Sunday 16 October 4pm 2011 (Sky Sports)
Newcastle United 2 (Ba 48, Ameobi 86)
“It was one of those that you just try and get on target. Obviously the angle wasn’t great, but I’ve caught it and it’s hit the back of the net before Brad Friedel’s even dived. It’s one of those shots you hit probably one in 50 times. It’s obviously come at a good time for us when we were pushing for the equaliser”. Shola Ameobi
From the kick-off it looked like United were affording Tottenham a bit too much respect. With the midfield sitting deep there seemed to be a bit too much concern about a flash of Modric brilliance, or a wariness of Footballer of the Year Scott Parker (who still seems like he just runs in little circles before passing it sideways to me) as opposed to smashing them in the face with our own game.
After 20 subdued minutesNewcastlestarted to get a grip on the game. Tiote was outstanding as ever, breaking up everything Spurs tried to do through the middle and Jonas, for me having his best season to date in our colours, proved a willing outlet as ever. The front two seemed slightly sluggish and isolated though, with no real chances. Still, goal-less at half-time would do, given our tendency to come out stronger in the second period. It didn’t turn out like that unfortunately.
With 5 minutes to the break Cabaye had his pocket picked in midfield andLivermore’s knock on saw Adebayor scampering clear of the pursuing Steven Taylor.Taylorlaunched a leg out which Adebayor may or may not have dived over. After a long deliberation, the ref pointed to the spot, United had to equalise now after Van Der Vaart sent Krul the wrong way from the spot.
Equalise we did though, with the second half not two minutes old when Jonas destroyed Modric down the left and skipped into the box, drawing Friedel and half the defence towards him before cutting back for Ba to steam in at the far post. Friedel howked it back from behind the line but he was fooling no one.
The worst possible thing then happened, as Jermain Defoe regained the lead for Tottenham, spinning and snapping the ball inside the post 5 minutes after coming off the bench. Now not only would we have to suffer the bullshit of how our clearly superior opponents had put us in our place but the commuter-belt southern press would be worshipping at the altar of ‘Arry and his magnificent tactical abilities while pudding-face cracked awful gags and made smug remarks on TVs all over the north.
Incidentally, around about this time a few rounds of ‘you burnt your city down’ and ‘sing when you’re looting’ emerged towards the Spurs fans. I have to consider these inaccurate, as your typical Tottenham fan is a home counties based middle-class commuter, whose nearest local team has always beenReading,Oxford, Watford etc. On the most part they have little or no affinity to the area whose colours they wear, and are one of the many reasons losing to this lot is so bloody insufferable.
Ah, but we didn’t lose you see, Alan Pardew’s own substitutions were none too shabby either, with Ben Arfa and Shola replacing Ba and Best and instantly shaking things up in our favour.
The pressure paid off as Shola collected Cabaye’s ball to the left of the box and beat Friedel with an outstanding left-footed finish to the corner. We look forward to an impressive run of form, followed by some really crap games, then another few out injured.
The chances to win it were constant, the pick of which saw Captain Colo swivel on a loose ball at a corner. With his back to goal, Colo snatched at the shot and missed the chance to be a last minute hero yet again.
Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson (Davide Santon 77), Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best (Shola Ameobi 71), Demba Ba (Hatem Ben Arfa 71).
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Peter Lovenkrands.
Tottenham Hotspur: Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker, Younes Kaboul, Ledley King (c) (Sebastien Bassong 30), Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gareth Bale, Jake Livermore, Scott Parker, Luka Modric, Rafael Van Der Vaart (Jermain Defoe 64), Emmanuel Abebayor (Roman Pavlyuchenko 89).
Subs not used: Carlo Cudicini, Danny Rose, Andros Townsend, Giovani Dos Santos.
Referee: Lee Probert
Attendance: 46,420 (2,450 away fans)