Tottenham Hotspur 0 Newcastle United 1
- Mike Dean
Joelinton’s first half strike gave Newcastle United a first win of the season on their very first trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
The record signing’s 27th-minute effort – a well-taken low finish beyond Hugo Lloris – proved to be enough to secure head coach Steve Bruce’s first win since taking charge.
It was a committed, diligent display from the Magpies, who handled Spurs’ celebrated front three of Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min superbly to limit the hosts to only a handful of efforts on goal.
And Brazilian frontman Joelinton’s first goal for the club made it a memorable afternoon for the travelling Newcastle supporters, who backed their team with volume on a hot afternoon in north London.
United suffered an early blow just quarter of an hour in, when Allan Saint-Maximin – who was making his first start for the club after missing last week’s defeat at Norwich – was withdrawn through injury and replaced by Christian Atsu, who himself had only just returned to full fitness.
The hosts dominated possession early on nd saw a penalty appeal waved away by Mike Dean when Son was challenged by Fabian Schär in the box, but it was Bruce’s men who carved out the first real scoring opportunity. Schär’s long ball found Joelinton who picked out Sean Longstaff on the run, and his fierce drive was tipped just over by Lloris.
And just before the half hour mark, with the visitors beginning to get into their stride, they struck. Atsu created it with a superb lofted pass which caught the Spurs backline out, and Joelinton took the ball down and slotted home his first goal for the club with aplomb.
At the other end, Dúbravka was required to palm away Son’s volley and only a terrifically-timed intervention from Paul Dummett prevented Moura from nodding home an Erik Lamela cross at the back post.
In the half’s final action, Moura turned the ball wide of the upright with Dúbravka beaten, and after the restart the same pattern of play resumed: Spurs with much of the ball, but Newcastle, with Atsu and Miguel Almirón as the outlets on the flanks, eager to counter.
But Mauricio Pochettino’s side – Champions League finalists last term – found it tough to break down a compact Newcastle, who were organised and disciplined in their own half. Christian Eriksen and Giovani Lo Celso were summoned from the bench by the hosts, but neither were able to pick Newcastle’s defensive lock.
Spurs saw another penalty appeal denied by VAR when Kane, who was kept quiet throughout, went down under pressure from Jamaal Lascelles, while Moura somehow missed the target when Moussa Sissoko’s cross ran kindly for him in the area.
In the end, though, it was the visitors’ stellar defending which earned them the victory, as they kept their shape to frustrate Spurs and take the well-earned points back to Tyneside.