I’ll be honest, I would have snapped your hand off for a point before this game.  Watching this football club at the moment isn’t an enjoyable experience, in fact it’s starting to become a chore.  There is absolutely no hope amongst the fanbase right now and rightly so.  On paper we had no right to get anything from this, even if the two sides were only separated by a single point prior to kick-off.  The fact of the matter is Leeds are simply a better team than us, with a manager that is streets ahead of ours.  On the whole this was a very entertaining game of football compared to the usual dross we’re served up on a weekly basis.  But that doesn’t mean to say we’ve turned a corner, or are starting to show signs of improvement – far from it.  At the end of the day we are still 18th after five games, and that simply isn’t good enough.

Darlow – 7 – After Woodman’s disastrous start to the season it was a relief to see the 30-year-old back on the team sheet.  A really solid return after being out for an extended spell with Covid.  Looked like he had never been away with nine key saves.  Can’t take any blame for Raphinha’s freak goal.

Manquillo – 7 – Gave absolutely everything and was never afraid to get stuck in.  Marked Dan James out of the game brilliantly and was comfortably our best defender on the night.  Easily our best fullback at the club in an area of the pitch where we are severely lacking.

Hayden – 5 – He’s never a centre back in a million years so why did he start there? Again? Had a much better second half when he was actually told to play in his correct position.

Lascelles – 4 – Very nearly scored an own goal and looked sloppy at times.  Seemed to get on the end of every set piece but his quality in front of goal was severely lacking.  Has to take some responsibility for Raphinha’s strike with his poor positional awareness of Rodrigo.

Clark – 4 – A bad first half in which he hoofed the ball out of play several times under no real pressure.  Looked like a rabbit in the headlights at times and seemed to be caught up in the intensity of the occasion.  Picked himself up after the break with a slightly improved display but on the whole not a great night for the defender.

Ritchie – 5 – Offensively good, with a cracking effort in the first half that hit the post.  Linked up well with Maximin on the left hand side and offered his usual plucky and tenacious workrate.  However question marks are still there over his defensive capabilities. He was out of position far too many times and he got nowhere near Raphinha all night.

Longstaff – 6 – Played much further forward in the second half after the formation change which allowed him to express himself more freely.  Had a couple of really poor long range efforts but defensively was solid.

Willock – 5 – Not his best game by any stretch.  Didn’t look right all night – sloppy in possession, slow, lacking any real creativity. Was extremely fortunate not to give away a penalty.  Presumably nowhere near his full fitness, but I’ve no doubt he will come good.

Almiron – 6 – Has such an important role to play in a team that relies so much on one player.  His runs allow Maximin the time and space to do what he does and tonight was no different.  It was clear we struggled when he was taken off, we were overrun in midfield and his presence was missed in the closing stages.

Joelinton – 7 – I’ve been very critical of the lad since he’s arrived on Tyneside, but this was definitely one of his better games.  Looked strong in possession and bullied Stuart Dallas at times.  Linked up very well with Maximin and got an assist to his name.  Has to be given credit for putting a real shift in but he needs to do this on a more consistent basis.

Maximin – 9 – What more can I say about this man? Absolutely outstanding from start to finish.  Single-handedly got us back in the game with a sensational equaliser.  Was a constant thorn in their side all night and looks to be one of the best signings we’ve made in a long time.  Right now he’s one of the only reasons to go and watch this football club.

Subs

Fraser (62 for Almiron) – 5 – Didn’t do anything much of note but I’m still hopeful he has a future at the club.

Krafth (81 for Manquillo) – N/A

Murphy (90+1 for Joelinton) – N/A 

James Lynch – @JamesLynch88