Ah its good to be back! Premier League football returned this weekend after the lousy international period. Newcastle made the trip to the capital to face Tottenham Hotspur and recapture their form after two narrow losses to Chelsea and Everton.
Antonio Conte made one change to his Spurs side that faced West Ham before the international period as Emerson Royal replaced Sergio Regulon. Midfielder Jamie Bowden receiving his 20th appearance in the matchday squad this season. Eddie Howe making three changes to the side that lost out to Everton, A Saint-Maximin making his first start since February, Jonjo Shelvey and Javier Manquillo also being recalled to the starting eleven.
A huge roar from all around the stadium rang out as the the game got underway. Newcastle struggled to get much time on the ball during the first fifteen minutes of the game with the hosts having the majority of the possession (82%). Eric Dier had the first chance for the hosts just after the five-minute mark when Son whipped a cross in but the Spurs defender couldn’t keep his headed effort under control. England international Harry Kane dragged his shot wide just before the fifteen-minute mark. Newcastle had to wait until the 22nd minute before they had their first chance of the game, Joe Willock pounced on a deflected effort by Jonjo Shelvey but fortunately for the hosts Christian Romero was there to block the shot. Newcastle took the lead in the 39th minute when Fabian Schar powered home his free kick from just outside the penalty area which left Hugo Lloris looking dejected. Schar proceeded to run the entire length of the pitch to celebrate with the 3,000 travelling Geordies who once more show why they are amongst the most passionate in the land. Newcastle’s lead didn’t last long though, as with two minutes to go before half time, their defence once more let them down as they failed to deal with a corner and Ben Davies heading past Martin Dubravka who was attached to his line. Score at Half Time 1-1.
Tottenham started the second half in the same way they ended the first…with a goal. Within two minutes of the restart, Harry Kane whipped a low cross ball in from outside the penalty area and Matt Doherty who was totally unmarked, headed home. Newcastle almost equalised just seconds later when the ball fell to Chris Woods in the box but his half volley went wide. Things went from bad to worse for the Magpies as Spurs extended their lead just five minutes later, Kulusevski’s cross was found by Son in the box who calmly took one touch before slotting home. What happened next? You guessed it..Emerson Royal made it 4-1 to the hosts after finding himself inside the six-yard box and poked it home from close range. Joe Willock went close from a Bruno Guimaraes cross but his header sailed over the crossbar. Steven Bergwijn rounded off a dominant second half performance from the hosts when fellow substitute Lucas Moura played him through on goal and he made no mistake in tucking it away. When the fourth official announced three minutes of added time you could hear the groans from the away end, the added time probably came from all the time wasted from picking the ball out of the back of the net! Full Time Score: Tottenham Hotspur 5 – Newcastle United 1.
Sutty’s Full Time Thoughts: What is going on lads! Today’s result makes it three defeats in a row and well…we deserved it. Tottenham outplayed us in every area of the pitch day and baring one piece of magic, they made us look like a pub league team. It’s hard to single out one player’s performance for Newcastle that we can criticise when everyone has been equally as poor. Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have been unplayable today. I still think we are safe but Friday’s fixture against Wolves is a crucial one. Onto the next one!
What’s Next? Newcastle return to St James Park as they host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday 8th April in a 8pm KO. Tottenham are visitors to Villa Park on Saturday 9th April in the 5:30pm KO.
Tottenham Hotspur Line Up: H Lloris ©, B Davies, E Dier, C Romero, E Royal (80, S Bergwijn), P Emile-Hojberg, R Bentancur (74, H Winks), M Doherty, S Heung-Min, D Kulusevski (74, L Moura) , H Kane.
Tottenham Hotspur Bench: P Gollini, D Sanchez, H Winks, J Rodon, H White, J Bowden, S Bergwijn, L Moura, D Scarlett.
Newcastle United Line Up: M Dubravka, M Targett, D Burn, F Schar, J Manquillo (58, B Guimaraes), Joelinton (58, J Murphy), J Willock, J Shelvey ©, A Saint-Maximin, C Wood 69, J Lascelles), R Fraser.
Newcastle United Bench: K Darlow, P Dummett, J Lascelles, M Ritchie, E Krafth, J Murphy, S Longstaff, B Guimaraes, D Gayle.
Match Officials: Martin Atkinson (Referee), Lee Betts & Simon Long (Assistant’s), Graham Scott (Fourth Official), Paul Tierney (VAR), Sian Massey-Ellis (Assistant VAR).