Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspur huffed and puffed, but ultimately had no idea how to blow the Newcastle United house down as Joelinton Apolinario De Lira’s first-half strike handed the visitors a surprise Premier League victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The proverbial ‘house’ could have been put on Spurs taking maximum points from this one. Heung-Min Son’s return to the Spurs line-up was warmly received by an expectant home crowd – buoyed by their start to the season, in comparison to that of their struggling visitors.
Internal politics, an unpopular managerial appointment and back-to-back league defeats – it all seemed like abject misery for the travelling support amongst a crowd just shy of 60,000. Nevertheless, it was Newcastle who went closest to opening the scoring. Sean Longstaff’s crisp, right-footed strike forcing a flying save from Hugo Lloris as the Geordies search for something to hold onto.
And shortly before the half-hour mark, they seized it. De Lira expertly dispatched low beyond Lloris – this after early substitute, Christian Atsu, had picked him out with an exquisite pass with the outside of his boot.
The Brazilians strike certainly readdressed the mood – the Toon Army celebrating wildly as agitation grew around them. Meanwhile, Martin Dubravka thwarted Son after Kyle Walker-Peters had provided an opportunity for the stuttering hosts.
Similarly to Aston Villa during the opening seventy minutes a fortnight previous, Newcastle appeared to have little trouble in stifling Spurs – getting numbers behind the ball and generally doing the ugly jobs well.
Pochettino reacted, beefing up his flagging attack by sending on Christian Eriksen and Giovani Lo Celso in place of the ineffective Erik Lamela and Walker-Peters. However, Spurs continued to struggle as a wall of orange shirts stood resolute and rigid.
Tottenham’s irritation grew when VAR intervened, correctly denying Spurs a spot-kick after Harry Kane had tangled with Newcastle skipper, Jamaal Lascelles. And this was compounded minutes later when Lucas Moura blazed over after Moussa Sissoko had picked him out from the right.
The Newcastle threat had, at best, been sporadic during the second period. Miguel Almiron’s effort was deflected wide – the Magpies backline perhaps content with some respite. But the visitor’s rearguard had done enough. Six minutes of stoppage time were negotiated as comfortably as what had gone before as Steve Bruce’s men belittle their lowly league position with a notable success.
Spurs return to Premier League action on Sunday, September 1 when they take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in an eagerly anticipated North London derby (4:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (capt), Danny Rose (Ben Davies 88’), Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Heung-Min Son, Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Erik Lamela (Giovani Lo Celso 62’), Kyle Walker-Peters (Christian Eriksen 62’), Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura Subs not used: Paulo Gazzaniga, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Oliver Skipp
Newcastle United: Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles (capt) (Federico Fernandez 81’), Joelinton Apolinario De Lira (Yoshinori Muto 88’), Allan Saint-Maximin (Christian Atsu 17’) , Matt Ritchie, Issac Hayden, Emil Krafth, Miguel Almiron, Sean Longstaff Subs not used: Karl Darlow, Jonjo Shelvey, Jetro Willems, Javier Manquillo
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistants: Daniel Robatham and Mark Scholes
Fourth Official: Graham Scott
Reaction to follow…