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Newcastle escape with slender win

Spurs 0-1 Newcastle United

Sun 25 August 2019, 18:30|Tottenham Hotspur

A disappointing afternoon saw our unbeaten start to the season come to an end as Newcastle United left Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 1-0 win and all three Premier League points on Sunday.

The visitors scored the only goal of the game in the 27th minute when Joelinton produced a clinical finish to beat Hugo Lloris and, although we had a staggering 80 per cent of possession, we were only able to trouble Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubravka twice and duly went away empty-handed despite our endeavours.

The game took a while to settle into its rhythm, the stifling heat possibly a factor, with neither side troubling the goalkeepers as defences stood firm. The first moment of interest came in the 21st minute when Lucas Moura played a through ball for Heung-Min Son, making his first appearance of the season having served out his three-game suspension. He was challenged by Fabian Schar and there were strong appeals for a penalty but both referee Mike Dean and the VAR check decided it wasn’t one. A couple of minutes later, Newcastle had the first chance of the contest when Joelinton held the ball up and found the supporting Sean Longstaff, who hit a fierce drive from the edge of the area which Lloris superbly tipped over the bar.

Similar to our last game at home against Aston Villa, we were seeing plenty of the ball without creating any real opportunities and it was the visitors who took the lead on 27 minutes. Matt Ritchie played a pass infield for early substitute Christian Atsu, who clipped a ball over Davinson Sanchez for Joelinton, the Magpies striker taking a touch and drilling low into the corner for his first goal for the club. We almost drew level six minutes later, Kyle Walker-Peters sending over a deep cross which was volleyed goalwards by Son but Dubravka was equal to the effort and seven minutes later, the South Korean international showed great footwork to drift past a defender only to drag his shot wide. The first half concluded with us on the offensive, Harry Kane getting to the byline and crossing to the back post, Paul Dummett’s glancing touch falling to Lucas but, slightly off balance, he poked wide and we went in behind at the interval.

There wasn’t any real difference to the game in the opening exchanges of the second half, as we pushed Newcastle back without making a real impression on their defence, while the visitors had a good sight of goal when Atsu found Joelinton with a deep cross but his volley bounced tamely through to Lloris.

When you play against a team that stay at the back with five defenders and a midfield very deep, it’s difficult to find some space.

Moussa Sissoko

A double substitution was made just after the hour mark with Giovano Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen replacing Erik Lamela and Walker-Peters respectively and that just further enhanced our control of the ball in Newcastle’s half as we prodded and probed in search of the equaliser. With the Magpies’ packed defence, we tried our luck from distance a couple of times but Lo Celso dragged wide and Son’s effort deflected through to Dubravka before VAR was called upon again to check for another penalty in our favour. A coming together in the area between Jamaal Lascelles and Kane certainly looked clumsy from the Newcastle defender, but again nothing was awarded.

Then, when we did find a way through in the 81st minute, Moussa Sissoko’s cross fell to Lucas 10 yards out but he fired over the bar. It was very much one-way traffic but Newcastle did relieve the pressure with a late counter, Joelinton setting up Almiron whose effort flicked off Danny Rose for a corner which came to nothing. But normal service was soon restored as we laid siege to the Magpies' goal, except that we just couldn’t find that one opportunity. Eriksen produced a curling effort that Dubravka tipped wide and then came the moment that we’d waited for, Lucas sliding a lovely pass inside the defender for Sissoko whose low cross found Kane on the edge of the six-yard box, but he failed to connect properly and the danger was cleared, with the final whistle sounding moments later.

Key moment

There were a couple of moments which, had they gone our way, could have been key to the game, not least the VAR decision which we didn’t get when Lascelles and Kane came together in the area nor Kane’s uncharacteristic miss in the dying seconds. But the pivotal moment can only be the winning only goal, Joelinton opening his account for his new club with a composed finish in the 27th minute.

Mauricio's view

Manager Mauricio Pochettino lamented: "We need to be better and we should do better. In this type of game when you have the possession and dominate, you cannot concede this type of goal and then you are going to be close to the win. But when you concede you provide the belief to the opponent and then it’s difficult because the Premier League is very tough.

"The opponent got a lot of criticism after (their defeat to) Norwich, but they came here and they were more aggressive than us, that is true."

Reaction on Spurs TV

Spurs 0-1 Newcastle United

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Walker-Peters (Eriksen 62), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose (Davies 88), Winks, Sissoko, Lucas, Lamela (Lo Celso 62), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Vertonghen, Dier, Skipp.

Newacstle (4-5-1): Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Lascelles (c) (Fernandez 82), Dummett, Almiron, Hayden, Longstaff, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 17), Ritchie, Joelinton (Muto 87). Substitutes (not used): Darlow, Manquillo, Shelvey, Willems.

Match data

Goal: Newcastle – Joelinton 27.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Winks, Rose; Newcastle – Ritchie, Joelinton.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Sunny, gentle breeze, 32 degrees.

Attendance: 59,245.