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Newcastle United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur: First half goals enough to take all three points.

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It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Goals by Jan Vertonghen and Dele Alli were good enough for Tottenham Hotspur to take down a gritty Newcastle United side at St. James Park by the final score of 2-1.

As expected, the match started brightly with both sides wanting to get the season off to a good start. A couple of half-chances with no result eventually led to a set piece chance in the 9th minute for Tottenham. Eriksen’s kick found the head of Davinson Sanchez, which ended up being a pass to Vertonghen. The Belgian International pinged the ball on net and, initially, everyone thought it was saved. Goal line technology said otherwise and Vertonghen had the first goal of the young campaign.

Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t last. Just three minutes later, Newcastle found themselves on the attack. A great cross into the box found an unmarked Matt Richie who coolly headed it past Hugo Lloris, picking up the equalizer for the home side.

The pace of the match slowed down after the match was tied with Spurs taking control of possession. After a turnover in midfield by Newcastle, Eriksen attempted to feed Lucas. Thankfully it was deflected as Lucas looked offside and the ball ended up at the feet of Serge Aurier. The fullback fired a cross far post to a streaking Dele Alli who rose up and headed it far net for a 2-1 lead.

Spurs had a decent chance on an attack in the 30th minute as a cross had to be punched out by Martin Dubravka. Aurier found himself about 25 yards out and tried....well, something. It might have been a cross or an attempt on goal. Whatever it was, it ended up in the stands to end the chance for Spurs.

The match started to get chippy after that. Lots of off the ball contact and stupid little fouls that usually lead to problems in the second half, given that Martin Atkinson doesn’t give out cards until its too late.

Spurs had another chance in the 37th minute on a glancing header by Sanchez. It looked good on TV but he didn’t get enough to redirect it all the way, keeping the match at 2-1 Spurs. Toon had their own chance just a couple minutes later on a low lazy cross that nobody seemed to want until it slid out to touch past the far post.

Second Half

The second half picked up basically where the first left off with a good tempo by both teams. Toon had a chance go off the post in the 48th minute that Hugo may have gotten a piece of while Spurs missed a big one just three minutes later as Dele missed a glorious chance, scuffing the shot too high. Hugo was called back into action just a minute later, breaking up an attack and causing Toon to put the ball eventually out to touch. You felt another goal was coming. Would anyone get it, though?

Spurs about answered the call for that goal in the 55th minute on a great cross by Ben Davies. His cross found Moussa Sissoko all alone about 12 yards out, but his attempt was saved to snuff out the attack.

(Author’s Note: At this point in the match I lost about twenty minutes because DirecTV kept going out. I picked up the match at about the 80th minute.)

Newcastle just about got their equalizer in the 85th minute. A fantastic pass into Rondon and the subsequent turn gave him a chance to fire. While Hugo was ready for it, the shot was deflected by Vertonghen and floated over his head. It looked like it was heading in, but bounced off the crossbar and cleared out. The match ended with not much to discuss, with Spurs hanging on to pick up that 2-1 victory.

Thoughts on the match

  • We got to see the third kits today. They are....interesting.
  • Nice to get a goal early in the match, but can we not concede right away like this is AVB Spurs please?
  • Poor Jan got his goal and didn’t even get to properly celebrate it because of the late call on goal line technology.
  • That cross by Aurier on Dele’s goal. Sploosh!
  • How many turnovers did we have in midfield today between Sissoko and Dier? Need to shore that up for next week because they were not good.
  • Luke Amos, I believe, made his Premier League debut with his late sub for Eric Dier. He may be in Pochettino’s plans for the season after all!
  • Hugo was MOTM for me. Quite a few good saves when we needed them the most.
  • Kane looked as expected: A guy with just a few days of training. He gets a pass for not having much of a preseason, though he wasn’t bad. He just never really got going.
  • Three points to start the season is never bad. Bring on Fulham!