he was beaten for pace at the far corner on his right-hand side.

That goal brought boos and jeers from the home crowd, as the Magpies faithful grew increasingly impatient with Steve Bruce and the Newcastle hierarchy.

However, Leeds don't really have a measure of their approach against the majority of the teams they play against, as Marcelo Bielsa's men raised the bar at St. James Park as the Magpies found it hard to contain the likes of Raphinha, who tore down the right-hand side of Newcastle's defence as the Brazilian winger lined up for a few more stingers from his left boot.

Although, the crowd didn't stop cheering for their side as they wanted their boys to respond to the set-back and they got the effort from their boys in black and white.

The hosts kept coming at Bielsa's defence as Willock had a good chance to open the scoring, but the English midfielder just took an extra moment to lock and load his right-footed rifle as the energetic Leeds defensive line closed him out. Joelinton missed a scoring opportunity from point-blank range as Meslier pulled out a stunning point-blank save as the game grew in tempo as the Magpies raised their own bar as the game really grew to life.

Leeds kept looking for an opening on the other side of the field as Kalvin Phillips attempted an effort on goal.

Once again, Newcastle kept coming time and time again, thanks to the way Leeds approached and played their football. Matt Ritchie hit the post after a good build-up from the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin.

As the first half came to a close, Steve Bruce picked up a figure that you wouldn't want to pick up a fight with as he was relentless down the touchline as he looked to marshall his troops. His boys kept stepping on the gas as they attempted a few attempts on target, but Allan Saint-Maximin broke the deadlock as Joelinton created an opening for ASM as the Frenchman drove himself into a tight spot before pulling the trigger as he found the back of the net right at the stroke of the 44th minute of the game as the fans roared at St. James' Park.

While Saint-Maximin got a goal for the hosts with his brilliant feet, Newcastle were vulnerable as they have been since the start of this season as the visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead right at the stroke of half-time as Junior Firpo found Raphinha sprinting down the right-hand side as he took his time and failed to find the back of the net. The rebound fell to the Brazilian as he found a pass to Daniel James as he attempted a shot at goal, but as the following rebound fell to Firpo on the bounce, the Spanish left-back scooped a golden opportunity over the bar as an entertaining first-half came to an end.

That half saw 20 shots at goal by both sides, which is the joint highest this season in the first-half of a game in Newcastle's previous game against Manchester United last weekend.

The second-half of the game got underway with slightly similar flames as it was in the opening 45 minutes of the game, although, Daniel James had a half-a-cookie of an opportunity at goal which he mis-timed as he scattered it wide.

The Magpies just didn't settle into the second-half as Jamaal Lascelles nearly headed in an own goal as he attempted to head clear a cross, but Darlow was brought into action as he tipped the ball beside the bar.

Referee Mike Dean was in the thick of things as he interrupted Newcastle's build-up play twice, which led to more jeers and boos.

However, that did not dent the overall approach and press that the Magpies had on offer as ASM found himself in pockets of spaces which caused a lot of trouble for the defensive line for Leeds. ASM found himself in goal-scoring territory as he stung Meslier's palms once more through a crowded Leeds penalty-box.

On the other side of the field, Mateusz Klich attempted a shot at goal as he failed to get enough power behind his shot as he dragged it wide while ignoring Raphinha who was in open space in front of his right-shoulder.

As time flew at the pace of the first half, the players noticeably got tired and they, as the hosts, had many attempts at goal which were wayward.

Patrick Bamford found a delightful pass from Rodrigo as he scattered the shot into the palms of Karl Darlow. Allan Saint-Maximin tested the palms of Meslier on the other end of the pitch, but the young French goalkeeper was up to the task.

Scattered and tired attempts at goal kept continuing at either end of the field, but both sides were being stretched and pulled while defending. As it is for most games, the game grew into a physical affair between both sides, yet Steve Bruce and Marcelo injected pace and adrenaline into the pitch.

Luke Ayling got away with a mis-judged header which fell at the feet of Saint-Maximin as he drove towards goal and got some real venom in his shot at goal as he stung the palms of Meslier once again.

During the final 30 seconds of stoppage time, Leeds still pushed for a winning goal as Junior Firpo drilled a low cross into the box, followed by an aerial cross from debutant Crysencio Summerville, which was beyond the reach of his teammates, as Steve Bruce's heart must have been pounding during the dying seconds of the game.

Both sides were desperate for their first win of the season and they gave it all out there on the field to get those three points. The spotlight was on Steve Bruce and his men as they had to show the fight and quality they had in them to compete in the Premier League.

That performance on Friday surely lifted the spirits of the Toons as they had seen a thrilling football game at their disposal.

