Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham: Much improved Mags earn deserved point after late leveller

A much improved display and a result we well and truly deserved, with Joe Willock’s 85th minute goal earning us a 2-2 draw against Tottenham at St James’ Park.

Joelinton’s first half strike gave us an initial lead, but two Harry Kane goals before the break left us chasing a game we were the better side in for large parts.

However, we didn’t give up, showed the sort of fight and spirit we had none of at Brighton and were rewarded for that with five minutes on the clock as Willock smashed home via the crossbar.

The result leaves us three points above Fulham ahead of their 4.30pm kick off at Aston Villa. Their superior goal difference means they’ll leapfrog us in the table should they pull off a surprise win – although an away victory is entirely possible now Jack Grealish has missed out at the 11th hour.

Nevertheless, this was at least a performance to give us a glimmer of hope. It makes you wonder just why we failed to turn up at Brighton a fortnight ago and was a game we actually could have won if it wasn’t for bad defending and a few missed chances, but it’s a big point and much more like it.

With our 17 shots inside the area being our highest in a Premier League game under Steve Bruce, there was sign of improvement – despite the initial reaction to our starting 11 being one of frustration and bemusement!

Out went Clark, Manquillo, Willock, Hayden (injured) and Fraser and in came Krafth, Ritchie, Murphy, Sean Longstaff and Gayle, as Saint-Maximin’s was forced to settle for a place on the bench after recovering from a groin injury.

Bruce also moved back to a five-man defence and made some surprise calls in doing so, with Krafth playing as a centre-back and Shelvey keeping his place ahead of Willock in a midfield that lacked mobility. That being said, some of the changes a treat and it was a performance that left most pleasantly surprised, with Ritchie, Murphy and Sean Longstaff all justifying their inclusions with strong displays.

Carroll picked up a ‘niggle’ to rule him out of the squad and Wilson’s absence was anticipated, however it was odd to see both Fraser and Fernandez left out –

The first half was a frustrating affair to put it mildly.

We started OK and were visibly encouraged by the fact Spurs’ defence looked so shaky, with them there to be got at down the flanks and leaving huge gaps between centre-back and midfield. Joelinton’s movement was stretching them, Gayle was a pest and Muprhy was having real joy whenever he got at Reguillon.

He then produced the first big moment of the match, whipping in a brilliant ball for Gayle. The striker’s header was well saved by Lloris, however his follow up attempt was smothered by the Frenchman. He had to score – but it wasn’t long until we were in front.

After Ritchie’s pressing charged down a Sanchez clearance, Longstaff latched onto the ball in the box. I initially expected him to shoot, but he got his head up and played a brilliant first time pass into Joelinton. The Brazilian let the ball come across his body and buried it into the bottom corner. 1-0 Newcastle and it was well deserved!

It was highlighted before the game that we’d only been ahead for 360 minutes this season, and we only extended that to 361 here as Spurs equalised in horrible fashion just 26 seconds after the restart as Krafth’s awful attempt at a clearance bounce off Kane and allowed the England striker to tap in.

1-1 and an abysmal goal to concede, leaving NUFC fans sat on their sofa with head in hands.

Sadly, it got worst just four minutes later. Kane was slipped in down the right hand side and a right-footed shot flew into the far corner past Dubravka. Gutting.

Yes it was a million miles better than the absolute collapse at Brighton, however it felt pretty damning that we took the lead and played ok, yet went into the break 1-2 down.

That said, Spurs were clearly there to be got at and there was no reason why we couldn’t get a result if they continued to look a soft touch at the back.

The second half kicked off and South Korean star Son came on for the visitors. We started on the front foot, however, with Almiron having a curling effort tipped wide by Lloris.

The Paraguayan was then involved at the other end midway through the final 45. A Spurs corner was met powerfully be Sanchez and looked destined to make it 1-3, only for Almiron to head off the line to keep us in it. A fortunate escape but the lifeline our lively display deserved.

A matter of minutes later, a huge chance to draw level was spurned by Joelinton. Krafth’s cross was a good one and our £40m man took the ball down well, but his side foot effort flashed wide.

Allan Saint-Maximin entered the field seconds later, but It felt like that was our moment to get back into the game gone.

Moments after Harry Kane away free on the counter and slid a shot off the near post and out, we broke down the other end and got exactly what we deserved. Ritchie hung a ball up to the far post, Joelinton did brilliantly to nod it back across goal, Almiron’s effort was partially blocked and Willock arrived to smash the ball off the underside of the crossbar and in!

