Newcastle United moved into the top four of the Premier League table following a 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur.
Eddie Howe’s side were two goals in front at half-time via Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron. Harry Kane quickly halved the deficit in the second half but the Magpies held onto a big three points.
Here, our writer Jordan Cronin gives his take on the main talking points surrounding the result in North London:
How big of a win was that for Newcastle United?
JC: “Massive win and a big statement of intent, even if Howe is keen to play it down. We’re only 12 games into the campaign so I completely understand Howe’s approach but beating Spurs, who had won all their home games so far, in their own backyard will make a lot of people sit up and take notice. And you know what? They fully deserved the victory. Newcastle have had a good record at Spurs in recent years but have maybe ridden their luck in a large chunk of those wins. That wasn’t the case yesterday, and that’s why it feels so signifcant. Howe’s squad can compete with the so-called big boys.”
Was the Callum Wilson goal right to stand?
JC: “Yes, absolutely. It was just awful goalkeeping by Hugo Lloris who, rather than clear the ball first time, tried to chest it down despite Wilson closing him down. There’s nothing Wilson could have in that situation. He showed his ruthlessness and awareness to pick up the loose ball and loop it into an empty net. You always feel the referee and VAR will be pressurised into changing their minds at grounds like that but credit to both for sticking to their guns.”
And what about Joelinton’s two penalty appeals?
JC: “I thought Emerson Royal’s challenge in the opening 10 minutes was a penalty but could understand why it wasn’t given. But the handball just after half-time was a stonewaller, for me. I only say that because Dan Burn was penalised for something similar during the 5-1 win over Brentford. The decision not to award Joelinton a spot-kick almost cost Newcastle after Harry Kane pulled one back moments later but thankfully, United showed the composure and resilience to see the game out.”
Who was your player of the match against Spurs?
JC: “A tough choice, because you could give it to anyone really. Nick Pope pulled off two outstanding saves from Heung-min Son and Harry Kane before Newcastle took a 2-0 lead. You’ve then got Fabian Schar and Sven Botman, who again showed their class, especially the latter who continues to live up to his Rolls Royce tag. Bruno Guimaraes made an incredible effort to play following the birth of his baby boy Matteo on Friday, while Sean Longstaff covered all sorts of ground and Joe Willock provided energy. Miguel Almiron scored another stunning goal and Wilson got on the scoresheet but for me, Joelinton was MOTM. He was switched from central midfield to wide left and what a workhorse he was.”
Never mind the top six, Can Newcastle finish in the top four?
JC: “Newcastle are fourth at the moment but I think they’ll do very, very well to stay there come May. That’s not me totally ruling it. If United’s start to the campaign has told me anything, it’s not to write this manager and group of players off. If this form can be maintained heading into the World Cup, it will certainly make January extra interesting because the club’s ambitious owners will not want an opportunity to pass them by. Top four doesn’t feel like a realistic aim yet but after performances against Man City, Liverpool and Manchester United this term, top six or seven absolutely does. Still, it’s early days, and this early season optimism is SO refreshing.”