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Newcastle v Spurs, 17.10.21


Newcastle scorers:-
Wilson, 2
Dier (o.g.), 89

Spurs scorers:-
Ndombele, 17
Kane, 22
Son, 45(+4)

Attendance:- 52,305

Referee:- Andre Marriner
Assistants:- Richard West, Scott Ledger
Fourth official:- Andy Madley
VAR:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistant VAR:- Dan Cook

Newcastle (4-1-4-1):- Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles (Capt.), Clark, Ritchie; Hayden; Saint-Maximin, Willock (sub Murphy, 77), S. Longstaff (sub Shelvey, 60), Joelinton; Wilson (sub Fraser, 77)

Subs not used:- Gillespie; Schar, Fernandez, Lewis; Hendrick; Gayle

Booked:- Longstaff (foul on Lucas Moura), Clark (foul on Kane), Hayden (foul on Lucas Moura), Shelvey (foul on Ndombele), Joelinton (foul on Ndombele)

Sent off (83):- Shelvey (second yellow card for foul on Reguilon)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Emerson Royal, Romero, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp; Lucas Moura, Ndombele, Son; Kane

Subs not used:- Gollini; Sanchez, Tanganga, Davies; Winks, Gil, Lo Celso, Dele, Bergwijn

Booked:- Emerson Royal (foul)

Spurs are the party poopers on an extraordinary day

St James Park, Newcastle

Thanks to Andy Park for capturing this image

In the first game at St. James’ Park since the Saudi Arabian takeover, it was always going to be very difficult for Spurs. It turned out not to be as difficult as anticipated. Nuno was able to field the same starting eleven as he had two weeks ago in a win against Aston Villa. Our South American players had returned in time to play, unlike those in other teams who had to sit out Saturday’s games. In addition, a club statement issued shortly before the official team news indicated that the two (un-named) players who had positive Covid tests recorded, subsequently recorded negative tests as the first tests had been false positives. Therefore, those two players (whose names as rumoured had been mentioned in my preview) were available.

The home fans were in super-hyped mood, and from Sky’s pre-match coverage you would think only one team were playing. There is no doubt the home players were fired up by the hot atmosphere, and perhaps by the knowledge they are all fighting for a place in the new PIF (Public Investment Fund) regime’s future plans. Spurs were not helped by a second minute goal, which only served to excite the home fans even more. However, Spurs soon gained control of the game, and retained supremacy until the closing stages when Eric Dier scored an unfortunate own goal.

The match was delayed by a medical emergency late in the first half when Sergio Reguilon brought an incident to the attention of referee Andre Marriner, and Eric Dier urged the Newcastle cub doctor to race to the stand opposite the dug-outs with a defibrillator. The match was delayed by seven minutes, with the players leaving the playing area until the casualty could safely be removed. The latest news available was to indicate that the casualty’s condition had been stabilised. Medical staff and Spurs’ players were applauded by the crowd in the relevant part of the stand when they returned. Reguilon in particular reciprocated the applause. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had experience of such an emergency of course in the Euro20 tournament in summer when Christian Eriksen collapsed. Spurs’ third goal was scored in the fourth minute of first half added time.

Steve Bruce managed his 1000th game today and was able to pick Callum Wilson for the first time since August 28th.

Spurs kicked off and played towards The Gallowgate End. They were soon a goal down however, following a good move and passes from left to right by Joelinton and Willock to Saint-Maximin at the b ack of the Spurs area. Manquillo over-lapped him and was available for the Frenchman’s pass. When the right-back crossed the ball was met by Callum Wilson who got in front of Romero and headed past Lloris. It looked ominous, but all would be well.

Newcastle were so fired up that both Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden were gently warned by referee Andre Marriner. Both would receive subsequent bookings and the Newcastle card count would be high, including a second yellow card for substitute Jonjo Shelvey who spent only 22 minutes on the pitch. Longstaff and Hayden’s first victims were Romero and Ndombele respectively, neither of whom are shy in demonstrating challenges to the referee somewhat dramatically. Emerson Royal has also developed this skill!

Spurs were slow out of the blocks, but Emerson received a ball from Harry Kane, hitting a cross which was held by goalkeeper Darlow. At the end of another attack, Ndombele had a shot blocked but the ball fell to Hojbjerg whose shot was held by Darlow inside his left post. Ndombele teed up Lucas Moura with a nice pass to his right, but Lucas drastically over-hit his cross, drawing derision from the home support. They would soon stop laughing.

