|OPPONENTS||Newcastle United at Wembley|
|DATE||Saturday 2nd February 2019|
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Newcastle United 1|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Harry Kane (ankle), Dele Alli (hamstring) and Ben Davies (groin) are all still injured, but .
UNITED TEAM NEWS :
Karl Darlow (elbow), Rob Elliott (knee), Ki Sung-Yeung (hamstring), Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Mohamed Diame (hip) andPaul Dummett (hamstring) are all rule dout by injury, but new signings Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca are both fit.
|Premier League||Kick off 12:30|
|Tottenham Hotspur 1 (0)||
Son 82m 10s
Yedlin (handball) 66
|Crowd : 41,219||Weather : Bright, dry, sunny|
|Referee : Andre Marriner (West Midlands)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Simon Long; Mrs. Sian Massey-Ellis|
|Fourth Official : Lee Probert|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the West Stand in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Newcastle United :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
Lucas MOURA (18
Fernando LLORENTE 60)
7 Heung-Min SON (15 Eric DIER 89)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Rafael Benitez|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Fun88|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : puma|
With patience and an attacking verve that belied the tiredness in the legs form a recent hectic spell of fixtures, Tottenham kept battering away at Newcastle United's massed and determined defence until Heung-Min Son smashed a low drive from just outside the box to see it skip under the keeper's attempt to save to earn three well deserved and necessary points for Tottenham.
The Magpies were missing about five players, while Tottenham's line-up saw them without three of their first choice eleven. The weather was bright and dry, but the temperature was cold, although not cold enough to prevent ice sheets dropping off the Wembley Arch, some narrowly missing either side's players as they warmed up and into the match itself. Poch copped some on his head and Trippier was shocked to turn a round and see a pile of ice that had just missed his head,. Unsurprisingly, the safety of the players did not take any sort of precedence, especially with the Sky cameras in attendance.
When the game started the purple and navy hooped shirts of Newcastle were put into defensive action, with Tottenham pushing for an early breakthrough. Unusually attacking the home end in the first half, Spurs looked lively, with Son and Vertonghen working the left flank. The problem for Spurs was that when they got near the opposition's penalty area, their shots were blocked or they run into a brick wall of defending players. The best chance came on 15 minutes, when Eriksen's free-kick was cleared to Lamela on the left and his cross picked out Lucas Moura unmarked ten yards out. He rose to head it down but put it a yard wide of the near post, when really he should have got it on target. Jan was taking on the Trippier role on the left wing, with his cross bent in the corridor of uncertainty without anyone getting a touch on them, even the ones he put in first-time on the volley (à la Kieran). One did nearly pay off when the ball skipped through the box and Erik got his head on it at the far post, only seeing it hit the angle of crossbar and post. When the ball was played back in Lucas headed over, when he might have been better leaving it, with Son open just behind him.
Tottenham were indebted to Christian Eriksen for his defensive awareness, when he got back to twice block shots inside the penalty area when Perez and Rondon, when they looked well placed to score. It was a brief interlude form the ball being stuck in the Newcastle half, apart from hoofed clearances upfield to nobody. The chances came, although not often clear cut. Vertonghen scuffed a Trippier cross at goal, but it was blocked, then Sanchez headed over from a corner and next Sissoko drove a volley at goal from Trippier's corner and Dubravka stopped it, with the ball falling in front of goal, but not to a white shirt.
It was a one-way first half mostly, but there was the very occasional threat from Newcastle, which meant the defence had to keep on their toes, with Toby clearing up a lot of the intended breakaways.
The second half started with Newcastle looking more attack minded after Sanchez had headed a corner wide of the goal. DeAndre Yedlin took a moment off from defending to sling in a cross form the Newcastle right and Rondon rose to meet it in the box, heading it back the way it came, leaving Lloris flat-footed and grateful to see the ball rebound off his left hand post. Hugo was sharp to get down to his right to reach a low drive from Matt Ritchie ten minutes into the half. Referee Marriner was letting a lot of physical stuff go, with Lucas getting hit a few times after he had released the ball and there was plenty of pushing and pulling at set-pieces, which I suppose is what they call "part of the game" now.
