Winless Newcastle fail against winless Leeds. 'Almost' pointless!
Newcastle United 1-1 Leeds United
Honours even at St James Park as Alan Saint-Maximin saves Bruce's blushes as pressure mounts on United boss.
A frenetic first half at SJP would deliver the only goals with both teams attacking at every opportunity even through the away side would, obviously, dominate. But when Leeds took the lead on 13 minutes from a Raphinha cross come shot, one that curled straight past the reinstalled Karl Darlow, things were looking pretty grim. The home fans turning their ire once more towards manager Steve Bruce with the Magpies firmly on under the cosh.
What was needed was a moment of magic. Call, you know who. Alan Saint-Maximin jinking into the box onto his right foot, faking, faking again, before unleashing a low and powerful drive passed Meslier in the Leeds United goal. 1-1 at half time.
And that would be how it stayed. 5 games, two points. As bad as it's been.
Full Match Report
Steve Bruce would recall fit again Karl Darlow for a much needed boost between the sticks for Newcastle. Otherwise Hayden would continue again in his role as part of the back three whilst Joelinton would deputise for the injured Wilson up front once more.
In an entertaining first half, one that would see Leeds have 65% of the possession, both clubs would give it a go. Joelinton, for one, unlucky not to find himself on the score sheet.
Good chances would come and go for both games before a Raphinha cross shot would foot everyone before nestling inside Karl Darlow's right had stick.
This would seem to shake Newcastle into action. Alan Saint-Maximin the chief protagonist and the main threat. No surprise then when he was the man to strike late int he second half.
Finding the ball at his feet on the inside left channel he would cut onto his right and fake to shoot more than once before smashing to the keepers right to get United level.
As the game moved into injury time at the end of the first half a break from Leeds almost grabbed them another. First Rephinha again had a chance to strike with his right. But his delay in striking the ball allowed Darlow to save with James not being able to make the most of the rebound before Klich smashed his effort high over the bar. A real let off for United.
1-1 half time.
Leeds almost had the lead again early in the second half. A cross that Lascelles managed to get his head onto this time having to be tipped off the line by Darlow.
For the home side it would be ASM again who would be the main concern for the visiting side. This time his initial shot blocked from the edge of the box back into the Frenchman's path but his second shot would be beaten wide by the Leeds stopper.
The crown, for their part, would at least try and list the lads. Their reaction, as hostile as it would be to the manager would be nothing but positive for those in black and white. Every run, block or tackle cheered like the the team were 1-0 up in injury time of an FA Cup Final.
On 71 minutes Rodrigo would slip in Bamford who, when well placed, could only hit his drive straight down the throat of Darlow. A real waste for the visitors but another warning for Newcastle.
San Longstaff would get himself a couple of sighters as the second half went on, but Leeds were using on. Aheads 17-15 in shots with 15 minutes left, the stats certainly didn't lie as a representation of the entertainment value of the game.
Another entertainer, Mike Dean, was doing his best to be centre of attention too. Giving fouls for very little and leaving fouls unpunished in equal measure. It felt like 'something' was about the 'go down' (no, not us, not yet anyway!)
Steve Bruce's men were at least trying despite Leeds domination of the ball. A corner to two coming to nothing as the game ticked into the last 10 minutes.
ASM would again be the main threat for the home side, seizing on poor defensive work from Ayling before calling Meslier into action again.
4 minutes of injury time would give Bruce time to take off his only recognised 'striker' in Joelinton and replace him with a wing back as he apparently went in search of a winner. You couldn't make it up.