Newcastle United were far too organised for a struggling Tottenham Hotspur side as Steve Bruce’s men managed to steal all three points from their trip to London this weekend.
Joelinton’s first-half goal was enough for The Magpies to register their first points of the season as Spurs struggled to create enough chances to get anything from then game.
From Sean Longstaff’s wonder strike to Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury, which could have been avoided, there were plenty of talking points from this clash. But here are three things we learnt from this tie:
Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United – Talking Points
Mauricio Pochettino under fire
Tottenham Hotspur dominated possession on the night, but failed to test Karl Darlow consistently. Playing at home, Spurs started the game as favourites, but with the defeat, the club have now lost nine out of their last 15 games.
Spurs have also lost 14 of their last 32 games in all competitions, and the record cannot be associated with a side who want to end their wait for silverware.
Pochettino, in his fifth season at the club, does not have any silverware to show for. He did help his side to a Champions League final last season, but if the league record continues, the Argentine manager may well be under fire from the fans and the boss, making this a long campaign for the Lilywhites.
Steve Bruce’s effect on Newcastle United
Rafa Benitez had the Magpies play in an organised, defensive system, relying on mistakes from opponents and smart counter-attacks. Bruce has not changed too much in terms of playing style, but he seems to have given the players more freedom in attack.
The likes of Emil Krafth and Miguel Almiron were impressive on the right flank for Newcastle and this system seems to be more suited to the squad at St James’ Park.
Bruce also lost two of the club’s top goal scorers from last season, but seems to have a match-winner in Joelinton and playing to his strengths could make the Magpies a tough team to beat this season.
Bruce’s training and methods are already paying dividends for the club. After holding out Arsenal for a large part of the game at St. James Park last weekend, this result shows the progress the club have made despite all the negative talk in the summer.
While Joelinton’s goal was the winner, it was Jamaal Lascelles and his challenge on Harry Kane that made some headlines as well.
The Newcastle man seemed to have brought Kane down in the box late in the second half on first viewing, but Mike Dean did not see enough to give away a spot-kick.
Subsequently, his colleagues in-charge of VAR did not have enough evidence to overturn this decision. But with replays showing Lascelles did obstruct Kane, the decision certainly could have changed the course of the game.
Like the incident involving Rodri in Spurs’ visit to Etihad last weekend, on-field calls were not affected by video evidence and this inconsistency with VAR has given rise to a lot of critics.
Spurs did not have a great game irrespective of this decision, but they will certainly feel let down by the VAR after that incident.