Pochettino tried to shake things up by brining on Fernando Llorente, the hero of Wednesday night, for Moura. The feeling among us was that he would be used to tie up the central defenders with his presence and look to lay the ball off for others. There were numerous crosses into the box that Newcastle got away, as not many of them were where Llorente was. Yedlin had a miserable return, getting a yellow card on the touchline in front of the benches for handball, which saw Rafa Benitez have a bit of a meltdown. It was a shame a bit of ice didn't drop to cool him down !
With 65 minutes gone, only a goal-line clearance from Schar prevented Eriksen's flicked shot at the near post, after Son won a header in front of him from a corner from Lamela. Sonny struck a shot wide from a short free-kick before Lloris had to be alert from standing around in the cold to push a shot from Perez outside the box, as it was heading inside his left hand post. It was a fine save having spent much of the game unemployed.
When normal service resumed with Spurs on the attack, with blocked shots, crosses and a fine ball from a central positions 40 yards out by Eriksen that landed on Fernando's head, with no marker near him in the box. The striker is known for his ability in the air, but the header sailed over and wide, with him having to squint into the sun and losing the flight of the ball. With 20 minutes to go, a goal then would have settled a few nerves among the crowd. When Lamela went off with Danny Rose coming on, Spurs changed from four at the back to three and this allowed more scope for Rose and Trippier to push on. With Llorente up top, it also allowed Son to come from deeper positions, running onto the ball rather than being pushed wide.
From another corner, Spurs almost broke through with Fernando flicking the ball goal-wards, Eriksen heading it on and Ritchie just in front of the line, heading the ball away as the last man. The ball soon found its way into the back of the net though, as Tottenham's persistence paid off. Toby was 40 yards out and flighted a ball into Llorente's chest. The Spaniard knocked the ball down for Son, who was on the edge of the D of the area and the South Korean took a great touch to his right that sent Longstaff and Lejuene out of play, as they both were sent moving the other way. He then let go a low drive that went straight through Dubravka to bulge then et and provide Spurs with the lead with 82 minutes on the clock. It was a poor piece of keeping by the Newcastle glove man, who failed to get everything behind the ball as it dipped just before it reached him. The relief around the ground was palpable, as chances had gone begging.
It almost became 2-0 with three minutes left, as Llorente chased Schar back towards his own goal and the Swiss defender then played a short pass back to his keeper. Son was alive to the situation and nipped in, but Dubravka blocked his interception and the ball dropepd for Fernando, who poked it goal-wards, but wide. According to a numpty near me, Llorente couldn't score if the goalkeeper was by the corner flag and he was in front of an empty goal. Wonder if he had been there on Wednesday night when he scored the winner ???
The Toon tried to get something out of the game by going forward in the last few minutes, but Longstaff's long range shot was a long way over the top. And that was that. A difficult 1-0 win, but a win nonetheless and three more points that sees us jump over Man City into second place for the time being. Son is proving to be such a critical player for us and not just in the absence of Kane and Dele. Having come back from a long journey to and from UAE for the Asian Cup, he looks fresh and willing to give his all. Despite being shut out in the first half, Pochettino's tactical change opened up space for him to play off Llorente, giving him to chance to drive in the goal.
Lloris was on his game to keep out Perez and prevent another couple of breaks into the box by smothering through passes, perhaps earning his bit of luck with Rondon's header striking the post, but then Lamela's header at the same end brought similar disappointment. Newcastle were hoping for something on the break and played within themselves, perhaps protecting what they started with, but it allowed Spurs to pile attack after attack on their goal. The disappointing thing was the few saves we made Dubravka produce, especially when you look at the goal, which was a shot straight at him. Winks drove the team on, being busy all over the pitch, while Eriksen wasn't at his best, but kept looking for balls that would unlock their defence.
If we can keep getting results like this there is no reason why we can't be in the shake-up at the end of the season, but we still have all the other sides in the top 6 to play apart from Man U, with only Arsenal at home. We are good away form home, that will be a test of our progress if we are able to pick up points there.
Garry from Corringham
Jan Vertonghen played his 200th Spurs Premier League match.
Eric Dier made his 200th Spurs appearance.
Tottenham created a new Premier League record by going 29 games
without a draw.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Watford||0||Saturday|
|Leicester City||0||Manchester United||1||Sunday|
|West Ham United London||1||Liverpool||1||Monday|
|League Table 2018-19|
|12||West Ham United London||25||9||5||11||31||38||32||-7|
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||25||7||4||12||27||37||27||-9|
Position before match :
Position after match : 2nd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
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