Spurs 1-0 Newcastle United
Same line up as against City, different result.
In a game that had many parallels to that of Tuesday night, this time an error and a little bit of bad luck made for yet another disappointing afternoon at Wembley.
The key moments a Rondon effort that hit the base of the post in the second half (after Spurs had hit the same framework in the first) and a mistake from Dubravka allowing a solitary Son goal to seal the points for the hosts.
You can’t really argue with the result in terms of possession and efforts, but in a scrappy game it certainly could have been a different outcome.
Rafa stuck with the same team that had served him so well against Manchester City. Three at the back with two wing backs in Yedlin and Ritchie. There was no place in the squad for Almiron as he awaits International clearance (part of regular formalities) whilst new loan signing Barreca would make the bench in place of Murphy.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie (Barreca, 86), Hayden, Longstaff, Perez, Atsu (Kenedy, 82), Rondon
A few of the injured boys had been close to a return
The first big chance of the game fell to Spurs. A free kick cleared as far as Lamela who crossed beautifully to Lucas Moura who, when totally unmarked and just 6 yards out somehow managed to miss the target completely with his header. Such a good chance on 18 minutes for the home side.
Next it was Lamela who would go even closer to scoring. A cross from Vertonghen, playing at left back for the day, was allowed to bounce in the box. HIs centre eventually finding Lamela who’s header crashed against the bar and back into play before being cleared.
All Spurs to this point but on the half hour Newcastle’s first chance. Great play in midfield from Perez, turning and leaving two players for dead, allowed Ritchie to race down the left and cross. The ball would clip Atsu’s heal and fall to Perez again, but his scuffed shot would be blocked before Rondon then saw his effort blocked from just 4 yards out. Newcastle at least at the right end of the pitch as far as they were concerned for a few minutes but a succession of corners would come to nothing.
The little scare would shake Spurs back into life. A stream of attacks down both flanks causing Newcastle a heap of problems. One resultant corner in particular picking out ex Mag Sissoko who’s clean stake was first parried and then gathered well by Dubravka with no-one in a home shirt able to stab home the loose ball.
Perez showed good feet again as half time approached but couldn’t get his shot away when well place in a rare break as the clocked ticked on to half time.
The second half started much as the first had been, Spurs pushing forward at every opportunity. An early corner for the hosts again saw them go close with Dubravka scrambling and glad to see a Sanchez header go just wide.
At the other end it was Newcastle’s turn to hit the woodwork. Rondon moving the ball wide to Yedlin who’s cross was returned to the United striker only for his header to beat everyone other than the foot of the post and drop back into play, again cleared. Agonising!
Again the little spell of Newcastle pressure seemed to bring Spurs to life.
A corner, a flick from Son, another touch from Eriksen created a moment of real panic for Newcastle. Only a clearance from Schar on the goal line and a glance at the referees watch saving a goal. Outstanding from Schar.
Up the other end then, and great strength from Rondon allowed the impressive Perez to get a shot away from the edge of the box which was brilliantly pushed wide from Lloris. For all Tottenham’s build up play and dominance there continued to be glimpses that Newcastle could just nick this one as the game moved into the final 20 minutes.
then the breakthrough and a moment to forget for Dubravka. Unsurprisingly perhaps the man who would break the deadlock was Son. The goal was simple enough in its creation, a long ball to Llorente (on as a sub) and his chest down to Son allowed him to fire a low shot straight down the Newcastle keepers throat. Inexplicably Dubravka could only watch in horror as the val squirmed under his knee and into the unguarded net. 83 minutes. Gutter.
There was time for Barreca to enter the fray but to no avail. 1-0 the final score with Newcastle staying in 14th before any other ball had been kicked in the Premier League, whilst Spurs go up to 2nd above City and just 4 points behind Liverpool.