SUNDAY 13TH AUGUST, 2017
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0)
Referee:- Andre Marriner
Assistants:- S Beck, S Ledger
Fourth official:- K Friend
Newcastle (4-2-3-1):- Elliot; Manquillo, Lejeune (sub Mbemba, 34), Clark, Dummett (sub Lascelles, 7); Shelvey (Capt.), Hayden; Ritchie, Atsu, Perez; Gayle (sub Merino, 76)
Subs not used:- Darlow; Murphy, Aarons; Mitrovic
Booked:- Ritchie (foul on Dele)
Sent off:- Shelvey (Violent Conduct, 48)
(Armband to Lascelles)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele (sub Winks, 90); Sissoko (sub Son, 58), Dele (sub Wanyama, 82), Eriksen; Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Wimmer, Carter-Vickers; Janssen
Booked:- Kane (foul on Lejeune), Davies (foul on Manquillo)
Spurs take control after Shelvey red card
It wasn’t exactly full revenge for the defeat when we last played at St James’ Park (five would have been nice), but Spurs were hardly bothered in the first half and took full control of the game in the second half after Newcastle skipper Jonjo Shelvey was sent off only three minutes after the re-start. Shelvey (and other Newcastle players) had targeted Dele Alli throughout proceedings and although Newcastle won a free kick because Dele handled the ball, hot-headed Shelvey took umbrage and needlessly stamped on Dele in front of referee Andre Marriner who showed the red card without hesitation. Thereafter, and logically, there was only going to be one winner, and Spurs ran out comfortable 2-0 victors.
Whilst Newcastle did trouble us a little in the first half with their quick counter attacks and speed of passing, the most I recall Hugo being troubled was to leap for a high cross, or advance to the edge of his area. He did have a proper save to make in the second half. Spurs didn’t really seem to get going in the first half, but of course all the time they were “managing the game”, Pochettino style. Kyle Walker-Peters made his Premier League debut, and performed very competently too, even having his name chanted by the full contingent of Tottenham fans high up in St James’ Park. I understand Sky even gave Kyle their man of the match award, although I think I would go with either play-maker Eriksen, or Dele, who scored our first goal. With Newcastle’s striped shirts and no patch for their number, it was impossible for me to identify many of their players. Shaven-headed Shelvey is easy to spot, as is Dwight Gayle, who led the line today, with Mitrovic on the bench. Ayoze Perez is recognisable too, but that’s about as far as I can go, apart from the goalie of course.
Of course, I know the Spurs team, but it was easy to tell when Moussa Sissoko was on the ball, as he was roundly booed by the home crowd at every touch. Dele Alli was not a favourite of the home fans either, as he constantly harangued his opponents.
Newcastle kicked off playing away from The Gallowgate End. Gayle had their first chance after four minutes, but kicked the ball high, having received from left back Dummett. Eriksen and Kane attacked strongly for Spurs down the left flank, and Kane won a corner, but nothing came of that. Dummett was soon down needing treatment, and had to be replaced early by Lascelles. Dembele got as far as the edge of the Newcastle box towards the right, but his shot was blocked. Dele picked up a Spurs ball and fed it to Kane who won another corner, with no reward.
Gayle got through behind the Spurs defence, but was clearly offside. Eriksen had a half chance after 16 minutes, but could get no strength on his shot. Harry Kane had a header held by goalkeeper Elliot after Eriksen’s free kick. Mr. Marriner (who had been in charge for our last league game at Hull in May) had words with Dele and one of the Newcastle players after a contretemps down the touchline, and it was after this that the home fans took a particular dislike to the feisty Dele. No doubt they will be cheering him in an England shirt soon!
After Hugo Lloris held a Newcastle corner, he released Eriksen on the left side. Christian led a good Spurs attack and had the last touch, putting his shot wide. There had been some good defending by Mousa Dembele and Ben Davies in our box, and Toby Alderweireld looked masterful throughout proceedings, whilst never really put under real pressure. Harry Kane got the first yellow card of the game for his foul on Lejeune, who also had to be replaced due to injury a few minutes later.
Elliot made a good save diving to his left after good work and a shot by Eriksen. Eriksen had another shot as half-time approached following a throw-in fielded by Kane and fed to the Dane. This effort was easy for the keeper.
After the break, and the Shelvey sending off, Gayle had a shot which Lloris saved centrally. At the other end Eriksen chipped a nice ball to Kane, who only had the keeper to beat, but fired straight at him, instead of to either side. Sissoko was replaced by Son, wearing a cast, or at least a strong bandage on his arm. Not long after that, Spurs took the lead following Eriksen’s piercing short diagonal ball into the box, where Dele made no mistake. Eriksen had another shot held, after a pass from Kane.
Spurs went two up with twenty minutes left on the clock. Dele and Eriksen were involved but it was Ben Davies who scored what was only his second Spurs Premier League goal, making that two in consecutive league games!
The hardest save Lloris had to make was from Atsu. Hugo had to stretch to his left. Atsu’s provider had been former Bournemouth man Matt Ritchie. Atsu also had another shot which hit the side netting soon after. After a foul and a booking for Davies, defender Clark had a shot on goal, which Lloris held. In added time, Harry Kane nearly made it 3-0, latching onto Son’s pass, before seeing his shot rebound off the post.
This was our first opening day win for three years (the last was at Upton Park in 2014), and a very welcome three points to start the season. Next week, we host Chelsea in our temporary home, but arguably, after their surprise loss at home to Burnley yesterday, and two red cards, there is not a better time to play the Premier League Champions. Bring it on!
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