Two well-crafted first-half goals with some genius intervention from goal-line technology handed Spurs an opening match win for the second season running versus Newcastle (Spurs def. Newcastle 2 – 0 in last season’s opener). Here we discuss all the takeaways from the game.
Let’s talk Goals!
Jan Vertonghen had a great header on target (8 minutes), started by a cross from Serge Aurier, played on by Davinson Sanchez, which was pawed away by goalkeeper Dubravka. Vertonghen raised an arm in confusion, only to be quickly awarded the goal – as the ball when played away by the keeper had crossed the goal line by 9 mm. This is one of the few times where goal-line technology has come in handy where the ball only crossed the line in the air and didn’t actually hit the ground.
Literally, under two minutes from when that goal had settled down in everybody’s consciousness, Newcastle equalised with an absolutely fantastic cross from Matt Ritchie which was met by Joselu in front of goal (11 minutes).
However, something in the atmosphere suggested, that the Magpies weren’t convinced that Spurs were done biting. Visibly looking more threatening as the minutes rolled on, an unsuccessful attempt to move the ball into the box by Eriksen led a loose ball available for Aurier, and he absolutely pinned a cross onto the head of Dele Alli who placed the ball sweetly into the right corner (18 minutes).
Was Newcastle up to it?
Well, sort of, but not entirely. Newcastle tried a few tricks here and there, testing the Tottenham defence almost in a choreographed fashion at times. Some great chances from the Magpies – Mo Diame smacking one into the post that didn’t look like it would have been saved – A great chance missed by the Brazilian Kenedy played on superbly by Joselu (He was having quite a game) – Rondon, the assumed original starting forward, hit a shot that deflected onto the post. Standard stuff, nothing mouth-watering from Newcastle. Not lacking in skill perhaps, but self-belief that they could come from behind and sink their higher-ranked visitors.
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Serge Aurier – Both goals were resultant of his deliveries. He does tend to move forward, creating a vacuum in the defence, but his creativity is very gratifying to watch.
Jan Vertonghen – Solid, solid Jan Vertonghen. He’s like a tactical brick, he’s exactly where he needs to be and very difficult to slip away from. A goal from him too. Star performer of the day.
Dele Alli – It is so much fun to watch the England midfielder play. He has a delightful first touch on the ball and is almost committed to making the game more interesting.
Joselu – A bright spark for Newcastle. Former player of Real Madrid, Hannover 96 and Stoke City, he looked a little too hot to handle, especially some moments in the first half. Good goal from him today.
Straight to the point: No signings, can Spurs win the title?
It’s true Spurs haven’t made any signings, but who made this rule that it is mandatory to buy players every season to be a competitive team? Spurs have some extra players kicking about from some of last season’s buys who didn’t get to play much but have strengthened their claims to the squad with some solid pre-season performances. Not that pre-season matters at all, but it’s the chemistry that these new players have with the Spurs squad that makes the bench look like a battalion. Players like Lucas Moura, Serge Aurier and Eric Lamela are all show-stoppers waiting to shine. World Cupper Danny Rose is also an extremely talented player that is waiting to donate some of his genius to the team’s cause. That can almost be counted as 4 new signings. It can easily be argued, however, that a striker is very much needed. What if Harry Kane catches a cold?
Images via Guardian