Newcastle United earned their first victory under Steve Bruce as Joelinton’s first-half goal was enough to for the Magpies to beat Tottenham Hotspur in north London.
The Lilywhites have now won just four of their last 15 Premier League matches and currently sit on four points after their first three fixtures of the new campaign. Their conquerors remain in the relegation zone, though they are just a single point behind Spurs.
Neither side were able to stamp their authority in first quarter of the match. Nevertheless, Mauricio Pochettino’s men can feel hard done by after a dodgy lunge from Fabian Schar brought an abrupt end to Heung-min Son’s burst into the area.
VAR took a look and decided the challenge was fair, incensing the home crowd. However, anger in the stands swiftly turned to silence as Newcastle’s £40m forward Joelinton was afforded the freedom of the Tottenham penalty-box to slide a powerful effort down to Hugo Lloris’ right.
Lucas Moura looked set to level matters with the final kick of the first 45, yet skewed a rushed effort wide of the near post. He was the villain once more in the closing minutes of the encounter, the Brazilian scooping a shot over Martin Dubravka’s crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Despite his wild attempts, the forward will not take the brunt of criticism from Lilywhites supporters. Instead, VAR shall be the target of their lamentations.
With a quarter of an hour left to play in north London, Harry Kane tried to get on the end of a cute through ball, only to be tripped by the stumbling Jamaal Lascelles. It seemed a clear-cut spot-kick, but Spurs’ claims were again waved away after a referral.
Key Talking Point
Consistency – there’s none of it at Spurs. A first-rate display away to Manchester City secured an improbable point for Pochettino, yet an equally improbable loss at home to Newcastle will leave the Argentine feeling decidedly flat.
It’s a double-edged sword for the team. That unpredictability worked in their favour during a fairytale run to the Champions League final in 2018/19 as they hit form at random moments.
However, it should also have cost Tottenham a top-four finish in the league, with their rivals’ incompetence all that kept the club from dropping down to the Europa League this year.
Whatever it is – mindset issues or a lack of fitness – that is causing these lapses for the Lillywhites, their coach needs to address the problem now. This has gone on too long and it’s preventing them from reaching the next level.
Starting XI: Lloris (5), Walker-Peters (6), Alderweireld (6), Sanchez (4), Rose (7); Winks (5), Sissoko (6); Son (7*), Lamela (6), Moura (6); Kane (5).
Substitutes: Lo Celso (6), Erikson (5), Davies (N/A).
STAR MAN – Heung-min Son
Lacklustre and lacking quality, none of the Tottenham players were remotely close to being named Man of the Match.
Still, the returning Son is worthy of a mention for his tireless efforts and purposeful runs at the Newcastle backline. Had those around him shown such heart and determination, they would likely still have their unbeaten tag in the 2019/20 Premier League.
Newcastle haven’t won an away game against the top 6 since they came back into the Premier League!
Spurs: Hold my beer.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 25, 2019
Sanchez simply not checking his shoulder allowing Joelinton to get in behind. Love Sanchez but that’s so poor from him
— MoussaSissokoTheGoat (@clinicalsissoko) August 25, 2019
Key Talking Point
The northerners looked to be in serious trouble at the start of this campaign, with their 3-1 failure at Norwich City of particular concern. However, the most pressing issue was surely the lack of involvement for record-signing Joelinton in that defeat, as well as the 1-0 loss versus Arsenal.
Now, the Toon Army are beginning to see glimpses of the player he was in the Bundesliga last term. Goals have never been the Brazilian’s forte – though his finish on Sunday was clinical – with Joelinton instead excelling as a hold-up man.
He was a superb outlet for Newcastle when they were able to seize possession from Spurs, driving hard at the hosts and affording teammates a much-needed breather.
Starting XI: Dubravka (7); Schar (5), Lascelles (7), Dummett (7); Krafth (6), Hayden (6), Saint-Maximin (4), Longstaff (8*), Ritchie (5); Joelinto (7), Almiron (7).
Substitutes: Atsu (8), Muto (N/A), Fernandez (6).
STAR MAN – Sean Longstaff
Christian Atsu added energy and searing pace when he was brought on for the injured Allan Saint-Maximin early on, whilst Joelinton did a sterling job as the sole striker. Miguel Almiron is still yet to open his Magpies account, but he, too, gave everything for the cause.
However, the standout player for the underdogs was Sean Longstaff, who was involved in nearly everything positive the side did. He gave Tottenham no time on the ball, chased everything, showed a number of classy touches and was an inspirational figure on the pitch.
Cristian atsu > prime iniesta we’re winning the league
— Will #TeamBald (@willne) August 25, 2019
The Magpies are next in action in midweek as they welcome Leicester City to St. James’ Park for a League Cup second round tie. After facing the Foxes on Wednesday night, Bruce’s recruits have another home fixture, with Watford venturing north for a league game on Saturday.
The following afternoon, Spurs take part in the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium, the Lilywhites having won 2-0 the last time they played on Arsenal’s turf.