Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 0
- Neil Swarbrick
Harry Kane’s solitary second half strike handed Spurs a narrow victory over Newcastle United at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Kane’s expertly-taken winner came after 50 minutes, but it was harsh on Rafa Benítez’s men, who had looked, for the most part, the better side.
Chances came and went for Ayoze Pérez, Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle and Jacob Murphy, among others, but the Magpies couldn’t quite find a way through in what was their first game under the arch of the ‘new’ Wembley.
Spurs were the first side to go close, with Christian Eriksen forcing Martin Dúbravka into a fine save, palming away the Dane’s whipped free kick inside the opening ten minutes.
But Benítez’s men were looking dangerous, too. Pérez saw a tame shot held by Hugo Lloris before Gayle was felled on the edge of the box by former Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko. Shelvey stepped up, but his free kick struck the upright and went behind, with Spurs’ French stopper beaten.
Shelvey was then involved as United went close once more. In was his superb curling cross which found Jamaal Lascelles in the middle, but the skipper’s powerful goal-bound header was brilliantly kept out by Lloris at full stretch.
With the Magpies firmly in the ascendency, another opportunity fell to frontman Gayle. It was made by Matt Ritchie and Pérez, who exchanged passes down the right, before the latter sent over a centre for Gayle, who nodded over.
Kane squandered a couple of half-chances either side of another Gayle effort, which was comfortably saved at the end of the first period.
But it took just five minutes for the England forward to make his mark after the restart. He combined with Heung-Min Son just outside the Magpies box, and when the winger retuned the pass, Kane found the top corner with a precise first-time effort which left Dúbravka with little chance.
Newcastle fought back, though, and a rapid break down the right from DeAndre Yedlin almost heralded an equaliser. His low cross was picked up by Dummett, who squared it for Pérez, but the Spaniard’s shot was scuffed. It ran for Matt Ritchie, who tried to poke it past Lloris and looked to have been upended, but Spurs held firm and when the ball fell for Dummett once more, there were too many bodies in the way.
Kenedy, on the final outing of his loan spell, pulled one wide before Dúbravka saved from Dele Alli, while Jacob Murphy was introduced in place of the on-loan Chelsea wideman as the visitors sought a leveller.
And he almost made an immediate impact, outpacing Davinson Sanchez down the left before cutting in and taking aim. His strike, though, cleared the crossbar.
It was, in the end, as close as a valiant Newcastle came to snatching a point, with attentions now turning to Sunday’s visit of Chelsea on the final day of the campaign.