Tottenham 4 Newcastle 1 – They got that vengeance… And then some
Tottenham 4 Newcastle 1 – Sunday 10 December 4.30pm
Reinforcements to a depleted United were incoming, with Wilson and Longstaff among the subs.
Any opponents starting with Richarlison as a lone striker gives further cause for hope, as has any visit to Tottenham since His Eddieness arrived.
So much for hope.
After six minutes of Spurs pressure, which could have been prevented if Gordon had found Isak with a simple ten-yard pass in the first minute, the same combination had a great chance to open the scoring. However, a deflection off the outstretched Davies stopped Isak making a clean contact. Joelinton had fired just over after a slick counterattack a minute earlier – but the pressure was building on the away defence
On 17 minutes Almiron cleared a goalbound header off the line from a corner, with his left foot, of course.
Spurs continued to press but were as wasteful as we were with the final pass.
In the 26th minute, Son isolated Trippier on our right, beat him on the outside and fired over a low cross, Udogie couldn’t fail to slam home once Dubravka missed it with his extended left boot.
Five minutes later, we should have equalised after an attempted Spurs backpass fell to Isak, but his pass inside to Gordon was slightly behind him, as was his pass across to Almiron. A right foot fierce shot was needed but, of course, he tried to curl it wide of the keeper with his left foot, weakly.
Spurs were winning the 50/50s and giving us little time to settle into a rhythm.
Son had Trippier on toast again after 38 minutes, dribbling past him and pulling the ball back from the byline to a criminally unmarked Richarlison on the six yard line. Not even he could miss.
Very few United players were up to scratch. Gordon looked either unfit or uninterested, Guimaraes was being bullied in midfield, Isak was toiling to little effect and Livramento was making no progress as an attacking force while keeping tabs on Johnson.
Miley looked what he is, a teenager facing seasoned international midfielders, while Joelinton’s close control was letting him down.
Almiron helped out the beleaguered Trippier a couple of times but the South Korean was constantly finding space wide on our right flank. Our centre- backs were vainly trying to stem wave after wave of Spurs attacks.
To be only two down at the interval was a welcome surprise, especially as another low shot flicked Dubravka’s right post soon after Richarlison missed another great close-range chance.
Half-time Tottenham 2 Newcastle 0
Spurs were straight back on the attack, aided by a ridiculous free-kick when Richarlison backed into an aerial Schar.
After only 16 successful passes in the attacking third throughout the first half, we managed 19 in the opening minutes of the second. We were still unable to test Vicario, however, even with Isak and Gordon swapping roles.
Guimaraes was lucky to escape a card for a two-footed sliding challenge as we tried to build some momentum.
From a United corner, Spurs broke and Lascelles was booked for pulling back the impressive Son in the centre-circle. From the free-kick, a long crossfield ball into the box caught Dubravka in two or possibly three minds. Richarlison gratefully accepted the invitation and stroked home the third between the keeper’s feet.
A minute later, Johnson crashed an angled shot off the inside of Dubravka’s right post with the shell-shocked keeper beaten all ends up. Wilson replaced Isak on the hour, with Longstaff coming on for Almiron. Gordon reverted to the wing but United didn’t test Vicario. Meanwhile, Dubravka made three more saves. Joelinton was booked for smashing into the back of a Spurs defender while trying to head a Gordon cross.
Hall and Ritchie took over from Gordon and Livramento on 74 minutes. Five minutes later, a free-kick from 35 yards out that Lascelles just failed to reach at the far post.
As the game became more fractious, Romero somehow escaped with only a yellow card after a studs first hack at Wilson’s ankle, followed by a kick with his other boot a split second later. VAR looked at it and decided a red was not the right card.
Trippier collected his fifth booking of the Premier League season, which means he’ll miss the home game against Fulham, for tackling Kulusevski and United’s day got even worse when Son broke clear. A heavy touch encouraged Dubravka to rush out but he went with his feet and brought down the undoubted man of the match, who was a class above any other player.
He drilled the penalty low to the keeper’s right to make it 4-0.
Krafth replaced Trippier and, as the game entered five minutes of stoppage time, United finally managed a meaningful shot. Spurs lost the ball on the edge of their box, Wilson slipped it inside to Joelinton and he fired it low into the net, to the keeper’s right.
It was no sort of consolation and there was still time for Wilson to make the score even more misleading. Seven yards out, he headed down and too near Vicario, who saved easily.
United were outplayed, outrun and outfought. Spurs were clearly seeking revenge for the humiliation at St James’ Park last season, which ended the stay of Lloris at half-time. They got that vengeance… And then some.
Stats via BBC Sport:
Tottenham 4 Newcastle 1 – Sunday 10 December 4.30pm
Udogie 26, Richarison 38, 60, Son 85 pen
Possession was Spurs 57% Newcastle 43%
Total shots were Spurs 23 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Spurs 9 Newcastle 3
Corners were Spurs 3 Newcastle 6
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Attendance: 61,171 (Newcastle United 3,000, less those who couldn’t get there due to train problems and the club refusing to allow them to transfer their tickets to other fans, without fear of punishment)
Newcastle team v Tottenham:
Dubravka, Trippier (Krafth 86), Lascelles, Schar, Livramento (Hall 74), Bruno, Lewis Miley, Joelinton, Almiron (Longstaff 64), Gordon (Ritchie 74), Isak (Wilson 64)
Karius, Gillespie, Dummett, Alex Murphy
Newcastle United confirmed matches to mid-January 2024:
Wednesday 13 December 2023 – Newcastle v AC Milan (8pm) TNT Sports
Saturday 16 December 2023 – Newcastle v Fulham (3pm)
Tuesday 18 December 2023 – Chelsea v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports
Saturday 23 December 2023 – Luton v Newcastle (3pm)
Tuesday 26 December 2023 – Newcastle v Forest (12.30pm) Amazon
Monday 1 January 2024 – Liverpool v Newcastle (8pm) Sky Sports
Saturday 6 January 2024 – Sunderland v Newcastle (12.45pm) ITV
Saturday 13 January 2024 – Newcastle v Man City (5.30pm) TNT Sports
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