Posted on 13 August 2017
Second-half strikes from Dele Alli and Ben Davies gave us an opening-weekend win at 10-man Newcastle United on Sunday.
After a measured first half performance in the sunshine which saw the home side lose two players to injury, the Magpies were further depleted when skipper Jonjo Shelvey was shown a straight red card for stamping on Dele three minutes into the second period.
From there, we did what we needed to do in order to get 2017-18 off to a winning start. After Harry Kane fired straight at Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal, Christian Eriksen, involved in our play in one way or another all afternoon, picked out Dele to slide home a 61st-minute opener, before left-back Davies popped up in a congested area to make it 2-0 seven minutes later.
Rafa Benitez's side had a little spell in the ascendancy with 10 minutes to go, but our team - which included young right-back Kyle Walker-Peters for the first time - kept largely out of trouble and it was only the foot of the post that denied Kane his 100th Spurs goal in stoppage time.
The headline team news was the first team debut given to Academy product Walker-Peters at right-back. The 20-year-old, part of the England side that won the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in the summer, stepped in after Kieran Trippier picked up a slight ankle injury in last weekend's 2-0 win over Juventus in our last pre-season friendly of the summer. Walker-Peters himself featured in every one of our summer warm-up games and was tidy in his endeavours at St James' Park as he became the eighth Academy graduate to make his first team bow under Mauricio Pochettino. Moussa Sissoko also started against his former club in attacking midfield, with Eric Dier in the holding role. Victor Wanyama and Heung-Min Son, who both missed action over the summer with injuries, featured as substitutes in the second period, while young midfielder Harry Winks, making his first competitive appearance since suffering an ankle injury at Burnley on April 1, was also introduced late on.
CHANCE: COUNTER-ATTACK COMES TO NOTHING - 6mins
The first period saw plenty of desire but didn't always match the intensity we've become accustomed to, while Newcastle suffered the double blow of losing defenders Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune to injuries. We had a chance to break the deadlock after six minutes when Sissoko started off a breakaway in midfield and continued his run into acres of space as Kane carried the ball down the left, but the striker wasn't able to pick out the France international on the right with a return ball and was dispossessed.
SAVE: ELLIOT DENIES ERIKSEN - 41mins
Crafty midfielder Eriksen, whose earlier free-kick found Kane but didn't trouble keeper Elliot, was willing to pull the trigger whenever he found space outside the area. After firing wide on 26 minutes, he almost engineered a breakthrough four minutes before the break when he got the ball back from Sissoko and unleashed a dipping effort towards the far corner, but Elliot made sure he got in the way of it.
Above: Mousa Dembele chases down Christian Atsu.
RED CARD: SHELVEY GETS HIS MARCHING ORDERS - 48mins
We received a big boost three minutes into the second half when Shelvey trod on Dele's ankle after a foul on the midfielder right under the nose of referee Andre Marriner, who duly brandished a straight red card. From there, it was one-way traffic.
GOAL: NEWCASTLE 0-1 SPURS - DELE ALLI - 61mins
Dwight Gayle did manage to force a save from Hugo Lloris from the left angle while Kane latched onto Eriksen's deflected ball over the top, but his shot-on-the-turn was straight at Elliot. However, our pressure told just after the hour mark as Kane played it short to Eriksen just outside the box and he lifted a sumptuous ball over the top for Dele, who timed his run to perfection and slid in to guide beyond Elliot.
GOAL: NEWCASTLE 0-2 SPURS - BEN DAVIES - 70mins
Deft movement, quick-thinking and a touch of being in the right place at the right time all played a part in our second goal on 70 minutes. Dele and Kane played a crafty one-two, Dele appeared to allow the ball to run into the path of the arriving Eriksen but it was Davies who ghosted in from the left side of the box to steer low beyond Elliot with his right foot.
WOODWORK: KANE CLOSE TO HITTING HIS CENTURY - 90+1mins
Christian Atsu and Ciaran Clark both went close for the home side in the latter stages, but we had the final chance - and couldn't have gone any closer to adding a third goal. After a purposeful burst by Son, the South Korean star laid one on a plate for Kane to the right of centre, but the striker's powerful shot cannoned back off the base of the far post.
"It’s a massive three points for us and we change the emotions here (at St James' Park) - if you remember, one year ago, a little more, we were really upset here. Well, we changed that in a very difficult stadium. It’s important to start with three points. It was difficult because the pitch was so dry, so to move the ball around quickly was difficult. They also played deep and looked to play on the counter-attack and it’s so difficult to find a way to penetrate that and create chances. We played better in the second half, it’s true the sending-off helped a little but okay, we’re happy and now we move on and prepare for a massive game against Chelsea next week."
"It was a professional performance. This isn’t an easy place to come and they played well in the first half, they made it difficult for us. Maybe they didn’t create many chances but they were compact and made it hard for us to break them down. We knew if we stayed patient the chances would come and we’d put them away. We were comfortable in the first half, we dominated possession but they still looked a threat on the counter-attack and the lads at the back did well to cancel that out. We knew coming in at half-time that we were playing well and we just had to wait for the chance to come. It did come and thankfully I put it away."
Newcastle United: Elliot, Manquillo, Lejeune (Mbemba 34), Clark, Dummett (Lascelles 7), Shelvey (c), Hayden, Ritchie, Perez, Atsu, Gayle (Merino 76). Substitutes (not used): Darlow, Murphy, Aarons, Mitrovic.
Spurs: Lloris (c), Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele (Winks 90), Sissoko (Son 58), Eriksen, Dele (Wanyama 82), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Carter-Vickers, Wimmer, Janssen.
Goals: Spurs - Dele 61, Davies 70.
Yellow cards: Newcastle - Ritchie 52; Spurs - Kane 31, Davies 86.
Red card: Newcastle - Shelvey 48.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
As voted for by our supporters on Twitter and Facebook: Kyle Walker-Peters.
It's the first ever Premier League game at Wembley next Sunday afternoon as we kick-off our temporary stay at the national stadium with an early-season meeting with London rivals and reigning champions Chelsea. We've come up short against the Blues in our last three meetings under the arch in various cup competitions, but a positive result will be the priority this time in our first home game of the 2017-18 campaign. Kick-off is at 4pm.
18 August 2017
There’s a clear desire among the squad to finally beat Chelsea at Wembley this weekend.
16 August 2017
The 2017-18 season is off and running and, to celebrate, Spurs TV has a new series of ‘In Focus’, where we invite first team players to watch the highlights of the weekend’s game and explain what was going on in their own words.
14 August 2017
Dele Alli and Ben Davies were pleased with the timing of their goals when we caught up with them after our 2-0 opening-weekend win at Newcastle United on Sunday.
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