Tottenham kicked off against Newcastle on the first league game after Bill Nicholson’s 10th anniversary of passing. A minutes applause was a moving tribute to the true Tottenham legend. Bill wouldn’t be happy with the result though, a poor game gaining zero points.
Attacking Newcastle, Spurs were looking deadly in the final third, Rose bombing up and down the wing. Rose claimed a penalty after kneeing the ball onto Janmaat’s hand- which would have been a dubious decision if given.
Vertonghen took on the most speculative efforts as of late, even for Lamela’s standards. A 35 yard shot sailed wide. This highlighted how high Tottenham were up the pitch. Mason later on took a shot 15 yards closer to the goal, it too was not on target.
Three minutes later, Tottenham scored! After Chadli shoots, the ball is scrambled to Mason, who chips a beautiful ball to Adebayor on the back post, who made no mistake to head home the cross. This was after Tottenham kept the ball really well in defence, patient passing leading to the chance. The final 5 minutes of the first half seemed to test Tottenham’s defence the most. It was Dier to the rescue after Sissoko queued up for a shot. A crucial tackle left Sissoko calling for medical attention. Great commitment by both players.
The whistle sounded after a solid Tottenham first half. There was fluid, one or two touch passing that Bill would have been proud of. Perhaps there should have been a few more shots on target, but with one goal, Tottenham enter the second half with the wind behind them.
An instant reply by Newcastle in the second half. Within 6 seconds of kicking off the second half, a simple ball over the defence leads to Ameobi smashing it home. Spurs came out half asleep, Newcastle the complete opposite.
The tide had changed, Newcastle really causing the defence problems. Newcastle scored again after Eriksen ironically lost the ball. It was a perfect counter attack, a dangerous cross converted by a good header. Spurs had all the possession so far, but obviously not creating the chances to score. An Eriksen corner went straight in but was disallowed as it appeared to cross the byline as it went towards the goal. Kane later hit the ball into Krul’s hands from a well driven Rose cross. Eriksen later has another shot blocked.
Lennon fired over the bar after a corner fell to his feet. The time slipped away, Tottenham increasingly likely not to score. A Harry Kane driven cross was watched by three Spurs players, where someone really should have got a touch. Any touch on the cross would have ended up in the back of the net.
It was a very disappointed loss after Tottenham had so much more possession. It was clear though, that to win games, possession can be irrelevant. Taking chances and scoring goals wins the game. Newcastle proved that.
Hugo Lloris: Couldn’t do anything about the two goals, made some decent saves. (Average)
Dier: Made a ‘dire’ mistake to switch off and allow Newcastle back into the game. (Poor)
Kaboul: Strong as a rock, one tackle lead to the second Newcastle goal, but no one covered him. (Good)
Vertonghen: Read the game well with good tackles, calm on the ball. (Good)
Rose: Worked hard, countless crosses, provided invaluable width. (Excellent)
Capoue: Solid, subbed because Spurs needed more attacking force. (Average)
Mason: Professional performance. Excellent passing range. Committed and determined. (MOTM)
Eriksen: Good passing. Had many shots destined for goal blocked. (Good)
Lamela: Some good skill, commitment and drive. Could have released the ball earlier at times. (Good)
Chadli: Offered good width to help out Rose in the first half. Quiet second half. (Average)
Adebayor: Good header, hard work off the ball. (Average)
Harry Kane: Got some shots away (Sub-Good)
Aaron Lennon: A shot off target, few short passes (Sub-average)
Roberto Soldado: Could have scored, but it was a difficult finish. (Sub-Good)
Written by Declan Wiseman