The 5-3-2 formation worked surprisingly well. Murphy was a menace all game from right wing-back, with his pace, directness and tempting deliveries causing problems. Ritchie also gave us an outlet down the left and picked out several good balls down the line, benefiting from some lively movement from Joelinton and Gayle. Sean Longstaff also added a bit of bite to the midfield. Some tired passes threatened to let him down, however it was a display that proves exactly why he should always start over a Hendrick.

Credit must also go to Joelinton for one of his best all round displays in a black and white shirt. A goal, a key role in the equaliser, some clever link up play, several good runs into the channels and signs that he’s learning how to use his body to get between man and ball meant he was a constant thorn in Spurs’ side.

A big point and much improved performance – although we may be left wishing we picked up all three should Fulham beat an Aston Villa side still without Jack Grealish.

Next up, a relegation six-pointer at Burnley next Sunday.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

115 thoughts on “Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham: Much improved Mags earn deserved point after late leveller

  1. Bris – I understand what NUST are trying to achieve, but I think it’s pie in the sky bullish!t.
    It’s wishful think of the highest order & it will never come off imo.

    Sorry, I’m usually quite optimistic but just don’t ever see a day where the fans would have a say in the running of the football club in anyway, shape or foam.

    It was a pathetic, petulant comment from Rio Ferdinand, and really rather naive of NUST to take the bait.

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  2. I’m not a huge royalist, but I do admire the Queen. Sad day for her to lose her husband.

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  3. Sharpy17:
    Fede & Clark back and Lascelles out.

    Max & Wilson back as well – so really our starting 11 should be stronger this week.

    I’d stick with the back 3 though.

    ——————- Dubravka ——————
    -— Fernandez – Clark – Dummett —-
    Murphy —————————-— Ritchie
    ——— Longstaff -—- Willock ————
    ——————— Miggy ————————
    ——- Wilson —————- Saint ———-

    I think he’ll play Shelvey instead of Longstaff if I’m honest, but that’s how I’d set up.

    Sharpy man, if we cannot stay up with that team then I dont know what the heck the Steves and a Graeme think they are doing? May as well get jobs as bakers. Although Bruce would eat all of the pies so Greggs would go bankrupt.

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  4. That’s a good team. I would put them up against anybody except Brighton in the bottom half. I would put them up agaist Wolves. Not real wolves, Wolverhampton.

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  5. Have you ever heard the Wolver-ampton accent? It is not like Ozzy Osbourn. It is really strange.

    They say IM instead of I am. Goo-ing instead of going. I know, Geordie is differents as well.

    But IM GOOO-ING to the shop is a strange dialect. Not bad though 🙂

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  6. Eric – mock them as much as you like mate, but tonight I’ll be their biggest fan!! 😂

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  7. Sharpy17:
    Eric – mock them as much as you like mate, but tonight I’ll be their biggest fan!!

    I am not mocking them mate. Making a comment on the accent, which I do not mind at all. Gives them character.

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  8. I reckon 2 nil to NUFC against Burnley. They have stopped playing the stupid 2 false 10s and false/split strikers system and we seem to want to attack more. My only fear is Shelvey sitting too far back.

    I am not going to do a Ryder though who predicts a draw or a loss every week. I might check out his predictions. I think we would be on like 12 points.

    We are better than Burnley. So 2 nil despite Bruce, the Steves and a Graeme.

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  9. Sharpy17:
    I’m not a huge royalist, but I do admire the Queen.Sad day for her to lose her husband.

    Agree, mate, 73 years married, she’ll feel like she’s completely alone now, even when surrounded by people. Watched my dad go into a very quick decline after Mum died, from an alert man to a really confused one who stopped eating and drinking. He was gone 6 months after her. 🙁

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  10. Apart from that Loftus Cheek header this looks like a nil-nil. Hopefully Wolves can do a Villa on them.

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  11. I am going to be a bit critical of the Wraith channel and specifically the “Geordie Dentist”. He acts like he is an expert on all things NUFC takeover because he lives in the middle east. He lives in Dubai I think which is like 600 miles from Riyadh where the Saudis are. That is like me driving to Toronto which is a bit more than 500 miles. Do I say I know all things Canada?

    Plus he drinks about 5 pints a show. I wouldnt be having him with the DTs work on my teeth.

