Mauricio Pochettino was a relieved man on Wednesday night.

His team perhaps deservedly qualifying for the Champions League but certainly not deserved winners over Newcastle.

Especially in the first half, Newcastle were by far the better team.

Rafa’s players carving out half a dozen chances but not quite having that luck and/or quality at the crucial moments.

As ever though, in football it is luck that always plays a part.

The pivotal moment coming on 14 minutes.

Moussa Sissoko trips Dwight Gayle on the edge of the box, right in the middle, a perfect position.

Jonjo Shelvey does everything right as his free-kick powers past Lloris, only to hit the post.

Mauricio Pochettino admitted how difficult the match had been, saying ‘It’s never easy when you have the pressure to win and play against a team that is free to run and make mistakes and play so deep, like Newcastle.’

Newcastle maybe just used up their luck in the run of matches that brought safety with still a month to go of the season.

A good performance but no reward.

Mauricio Pochettino:

“The pressure was for us and maybe it was not a great game.

“But to finish in the top four and maybe top three, we have to be realistic and be thankful to the players for their achievement.

“It’s a fantastic achievement.

“I want to say ‘thank-you’ to the players, first of all, because they have worked so hard to achieve this and big congratulations to our staff and everyone at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

“It has been a difficult season for the fans and they deserve big credit too.

“We knew about Chelsea (drawing) – Toni (Jimenez, goalkeeping coach) was telling me.

“It was difficult [against Newcastle] – it always is in the Premier League, there are no easy games as we’ve seen in the last few weeks – and the effort has been fantastic all season.

“It’s never easy when you have the pressure to win and play against a team that is free to run and make mistakes and play so deep, like Newcastle.

“In the end it’s job done and again, I congratulate the players.

“To be in the Champions League next season is massive for the Club.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Tottenham 1 Newcastle 0


Spurs: Kane 50

Possession was Spurs 63% Newcastle 37%

Total shots were Spurs 11 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Spurs 7 Newcastle 3

Corners were Spurs 6 Newcastle 4

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy (Murphy 71), Perez, Gayle (Joselu 76)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Hayden, Manquillo, Haidara, Merino

Crowd; 54,923  (3,100 Newcastle)

(NUFC instant fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)

(Rafa relates the ‘facts’ of the match – Read HERE)

(Chelsea game is now the £9.5m match for Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Newcastle v Chelsea now set for Live TV – Read HERE)

(Read the match ratings and comments on NUFC players HERE)

  • Dillon Tovak

    Those possession stats 😂

    • Kneebotherm8

      Just about even possession wise………50/50 I’d say………oh no sorry 63/61…….my mistake…….😂😂

      • Leicester Mag

        Clarko got a new job?

        • Kneebotherm8


    • MagpieG

      Possession stats are often misleading. The Toon had over 60% possession at Watford but last night was a much better performance, we had by far the better chances.

  • Mrkgw

    Great to speak with fellow supporters at Wembley yesterday. Have to say though, that the teams performance was dismal and offensively, we are as blunt as a tennis ball. Major changes needed (as we all know) if we are to kick on next season.

  • Paul Busby

    Didn’t think we actually sat that deep to be honest. Big mo was stealing it from their feet all over the park.

    • Kneebotherm8

      He had a canny game……..we were robbed I would say……….if only we had an end product in front of goal…….we’d have got a deserved result….

      • mentalman

        story of the season

        • Kneebotherm8

          Will it be the story of next season too?……

          • mentalman

            Probably, just with different strikers

          • Leicester Mag

            Eye we’ll sign Spanish ‘wonder kid’ Hessus Wept from Racing Pigeon