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“Never underestimate Dele Alli’s importance for us”: Some Tottenham fans express delight after 1-2 win against Newcastle + Match Report

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Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur match report: Spurs beat Rafa Benitez’s men 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur embarked on the new Premier League campaign by beating Newcastle United 2-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

The home side certainly fought hard and Spurs were faced with some nervy moments as the crowd cheered emphatically for Rafa Benitez’s men. However, the north Londoners stood strong and walked away with 3 crucial points at the end of the game.

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen opened the scoring within the first 10 minutes of the game. Spurs’s lead was short-lived as Newcastle attacker Joselu equalized soon enough. But before there were 20 minutes on the clock, Dele Alli snatched the lead for his club again by scoring a screamer – much to the delight of the visiting Tottenham fans.

From there on, it was a tussle of power between the two sides. In the dying minutes of the game, the Magpies squandered some brilliant chances to equalize.

Even without any new signings, Tottenham looked quite formidable and played like a well-oiled machine. Midfield enforcer Eric Dier picked up an injury towards the end and he limped off. In his place, the young Luke Amos stepped onto the field, making his senior debut for the London-based outfit.

One of Newcastle’s players also succumbed to an injury during that time. DeAndre Yedlin seemed to be in excruciating pain as he walked away.

As far as the Magpies’ new signings are concerned, Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon tried hard to secure another goal to walk with a solitary point. But their efforts were all in vain as the visitors showed real intent and determination.

This is certainly a great win for Tottenham, considering the amount of criticism they received for their lack of summer transfer activity. For the time being though, Mauricio Pochettino and his men have enjoyed the last laugh.

Next week, Newcastle must travel to face newly-promoted outfit Cardiff City, whereas Tottenham will play their London rivals Fulham at home.

Meanwhile, Twitter was alight as ecstatic Spurs fans displayed their happiness. Here are some of the best reactions:

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Brighton and Hove Albion

3 moments when VAR came into play in gameweek 3 of the Premier League including Tottenham’s game-changing call

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3 moments when VAR came into play in gameweek 3 of the Premier League

Some lacklustre refereeing by the officials in the Premier League last season led to large sections of the fans and media calling for the introduction of the VAR system in the English top-flight, with a view to removing the incorrect decisions.

However, there hasn’t been any shortage of controversy following the introduction of technology since the start of the 2019-20 season, with several fans, pundits and players taking to their social media accounts to criticize the VAR. 

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Prior to its introduction in the Premier League, it has been seen in the past that the VAR system is by no means completely foolproof, given that it led to some ridiculous decisions at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia last summer and also in the Champions League, where some calls completely altered the balance of the game. 

It will be interesting to see as to how the fans in the Premier League react when the VAR plays a part in the high-octane encounters later on in the season but for now, let us take a look at three controversial moments from Round 3.

 1. David Silva’s penalty appeal against Bournemouth

Man City picked up three points on their trip to the south coast with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth but that scoreline could have been a bit more emphatic had Jefferson Lerma’s stamp on David Silva’s foot in the second half been given as a penalty by referee Andre Marriner. 

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With the scoreline 2-1 in favour of the reigning champions, Silva was brought down inside the box by Lerma but the referee, who was in no position to spot the infringement, waved on to continue the game before video assistant referee Kevin Friend came into play. 

Surprisingly enough, though, what looked like an obvious foul and a clear-cut penalty was not overturned by the use of technology, citing lack of conclusive evidence as to the reason behind the on-field call prevailing.

It is hard to slam Marriner for the decision given that he wasn’t in the right position to make the call, however, one cannot help but wonder about the utility of the VAR if the system isn’t empowered to take such blatant refereeing blunders out of the equation.

2. Controversial moment involving Harry Kane and Jamaal Lascelles

Spurs suffered their first major setback of the Premier League this term, as Newcastle United stunned Mauricio Pochettino’s side 1-0 away from home on Sunday.

Indeed, that result came as a massive shock to the home fans, although the majority of them are likely to feel deprived after referee Mike Dean declined to award them a penalty towards the end of the game. 

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Spurs, who were nowhere near their best on Sunday, had a shout for a penalty turned down when Harry Kane appeared to have been brought down inside the box by Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles, who was probably smart enough to make the incident look completely accidental. 

Lascelles slipped inside the box and just when Kane was about to get his shot away on goal, the centre-back went to ground and brought down the forward with his arm going across him. 

However, the video assistant wasn’t ready to overturn the on-field decision because he apparently thought there wasn’t a clear and obvious error made by Mike Dean. 

Accidental or intentional, Lascelles’ challenge did look clumsy and certainly robbed Kane of a certain goal, so much so that it could easily have been given as a penalty by another referee on another day. 

Now, the question is – does the VAR still need to look for clear and obvious errors even when the on-field referee isn’t in the right position to make the call?

3. Lewis Dunk’s disallowed goal vs Southampton

Brighton had a goal disallowed by VAR on Saturday in the 2-0 home defeat to Southampton, albeit it wasn’t the first time this season in the Premier League that the Seagulls found themselves at the wrong end of VAR calls. 

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Leandro Trossard had a goal ruled out against West Ham in the previous game and this time it was Lewis Dunk, who scored with a thumping header towards the end of the first half, only to have it cancelled after the intervention of technology. 

Dan Burn, who was in an offside position when the goal was scored, didn’t get a touch on the ball but he was clearly blocking the view of goalkeeper Angus Gunn. 

This incident came after Florin Andone had been sent off for a shocking studs-up challenge on Yan Valery and amidst all the blemishes of the VAR, these two calls on the south coast seemed to do justice to the introduction of technology in the Premier League. 