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  12. 70 mins and there hasnt been a shot on target apart from the VAR goal wrongly ruled out.

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  13. kimtoon: Agree, mate, 73 years married, she’ll feel like she’s completely alone now, even when surrounded by people. Watched my dad go into a very quick decline after Mum died, from an alert man to a really confused one who stopped eating and drinking. He was gone 6 months after her. 🙁

    Kim – it’s awful isn’t it. We lost my wife’s Gdad in February – he was 92 and he and her Gma had been together over 70yrs. Her Gma is still with us but on a daily basis wishes she wasn’t – I still haven’t figured out what to say to her, what can you?!.
    Can’t imagine having to deal with that level of grief & being such a public figure as well.

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  14. Eric – Fulham look the most likely to score here like mate. Wolves look as organised as us!!

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  15. Oh what a sucker punch that is for Fulham. I almost feel sorry for them coz they were definitely the better team tonight.

    But looking at Scott Parker & some of the players, they look relegated off that goal.

    If Bruce and our players don’t go all out to beat Burnley now they want sacking. I want to see every player in black & white running themselves into the ground on Sunday – coz win that game and I don’t see Fulham being able to lift themselves enough to come back at us again.

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  16. Sharpy17:
    Oh what a sucker punch that is for Fulham.I almost feel sorry for them coz they were definitely the better team tonight.

    But looking at Scott Parker & some of the players, they look relegated off that goal.

    If Bruce and our players don’t go all out to beat Burnley now they want sacking.I want to see every player in black & white running themselves into the ground on Sunday – coz win that game and I don’t see Fulham being able to lift themselves enough to come back at us again.

    Yeah, agree, it’s proper in our hands now, waste the chance and we want shooting

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  17. That “offside” was totally mental Olly. There has to be a way to give the attacker the benefit of the doubt. Offside was never designed to be judged on whose armpit is closest goal. It was to stop players just camping out in the opponent’s box.

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  18. Sharpy17:
    Oh what a sucker punch that is for Fulham.I almost feel sorry for them coz they were definitely the better team tonight.

    But looking at Scott Parker & some of the players, they look relegated off that goal.

    If Bruce and our players don’t go all out to beat Burnley now they want sacking.I want to see every player in black & white running themselves into the ground on Sunday – coz win that game and I don’t see Fulham being able to lift themselves enough to come back at us again.

    How can you judge who was worse? It was like watching 2 Steve Bruce teams play each other.

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  19. I think next season offside should be clear daylight between the players & VAR should be only used if a manager challenges a refs decision – each manager gets 1 challenge per half

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  20. West Ham’s Antonio is out for our game. I think Rice is as well.

    Come on you fat fck (Bruce), you are being given gifts to help us stay up.

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  21. Sharpy17:
    I think next season offside should be clear daylight between the players & VAR should be only used if a manager challenges a refs decision – each manager gets 1 challenge per half

    Something has to be done Sharpy, man. And get rid of Fat Boy Fat Jon Moss. He has to retire or be sent to play with Chickens or summink. Maybe lead kids around on Donkeys in Blackpool when it opens up again. Just not be a PL Ref and be 15 yeards behind the play all of the time.

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  22. That “offside” today was a total joke. Olly is completely right in what he said in his report. Those decisions could cost us a season in The Championship. Or more! It could mean years more of Ashley and Bruce! The anti-football.

    It is strange actually as Bruce was coached by Ferguson who played a very attacking brand of football, except against Pep’s Barca.

    Is that probably the best team ever? Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol?

    Probably not… in 2013-14 they added Neymar.

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  23. Sharpy17: Kim – it’s awful isn’t it.We lost my wife’s Gdad in February – he was 92 and he and her Gma had been together over 70yrs.Her Gma is still with us but on a daily basis wishes she wasn’t – I still haven’t figured out what to say to her, what can you?!.
    Can’t imagine having to deal with that level of grief & being such a public figure as well.

    Sharpy, we tried everything to help Dad, took him out to places he loved and spent more time with him. It was heartbreaking when he would forget she was gone. I might sit in her old chair and he would say things like, your mum will want that in a minute mind, like she was still here.
    Overnight his grief manifested itself almost like a form of dementia, he forgot how to tell the time and even when his favorite tv show was on and when we did put it on he got zero enjoyment from it, it was heartbreaking to watch. I guess he just wanted to be with her and he just stopped living.