Raphinha's wicked delivery that found its way in the back of the net gave Leeds a head-start into the game as they were turning up the heat and piling up the pressure on the hosts. Given how Leeds began the first 20 minutes of the game, things looked dark and blurry on Tyneside, but the Magpies were thankful to their starter, Allan Saint-Maximin, who dropped his shoulder, kept his head down and pulled the strings in the attacking half for Newcastle United.

We were treated with a game that had 38 shots on goal as it ended 1-1 at Tyneside.

Player Ratings - Newcastle United

  1. Karl Darlow: 7/10 - The shot-stopper made his comeback into the side after a lengthy layoff due to his knee injury, but he was up to the task on multiple occasions apart from Raphinha's wicked goal.

  2. Ciaran Clark: 5/10 - Tried hard and succeeded a few times to contain the attacking threat that he had to handle from James and Raphinha.

  3. Jamaal Lascelles: 6/10 - He could have an own goal in his name if it wasn't for Darlow's save. Bamford and Rodrigo's attacking threat was reduced.

  4. Matt Ritchie: 6/10 - received a booking earlier in the game, but I carried a huge threat on the left-hand side of the Magpies' attack. Defensively, he was out of the race most of the time.

  5. Issac Hayden: 6/10 - The defensive midfielder played a crucial part in getting an extra body in the offensive set-up for Steve Bruce, as he had played a key role in getting things going in midfield.

  6. Javier Manquillo: 5/10 - He was a right-back for Newcastle United, although he didn't have much to do on the right flank for Newcastle United, although he did push forward on a few occasions.

  7. Miguel Almiron: 7/10 - The effort and aggression shown throughout the 62 minutes that he played was splendid for the Paraguayan midfielder. He regularly got his team out of tight spaces and opened up a full-fledged Newcastle attack.

  8. Joe Willock: 4/10 - Sadly, the midfielder wasn't in the races this time around. He had an opportunity to score in the first half, but he took a lot of time to set himself as the opportunity went past him.

  9. Joelinton: 6/10 - Apart from the assist provided to ASM, the attacker could have been a match-winner for his side. Multiple opportunities came by, but the attacker couldn't capitalise.

  10. Sean Longstaff: 6/10 - The midfielder did a lot of dirty work in the middle of the park as he fancied a few chances at goal.

  11. Allan Saint-Maximin: 9/10 - The French attacker deserves the rating we've given him as he pulled the strings for Newcastle United deep in midfield to get them on top of the field. His goal was superb given the fact that he dribbled through the thick defensive set-up of Leeds and still managed to get his shot past Meslier in goal.

Player Ratings - Leeds United

  1. Illan Meslier: 7/10 - He had a really good time in between the posts. He pulled out multiple saves from the attempts on target from Newcastle as he was a key figure in the disappointment of Steve Bruce not getting all 3 points. He was able to be in command whenever the Magpies aimed for an aerial threat towards Leeds’ goal.

  2. Luke Ayling: 5/10 - Not a good day out for the right-back as he struggled to find a cross through Newcastle’s defensive line. made a few crucial defensive errors as well.

  3. Junior Firpo: 4/10 - The left-back was disappointing once again as he was not really up for the races. He missed a golden opportunity to put Leeds in front at the stroke of half-time as the Spanish full-back clearly lacks confidence.

  4. Liam Cooper: 6/10 - The Scottish centre-back was able to put out a lot of fires from the Newcastle attack as his presence was hugely significant in the defensive line for Leeds.

  5. Stuart Dallas: 4/10 - Went missing for large chunks of the game as he couldn’t find a way from central midfield into a good attacking position.

  6. Kalvin Phillips: 6/10 - He too did a lot of dirty work in the centre of the park, but he also had found himself in good goal-scoring opportunities. The midfielder couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half as he had a few opportunities at goal.

  7. Mateusz Klich: 6/10 - The Polish international was key to pulling the strings in midfield for Leeds, and he did it with some ease.

  8. Rodrigo: 6/10 - His presence behind Bamford was important for Leeds to pick the ball up from an advanced position and deliver it on the wings to keep the attack flowing. Played the whole 90 minutes and showed character to get through with the ball.

  9. Daniel James: 6/10 - Due to Jack Harrison’s illness, Daniel James got the nod and the Welshman’s inclusion in the starting XI was not disappointing as he probably should have won a penalty in the first-half. He showed a tremendous amount of energy and drive to help and assist his team.

  10. Raphinha: 7.5/10 - His game rating could have improved a lot more as he had multiple opportunities to add to his goal tally in the first half. It was a quiet second half for the Brazilian winger, but once again, his effort and drive were noticed, even though there were rumours about a possible injury.

  11. Patrick Bamford: 5/10 - The English forward had a pretty disappointing day on the field as he couldn’t make a difference in the game. It was a quiet night for Bamford as he scattered a few opportunities in the second-half.