Coming into this match, both ourselves and Leeds were still looking for wins after less than positive starts to the new season.
In the build-up to the match, many people were calling Bruce’s head, there were reports of unhappiness behind the scenes and a threat of a protest loomed over.
The question lingered whether a loss would cement the end for Bruce or whether he’d pull out one of his trademark lucky wins and buy himself more time.
We ended up with a draw and I’m really not sure what that results in…I don’t think Bruce will be sacked and I don’t think there was enough of a “protest” to make him walk either. I would say that we’re simply continuing our sleepwalk to relegation and I’m sure Bruce would claim he’s helping us “ticking over”.
Steve Bruce made one change to the side beaten at Manchester United, with goalkeeper Karl Darlow replacing Freddie Woodman. Strangely, Hayden was kept in the centre-back position alongside Lascelles and Clark despite both Schar and Fernandez being available.
Leeds came in with a defensive dilemma as Stuijk, Llorente and Koch were ruled out but were able to hand a full debut to Dan James.
Leeds took the lead after 12 minutes with Raphinha scoring a tidy but stoppable goal. The goal was really a surprise given Leeds had been dominating for the majority of the time and we had a habit of giving away the ball. Rodrigo danced away from Clark and Ritchie to put in a good cross to Raphinha who easily beat Lascelles for the goal. Really, the cross should have been stopped before it was taken but the defending was too passive. This goal quickly triggered a number of anti-Bruce songs. The songs were present before the goal but they went into turbo after Raphinha scored.
Allan Saint-Maximin dazzled the stadium with his dancing feet after receiving the ball from Joelinton and scored an absolutely fantastic goal. It was never in doubt that if there were to be a goal from us, that Saint-Maximin would be involved. The mercurial Frenchman frolicked through numerous Leeds challenges before blasting the ball low into the corner of the net. It was fantastic play and something that he deserved for his hard work throughout.
The first half was a painful one to watch for the majority of the time really. The commentators spoke about how exciting the match had been but really it seemed like Leeds were dominating the match and having the best chances whilst Newcastle would now and then pose a mild threat.
It was a chaotic match with lots of chances but I did not come away from that half thinking we necessarily deserved the 1-1 score line. A quick look on Twitter told me that opinion was split on this with some people claiming that this match was absolutely brilliant and others bemoaning the slapdash nature of it.
Saint-Maximin and Almiron were the standouts on our side. Whilst Saint-Maximin pushed forward a majority of our attacks, Almiron was resolute with his contributions to attacking moves and also defending.
The second half was a lot calmer than the first and we were arguably the better side for the majority, though it can’t be claimed that we blew them out the water or anything.
Saint-Maximin remained a threat and Joelinton really put in a shift on the left-hand side of the pitch. The defence and midfield seemed to just set themselves more and were able to soak up any pressure in a more reassured manner.
Nothing particularly of interest popped up in the second half except maybe for the referee putting himself in a very annoying position during one of our attacks.
Ultimately this was another game which we have failed to win and against a team that we really should have done better against.
Next up, Watford away next weekend.