United stun Spurs to claim first points of the season
Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle United
Joelinton’s first goal in a competitive game for Newcastle United was enough to wrestle all three points away from Tottenham and give Steve Bruce his first win as manager of the Magpies.
A composed touch and side foot finish would make the most of some loose marking from the Spurs back line just before the half hour mark, and United’s defence held firm at the other end to secure the surprise victory.
Newcastle had rocked up to Tottenham knowing that a 3-0 reverse would see them routed to the bottom of the table without a single point. In fact, even the win still means a place in the bottom three, for what that means at this stage of the season, given the black and whites are in fact just 2 points off a Champions League spot.
Bruce had shaken things up a little. Leaving Shelvey on the bench and playing what seemed more like a 5-2-3 with Saint-Maximin restored to the starting line up.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Lascelles (Fernandez, 82), Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Longstaff, Almiron, Saint-Maximin (Atsu, 17), Joelinton (Muto, 88)
Saint-Maximin would not last long however. Just 17 minutes in fact. A reoccurrence of his hamstring injury looked serious and suggest he’d been rushed back far too early.
His replacement, Atsu, would provide a crucial moment in the game with his pass cutting open the Spurs defence allowing Joelinton to cushion a ball out of his feet and hammer a left foot strike past Lloris from the edge of the box.
Joelinton’s performance was typical of those in black and white. Strong and committed with moments of quality when needed.
The home side would dominate this as a contest, controlling around 80% of possession. The action in front of goal would tell a different story. Both sides would hit the target 3 times, Dubravka equal to everything thrown at him. 6 corners each too demonstrates how effective United had been on the break.
Pochettino was disappointed with his side’s display. “We conceded and cheap goal and it is not easy to come back after that”. For Bruce it was the courage of his players that was the focus. “It is only the first win but we have seen some big performances today”.
And the Newcastle manager was right. Across the team those in black and white fought for everything. From Schar throwing his body on the line to Dummett’s man of the match display. No sign of any unrest in the camp that’s for sure.
The Spurs boss had chosen to leave Eriksen out of the starting line up with the player agitating for a move before the European transfer deadline. And a lack of quality in the final third cost his team in the end. Kane reduced to half chances, with only his fall in the box as Lascelles fell to the floor his significant intervention. Both the referee and VAR waving play on.
The injury to Saint-Maximin and, toward the end, Lascelles will be a worry. The fight and performance will give hope.
Bruce will now have to choose what kind of side he puts out against Leicester in the League Cup. With a game against bottom side Watford next weekend the horizon too it promises to be another big week for Newcastle United.