The last match Spurs played at St. James Park was one to forget, but today’s season opener got everything off on the right foot as Tottenham Hotspur beat a ten-man Newcastle United by the final score of 2-0.
The first 20 minutes of the match saw plenty of back and forth play with a couple of half-chances for both sides. Newcastle’s best opportunity was on a well-timed run by Dwight Gayle, but the striker opted to try and one-time a volley, sending the ball over the bar. Spurs’ best opportunity came off of a set piece. Christian Eriksen sent the ball into the penalty area, but the attempt to score was a weak one that was smothered easily by Rob Elliot to end the chance.
Spurs had another chance on the counter in the 27th minute. Hugo gathered up a cross into the box by Toon and found Eriksen on the break. After a few passes, Eriksen found a yard of space and fired for the far post. The ball went through everyone, past a diving Elliot, but just went wide of the post.
We’d have to wait until the 42nd minute to get another real chance. Eriksen with a fancy bit of footwook found a yard of space about 25 yards out and shot a dipper towards the far post, but Elliot again made a diving but still comfortable save. The match ended with a whimper, scoreless on both sides, hoping for a more exciting second half.
The second half started with an altercation after Dele Alli was fouled. Jonjo Shelvey lost his head for a moment and opted to step on Dele’s ankle while he was on the ground with the referee in arm’s reach. Shelvey was shown a red card and put Spurs up a man.
Spurs had a great chance just a couple of minutes after the sending off. Kane found himself all alone on the penalty spot with a deflection and attempted a volley to get on the board, but Elliot again was up to the task to maintain his clean sheet 50 minutes into the match. You just had a feeling that the goal was coming, though.
Ten minutes later, Spurs got their breakthrough. Eriksen chipped a pass over the top to a streaking Dele. The midfielder managed to stick his foot out just enough to poke the ball past Elliot, making the score 1-0 good guys.
Spurs kept the pressure on after the goal. Kane fed a lovely through ball to Eriksen but the ensuing shot was scuffed and Elliot had an easy save.
In the 70th minute, Spurs doubled their lead from an unexpected source. After some great build-up play, Ben Davies charged in on a free ball and slotted it past a diving Elliot, giving the fullback two goals in his last two Premier League matches, though not as pretty as the screamer he had against Hull last city. They all count the same, though!
Newcastle showed some life in the last ten minutes, including a couple of good attempts that forced Hugo into action. The most dangerous one was a blast at Hugo about 25 yards out, but our #1 made sure there was no damage, making the save and keeping his clean sheet.
Spurs tidied up the match nicely, including Eriksen pulling some skill with a sombrero. Kane also managed to find the post and then had a goal disallowed due to offside being called on Sonny before the match was brought to a close, giving Spurs all three points to start out the season.
Thoughts on the match
- Kyle Walker-Peters was essentially forced into starting today and held his own. He wasn’t great, but he did what was needed.
- Moussa Sissoko was fine as well. Again, nothing spectacular, but he was more than serviceable.
- I’m not sure what Jonjo Shelvey was thinking, but I’ll take it. What a dumb thing to do to cost your club.
- Anyone else think that the ensuing foul right after the red card should have been red as well?
- Hugo didn’t have much to do today, outside the first fifteen minutes. Let’s keep up that trend.
- Sonny and Wanyama both got into the second half action. I fully expect both to start next week.
- Bring on Chelsea.