United would hope to capitalize on the impressive performance last week against Chelsea, whilst Spurs had the incentive of going level on points with Liverpool if victorious this lunch time.
Tottenham’s French keeper Hugo Lloris sat the game out following the head injury suffered during Spurs’ goalless draw last weekend at Goodison Park. The club have been criticized this week for their handling of the injury at the time and the decision to allow the goalkeeper to play on after sustaining such a potentially dangerous injury. Instead veteran Brad Friedel started between the sticks for the home side.
Newcastle unsurprisingly opted for the same eleven that beat Chelsea last Saturday at St James’ Park. Captain and influential figure Fabricio Coloccini was available for selection once again after missing the last few weeks with a groin injury, but he had to settle for a place on the bench as the in form Mike Williamson retained his place at the heart of the United defence.
Seemingly Newcastle would start where they finished last week and attack the opposition with confidence and belief. The first real chance for either team came from a Tottenham corner, in which Soldado attacked the cross but saw his headed effort go floating of the cross bar. Shortly after it would the visitors turn to go on the attack, with Yohan Cabaye’s perfectly executed ball down the left flank being picked up by Loic Remy. The forward found himself the filling of a goalkeeper and defender sandwich though as Spurs were able to block his attempt and get the ball away for a United corner.
In the 13th minute Yoan Gouffran neatly took the ball from Paulinho deep in Tottenham’s half and threaded the ball through to a running Remy who rounded Friedel and nicely finished to put Newcastle 1-0 up. The on loan striker has now scored seven goals in seven appearances for United since arriving From QPR – a stat that must be drumming up interest in the French striker who Alan Pardew will be desperate to keep hold of.
The home side were in shell shock and looked to seek a quick response. Former Ajax man Christian Eriksen was trying to make things happen for Tottenham and would of expected more desire from a team mate after drilling a dangerous looking ball into Newcastle’s box which was easily dealt with by the visitors. Pauliniho also saw his effort wildly blazed over the bar.
From then it became the Tim Krul show with the Dutch ace pulling off a number of world class saves. Watching the keeper reminded me of the days in which Shay Given used to save our skins time and time again. The keeper was truly an integral part of today’s victory. Tim was forced in to action when Soldado got his head on an Eriksen free kick, Krul athletically pushed the attempt over the bar and away from danger.
Newcastle did keep up the pressure in the first half and Shola Ameobi did have the ball in the back of the net once more, however the linesman had his flag up long before Shola finished and the goal did not stand.
The second half was all one way traffic with Spurs determined to win the fixture. Newcastle’s goalkeeper and back line would be tested and there was simply no room for error. Despite Newcastle leading at times it felt like they were hanging on a bit and would probably be satisfied with a draw. But credit to the lads they worked hard and stuck to the task of protecting the lead they had taken in the 13th minute of the game.
The only attempts of note that Newcastle had in the second half were from Sissoko who out muscled Vertonghen and tried his luck from a tight angle only to see Friedel comfortably gather the ball. The other was from substitute Papiss Cisse who’s rather ambitious volley went sailing over the bar.The hit man still awaits his first League goal of the season as his personal drought continues.
Krul’s services were required on several more occasions in the second period, noteably making a fantastic save from a deflected Sigurdsson freekick. Timmy was on hand to deny attempts from Andros Townsnd and Soldado as well as the bar coming to his aid from a Vertonghen header.
The game finished 0-1 to Newcastle on a day that will be remembered for the heroics of Newcastle United’s number one. Well done Timmy! It’s worth mentioning……….Krul made 14 saves in the match – more than any keeper in the top-flight this season.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote (c), Yohan Cabaye, Yoan Gouffran, Shola Ameobi , Loic Remy
Newcastle Subs: Rob Elliot, Fabricio Coloccini, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Gabby Obertan, Vernon Anita.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Brad Friedel; Kyle Walker, Michael Dawson (c), Vlad Chiriches , Jan Vertonghen; Paulinho, Mousa Dembele ; Andros Townsend, Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson ; Roberto Soldado
Spurs Subs: Heurelho Gomes, Lewis Holtby, Aaron Lennon, Erik Lamela, Younes Kaboul, Sandro, Jermain Defoe
Referee: Chris Foy