It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Tottenham Hotspur play football. It feels like even longer since we’ve seen Spurs just beat the brakes off another team like what we saw today (5-0 vs. Everton notwithstanding). Spurs went down early to a Fabian Schar free kick goal, but roared back to equalize by halftime, then scored four more in the second half en route to a 5-1 home dismantling of Newcastle United.
Ben Davies, Matt Doherty, Son Heung-Min, Emerson Royal, and Steven Bergwijn all got on the scoresheet for Spurs as Tottenham leaped into fourth place, albeit temporarily, and kept the pressure on Arsenal for the all-important race for top four.
Here are my match reactions.
- Suck it, Geordie Arabia.
- Emerson Royal isn’t nearly as shit as what Spurs fans like to pretend he is. He started off with a couple of bad giveaways but settled in nicely. Defended well, looked fine as an outlet and I’m so happy he got that (incredibly ugly) goal.
- Pretty good opening 45, Newcastle sitting deep and playing compact, made it difficult for Spurs to find open looks. The patterns were on full display early, tons of possession, last-ditch defending from Toon.
- Newcastle’s goal was predictable because it came off of a set piece, but also it looked like Hugo saw it late. Poor foul to concede from Son too.
- But Sonny redeemed himself pretty much instantly. That second ball into the box off the corner was exquisite, and Davies’ header was perfectly placed. That was Davies’ first goal for Spurs since 2017.
- I had serious doubts about Matt Doherty’s efficacy on the left, but he actually did amazingly well. He was getting in good positions as evidence by him crashing the back post for his headed goal, and his passing was good as well.
- The difference between Kane in the first and second halves was night and day. He was so much more involved and direct with his play than he was in the opening 45. In fact, Spurs got superb performances from their entire front three of Kane, Kulusevski, and Son.
- Spurs’ third was just a well-worked team goal. Kane, Kulusevski, Son, boom. When those three are on, they’re just ON. Deki just has this incredible sense of where his teammates are in relation to himself.
- What was so much fun about this match was how so many fringe or reserve players got in on the action. A goal and assist from Matt Doherty? An Emerson Royal goal? Steven Bergwijn scoring seconds after coming on? God, was that fun! Really makes you wonder where Spurs would be if they’d just have hired Conte from the start this past summer.
- I didn’t even mention Bentancur! I should mention Bentancur. He was v good imo.
- Underrated consequence of this win was that Spurs’ goal differential went from -2 to +2 w/r/t Arsenal, This could be crucial if the top four race ends up as close as it might.