Newcastle fight back to earn a late point against Spurs
Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
A Joe Willock goal just five minutes from time would earn a hard working Newcastle United team a deserved point at St James Park this afternoon.
Having squandered an early lead, with Harry Kane scoring twice in 4 minutes just 7 minutes after a the rare sight of Joelinton bagging a goal at St James Park, it had looked like the Magpies would earn nothing out of a game which proved that some of the players at least are still fighting for survival.
One man seemed to epitomise Newcastle's performance more than most, with the returning Matt Ritchie an engine of endeavour and leader of men in his man of the match performance. Joelinton being the other justifiable shout for that particular accolade.
And when the Brazilian had put a dominant Newcastle ahead on 28 minutes it was looking like the black and white may be in for a day to remember again against a side managed Mourinho (who'd only ever won one game at St James Park). Joelinton's goal an easy side foot finish have been played in beautifully by Sean Longstaff inside the 18 yard box with a lovely square ball.
But wouldn't you know it, back came Spurs. United looking like they'd switched off completely in first getting in a muddle at the back to allow Kane to tap into an empty net and then not getting close enough to the England striker who burst clear before driving home his second goal in 4 minutes on the half hour.
Despite huffing and puffing and spending large spells in control of the game it was looking like Newcastle would find an equaliser however. Until that is a deep cross from Ritchie was kept alive by first Joelinton, then Almiron before substitute Willock would blast in off the underside of the crossbar to the delight of those in black and white.
A well deserved point that may (hopefully), just prove crucial come the final shake down of the Premier League standings.
Newcastle United made a really good start to this contest. An early sighter from Joelinton might not have troubled Lloris in the Spurs goal but was certainly a sign of things to come.
The Magpies, although yet against fielding an unsettled line up which included the return of apparent 'bad boy' Matt Ritchie, were up for this one from the off.
Spurs too though would also look dangerous, and even with Bale and Son starting on the bench, they had enough quality to always cause a threat.
And that mix of drive from the home side and quality from the away team made for an fascinating, if not frustrating, game.
Gayle and Kane would take turns in having a go before the breakthrough came.
After a sustained period of pressure from Newcastle it would be big Joe who would get it. Some effective buildup play working the ball into the box before Sean Longstaff had the vision to square to an unmarked Joelinton who side footed home with surprising ease. No more than the home side deserved at that point.
They say you're never move vulnerable than when you've just scored. Oh dear.
Firstly a mix up in the Newcastle box, a tangle of legs and hands would eventually see Harry Kane tap home as the ball somewhat fortunately fell at his feet 3 yards out. Not great defending by any means.
And when the same spurs player raced through in the inside right channel to smash past Dubravka again 4 minutes later, on 34 minutes, United had thrown away all that early good work.
The ebb and flow of the first half was in much the same style. Newcastle trying to push and press a Spurs team usually set up to counter such a style under Jose. Spurs happy to rely on their quality going forward to nick another.
Another good performance form Jacob Murphy would see him try his luck on occasion whilst Sean Longstaff would also have the odd strike from range in an attempt to rescue a point as the home side got more and more desperate to find the games 4th goal.
Dwight Gayle too would get in decent positions on more than one occasion but as the game ticked into the 85th minute it was starting to look like it would all be in vein.
But up would step Joe Willock, apparently not happy at being dropped from the starting line up in the first place, to provide the answer. Ritchie, a shining light thought providing the cross which was kept alive by a couple of those in black and white before Willock would hammer home from close range.
Relief and delight in equal measure that all that effort gained something in the way of reward in this game.