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Premier League

Newcastle 1-1 Leeds: Allan Saint-Maximin’s heroics salvage point for under-fire Steve Bruce


Newcastle earned a point after going behind against Leeds in Friday night’s Premier League match but St. James’ Park was less than impressed by how Steve Bruce’s side performed

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Simmering discontent against Steve Bruce, and a brilliant solo goal to quell the protests from Allan Saint-Maximin.

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The French wizard struck before half time to rescue a point for Newcastle, but not before chipping away at Bruce’s public standing.

The draw left both Newcastle and Marcelo Bielsa still searching for their first league win of the season.

There could be no real celebrations at a game turned around from the brink of disaster because Bruce was booed at full time, and has already been told he was a “sad Mackem b*****d, with a sh*t football team,” by some of the home crowd.

Yet the discontent didn’t take light across the whole stadium, and Bruce will live to fight on, noty least because his players mustered a decent fightback.

Bruce suggested his players may have to blank out chants against him during the game. It took just three minutes for a section of the Gallowgate corner to chant for his sacking, and 90 minutes later it was still bubbling.

And it was just 13 minutes before Leeds were ahead, and Raphinha’s long range effort was embarrassingly soft to concede.

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Leeds took an early lead through Raphinha
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)

Patrick Bamford stroked the ball wide to the Brazilian who was hugging the right touchline.

He whipped in a teasing cross that Jamaal Lascelles failed to get a touch on, Rodrigo jumped over the bouncing ball and it curled inside the far post.

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It was Raphinha’s eighth goal since joining Leeds for £17m 11 months ago.

That triggered more enthusiastic chants of “We want Brucey out…” which soon spread around the ground during a lull in play.

Leeds were battering Newcastle early on, but the Toon were level on the stroke of half time, thanks to the genius of Saint-Maximin.

Saint-Maximin’s goal rescued a point for Newcastle
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REUTERS)

He was fed by Joelinton and still had a wall of Leeds defenders in front of him 18 yards out.

The dynamite attacker dummied to shoot, jinked to his right, and again, and left four defenders flat footed before smashing home a cross shot.

Newcastle lacked a killer touch on their earlier breakaways in a breathless match. Saint Maximin set up a great counter attack, Miguel Almiron miskicked and Joelinton struck Illan Meslier’s legs with his close range shot.

Karl Darlow was busy after being recalled for Freddy Woodman in goal after United leaked 12 goals in their first four league games this season.

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Leeds need a win of their own and will be upset at squandering so many chances, a constant moan of Bielsa’s tenure. “We dominated the game and should have won,” said Bielsa.

Bamford got a volley on goal, and Mateusz Klitch, twice went close. Kalvin Phillips was teed up 18 yards out and fired just wide.

At the other end, the Geordies had no luck. Matt Ritchie hit the inside of the post after Luke Ayling got a crucial block on.

Junior Firpo missed a wonderful chance in first half injury time, blazing over after Isaac Hayden had blocked Raphinha’s free shot. And with 19 minutes to go Bamford was clear on goal but couldn’t convert… one of 38 shots, 21 by Leeds, in a breathless game.

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