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  24. Sharpy, Grief is a funny thing, you think you are coping pretty well then it will suddenly hit you at the oddest moment, a little thing can set you off.

    I used to take my Dad to a fish and chip cafe/take away for a fish and chip lunch once a week, we always sat at the same table because you could fit his wheelchair round it easily.
    About two years after he passed I went into the takeaway part of the cafe, i hadn’t been back in the cafe since he passed. Anyway I ordered my food and sat and waited, I looked over and my eyes set on that table we used to sit at, well, trying to hold back that all too familiar sting in the eyes was almost impossible. I grabbed my order, almost ran to my car, got in and broke down. That was 2 years after he passed, cannot imagine what a partner of 70 odd years feels like.

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  25. Back to football. Concerned about Lascelles likely out for rest of season with stress fracture to foot and apparently Fraser another 3 weeks lay off with the groin ! So frustrating that he played brilliant for Scotland yet we have yet to see the best of him in black and white.
    I’m guessing he’ll make Shelvey captain tomorrow then 🙄 , just hope Hendricks stays dropped.
    Also worried that because Fulham lost he will take a don’t lose approach rather than a must win one.
    We have the perfect chance to go 6 clear and really put a dent in Fulhams hopes.

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  26. kimtoon:
    Back to football. Concerned about Lascelles likely out for rest of season with stress fracture to foot and apparently Fraser another 3 weeks lay off with the groin ! So frustrating that he played brilliant for Scotland yet we have yet to see the best of him in black and white.
    I’m guessing he’ll make Shelvey captain tomorrow then , just hope Hendricks stays dropped.
    Also worried that because Fulham lost he will take a don’t lose approach rather than a must win one.
    We have the perfect chance to go 6 clear and really put a dent in Fulhams hopes.

    I said earlier in this thread that Fraser would be out for a month. As soon as they say groin, I think at least a month! I have been following football for long enough to know how long injuries last and not to believe the BS that coaches first come out with.

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  27. Kimtoon: we know Shelvey will be Captain. If he can get up the pitch and do the simple stuff we may be OK. No Jonjo Hollywood!!! Who takes the corners and free kicks though with Fraser out? Shelvey is a nightmare at set pieces and Sean Longstaff hits the 1st man as well.

    Almiron?

    I would let Schar do it if he wasnt injured as well or Lejeune if he wasnt on loan 🙂

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  28. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, Grief is a funny thing, you think you are coping pretty well then it will suddenly hit you at the oddest moment, a little thing can set you off.

    I used to take my Dad to a fish and chip cafe/take away for a fish and chip lunch once a week, we always sat at the same table because you could fit his wheelchair round it easily.
    About two years after he passed I went into the takeaway part of the cafe, i hadn’t been back in the cafe since he passed. Anyway I ordered my food and sat and waited, I looked over and my eyes set on that table we used to sit at, well, trying to hold back that all too familiar sting in the eyes was almost impossible. I grabbed my order, almost ran to my car, got in and broke down. That was 2 years after he passed, cannot imagine what a partner of 70 odd years feels like.

    Kim – it’s a double edged sword really isn’t it. You’re blessed to have had that time & relationship, but the best memories hurt the most. Better to have had that time though I always think.

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  29. Sharpy17: Kim – it’s a double edged sword really isn’t it.You’re blessed to have had that time & relationship, but the best memories hurt the most.Better to have had that time though I always think.

    Yeah, wouldn’t change a thing and knowing i was adopted, makes the bond I had all the more special.

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  30. Eric, just hope Jonjo moves a bit quicker and cuts out the hollywood passes, he’s such a frustrating player.

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  31. Kimtoon: the problem is that I think Shelvey and Sean Longstaff can both do the same thing so it is like having 2 of the same player on the field. Longstaff looked much better against Spurs.

    When he first came on the scene he looked like he would be great but then his injury set him back big time. Or was it Doubtfire that set him back? Anyway, after Spurs he deserves another go at it. It got me excited that he might be the player that showed up in his 1st season.

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  32. Eric Sykes:
    Kimtoon: the problem is that I think Shelvey and Sean Longstaff can both do the same thing so it is like having 2 of the same player on the field. Longstaff looked much better against Spurs.

    When he first came on the scene he looked like he would be great but then his injury set him back big time. Or was it Doubtfire that set him back? Anyway, after Spurs he deserves another go at it. It got me excited that he might be the player that showed up in his 1st season.

    Agree Eric, lets hope he gets back to pre injury form asap

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