Spurs’ equaliser was a great goal, and Eric Dier’s part should be mentioned as he sent a lovely long ball from his own half down the left wing for Reguilon who passed into the centre at the back of the area. Son made a nice run inside to the left of Ndombele, distracting a defender or two and Ndombele hit a right foot shot into the net to the left of the goalkeeper. It was Tanguy’s second goal of the season. Newcastle fought back and won a corner, but their captain Lascelles headed well over the target. Lascelles was returning after four weeks out of action.

Spurs went 2-1 up with Harry Kane’s first Premier League goal of the season. It is seven years since Harry took so long to open his Premier League account and that was nearly the start of his career. The goal came from an excellent ball by Hojbjerg with Kane just played onside by Manquillo. Harry finished with a beautiful, dinked shot over the advancing Darlow off the outside of his foot. He had to wait for VAR to approve the goal as the offside flag had been initially raised. “Reggie” was one of the first to offer his congratulations. The previously happy faces in the director’s box were now assuredly glum!

A Son corner passed across the area, and at the other end Oliver Skipp made an excellent defensive and saving challenge. Skipp is a fixture in this side now, and his presence gives Hojbjerg the licence to get forward, as he did for our second goal. There was some end-to-end football at this stage and Wilson teed up Saint-Maximin who pushed his shot wide.

Longstaff was booked for his tackle on Lucas Moura, who was full of running and plenty of skill. In truth there were good performances all round for Spurs today. Spurs settled into possession mode before Dier sent a ball to Son down the left channel, but “Sonny” over-hit his intended pass for Kane. Good skill by Ndombele inside the area on the left enabled him to reach the bye-line to win a corner, from which Lucas Moura’s header rebounded off the bar. Kane won a second corner, but this was when we had that delay for the off-field medical emergency.

That Spurs third goal was an excellent team goal with Lucas Moura and Ndombele combining to get to the edge of the area. Lucas hit a pass to Kane who was to the right of the box and his low powerful cross was converted at the back post by Son’s left foot shot. There was still time for Saint-Maximin to work his way inside from the left of the box, but his right foot shot passed wide.

Spurs had a free kick in the deep three minutes into the second half, and this was quickly fired forward to the left where Reguilon back-heeled the ball and Lascelles couldn’t help but concede another corner. Skipp got forward and passed ahead to Lucas who fed Son. “Sonny”’s shot was blocked, but he was offside anyway. At the other end Lloris cleanly held a cross from the left by Joelinton.

Spurs were generally keeping control, but I couldn’t help but want a fourth goal to ensure calm nerves on my part. I reflected upon that thought when Dier scored his own goal, but the play was generally in the direction of the Newcastle goal. Understandably we didn’t over-stretch ourselves. After 59 minutes Kane hit a good pass to Ndombele who was towards the left corner of the penalty area. Tanguy hit a good right foot shot just wide of Darlow’s left post.

Emerson got Spurs’ one yellow card for an incident when Mr. Marriner allowed “play-on” which led to Willock going down very close to the edge of the area with very little, if any, contact. Saint-Maximin hit another shot well over. Shelvey’s first yellow card was for a cynical foul ln Ndombele. Hojbjerg appealed for aa penalty when Ritchie raised his arms to a cross/shot. There was a long review by VAR, but no penalty. In a subsequent move Lucas Moura hit a shot over the bar. Shelvey’s second yellow/red card came when Son out Reguilon in the clear. Shelvey stopped him yards outside the area and must have been close to a straight red. Poor old Steve Bruce didn’t give him a look as he marched down the tunnel. Kane’s free kick was blocked.

The own goal followed a Newcastle free kick from deep on the right. My view is that Romero missed his header and the ball rebounded off Dier’s knee into the net. This gave the home fans and their team hope, but Spurs managed the added time very well with Joelinton getting another yellow card for a foul on Ndombele who played 90 minutes of a Premier League game for the first time since our last visit to Newcastle in April. Nuno didn’t use any of his subs and must have been resting his team for Thursday night’s game away to Vitesse!

With the benefit of TV coverage, and especially with regard to Newcastle, where away fans are accommodated in the “gods”, I have had a better view of the game. The downside was having to put up with Sky’s incessant Spurs-critical coverage, especially that of one of our former players Jamie Redknapp. On the plus side David Ginola was on their panel and significantly spoke from experience about the benefit of defibrillators and CPR.

Spurs have moved up to fifth place above Manchester United, Everton and West Ham – who we meet next Sunday. Arsenal would still be two points behind us should they beat Crystal Palace tomorrow night.

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