Newcastle Utd 1-2 Spurs
Another home game against Spurs to start the season ended in familiar fashion as Newcastle were left empty handed after playing pretty well.
A frantic start to the game saw both teams going at it from the first whistle, and it wouldn’t take long for Tottenham to draw first blood.
A flurry of corners for the away side eventually saw Jan Vertonghen get his head on one that hit the bar and was cleared. As the game continued without appeals from the Spurs players the referee, Martin Atkinson, pointed to his watch signalling Goal Line Technology had given a goal and it was 1-0.
Newcastle, to their credit, hit straight back. Joselu, who got the nod ahead of new boy Rondon (who’d barely trained with his new teammates) gabbed an instant equaliser. Ritchie had been found wide on the right and his whipped cross was glanced into the goal by the Spaniard. 1-1.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu, 69), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez (Muto, 81), Joselu (Rondon, 59)
It wouldn’t take long for Newcastle to be playing catch up again. The home side had looked far from solid at the back and when Serge Aurier delivered a wonderful far post cross on 18 minutes and managed to take the entire Newcastle back line out of the game with Dubravka stuck not knowing if he should come or stay. Sometimes you just have to admire a ball like that. Not so admirable was the lack of marking on Dele Alli, who stole in at the back post to nod home with ease.
At this point it looked like both defences would leak more goals. But the game would find its way to half time without any more major incident.
The home side seemed to come out with renewed purpose in the second half.
With just two minutes on the clock in the period a thunderous effort from Mo Diame would smash the Spurs keepers right upright and rebound back into play but to safety.
With Newcastle now putting the pressure on, Kenedy would spurn a great chance. A lovely threaded ball from Joselu found the Brazilian totally unmarked, but with a clear line to goal the Newcastle number 15’s touch would uncharacteristically desert him and the ball would be smothered by Lloris.
With an hour on the clock there was almost a moment that any Newcastle fan would have been sickened to see. A great hit by Sissoko looked like it had goal written all over it, only for Dubravka to make a great stop to keep the score 2-1.
Time now running out and substitue Rondon would be next to go close with the woodwork would come to the rescue of Tottenham. After holding off one Spurs player, Rondon’s shot would be partially blocked by Vertonghen on the edge of the area, then up and over Lloris as he helplessly watched the ball come back into the play off the bar.
It would be the last chance of real note and Spurs used all their nouse to see the game out at 2-1.
A knock in injury time to Yedlin was not what anyone wanted to see as he had to be withdrawn from the action with what looked like knee ligament damage. Whilst a chorus of anti Ashely songs broke out towards the final whistle after the Newcastle fans had kept those particular frustrations to the pre-match Nothumberland demonstrations to this point.
Newcastle deserved more than the nothing they got form this one. Let’s just hope that we’ve used some of this season bad luck up right here.
Match Stats: BBC.co.uk