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Newcastle Dragon

How Steve Bruce masterminded Newcastle United’s brilliant 1-0 win away at Tottenham

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How Newcastle United upset Spurs with their resolute defending

Newcastle United hit the ground running in the Premier League this term in an emphatic manner as the Magpies stunned Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 away from home on Sunday to register their first win of the season. 

The 1-0 victory was Newcastle’s first-ever over any big-six opposition since their return to the Premier League a couple of years ago. 

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When Crystal Palace shocked Man United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday, many would have thought that they had seen the biggest upset that Round 3 of the Premier League had to offer. 

However, as unpredictable that the English top-flight can be, there was even more drama on Sunday as Steve Bruce’s side defied the odds and produced a perfect defensive display that spoke of pure resilience and industry.

Having lost back-to-back games against Arsenal and Norwich City, even the most ardent Newcastle fan wouldn’t have given the Magpies a chance of coming away with anything against Spurs away from home. 

Joelinton had other ideas though, and the Brazilian’s first Premier League goal proved to be a golden one. From Newcastle’s perspective, he couldn’t have scored at a better time. 

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Indeed, Joelinton grabbed the headlines with his well-taken winner but he wasn’t the only one who starred in the fascinating 1-0 victory. Truth be told, it was Newcastle’s defensive organisation, discipline and pure resilience at the back that earned them a coveted victory over a top-six opposition. 

Steve Bruce fielded a compact 5-4-1 formation to shut the doors on a Spurs side that boasted of the likes of Harry Kane, Heun-min Son and Lucas Moura in the attacking ranks.

As a matter of fact, those tactics were reminiscent of the ‘park the bus’ approach deployed by Rafael Benitez against top-six opposition in the Premier League last season. 

Benitez’s ultra-defensive tactics against the big clubs made it difficult for them to create chances and find openings, and Bruce followed the path used by his predecessor to good effect.

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In what proved to be a battle of creativity, innovation and relentlessness against discipline, shape and defensive organisation, Newcastle came out on top after a long and hard tussle, as Steve Bruce’s side successfully prevented Spurs from scoring and preserved their lead. 

The tactical part

Bruce might have fielded two wing-backs in Matt Ritchie and Emil Krafth in his back-three system, but realistically, it was more of a straight back-five in front of a midfield-four featuring Issac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin (replaced by Christian Atsu in the first half after an injury).

While Longstaff and Hayden closed down the spaces between the lines in the midfield, Ritchie and Krafth shut out the likes of Son and Moura in the wide areas, thus cutting the supply lines for the visitors.

The main part of the defending, though, was done by the centre-back trio of Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles, led from the front by the man with the captain’s armband. 

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Interestingly, the most impressive thing about Newcastle’s defending was their organisation, and the fact that they defended well as a unit made it all the more difficult for Spurs to make any real inroads. 

Along with the defenders, the front trio of Almiron, Joelinton and Atsu spent most of the time inside their own half, providing extra protection to their counterparts at the back.

In other words, Newcastle’s defensive performance emphasized the need for the attackers to track back and join the backline in order to make the shape more compact.

Looking at the numbers, Spurs had 81% of the possession on Sunday but Newcastle’s impenetrable defensive wall meant that the Lilywhites were only able to get 2 of their 17 attempts on target. 

Son, for once, called Martin Dubravka into action in the first half but that was just about it as the hosts seemingly lacked the sharpness and the creativity to find a way to score.

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Lucas Moura missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise towards the end of the game and things could have been different had the VAR adjudged Lascelles’ dive across Harry Kane inside the box to be a penalty. However, in the end, Pochettino’s side didn’t have enough in the locker. 

The likes of Jamaal Lascelles (10 clearances, 3 aerial duels), Dummett (13 clearances, 3 aerial duels) and Schar (7 clearances, 4 tackles and 2 interceptions) all displayed incredible levels of concentration and composure at the back, and those numbers reveal that they pretty much dealt with everything that Spurs hurled at them. 

The Newcastle fans should be happy with the character and the mentality that the team showed on Sunday and Bruce, who was a centre-back himself during his playing days, got his tactics absolutely spot on.

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Arsenal

Winners and Losers from gameweek 3 of the Premier League including Liverpool and Tottenham

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Winners and Losers from gameweek 3 of the Premier League including Liverpool and Tottenham

The 2019-20 season of the Premier League has already witnessed a bright start and there was no shortage of drama and excitement in Round 3, as large sections of the fans got their money’s worth courtesy of some top-notch entertaining football.

Round 3 kicked off on Friday, with Aston Villa registering a 2-0 victory over Everton at home, their first victory in the Premier League this term following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Spurs and Bournemouth. 

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Jota’s delightful through ball set up the opener for Wesley, who finally hit the ground running in English football with a cool and composed finish, whilst substitute Anwar El Ghazi netted the second in injury-time to rub salt on Everton’s wounds.

Meanwhile, Chelsea made the trip to Norwich City in pursuit of their first victory in the Premier League this season and Frank Lampard left Carrow Road with a big smile on his face.

After a 4-0 humiliation against Man United on the opening day and a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Leicester City, Lampard was under pressure to guide his team to a much-awaited victory in the league and a brace from Tammy Abraham coupled with Mason Mount’s second goal of the campaign propelled the Blues to a thrilling 3-2 win against the Canaries. 

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Daniel Farke, though, should be happy with his team’s performance and whilst goals from Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell weren’t enough to earn Norwich a point following an impressive victory against Newcastle United, they should take a lot of heart from a resilient team performance, nevertheless. 

Elsewhere, West Ham registered their first three points of the season away at Watford, as mark Noble’s early penalty and Sebastien Haller’s second-half brace propelled the Hammers to a 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road.

Watford, though, will be bitterly disappointed for failing to come away with something from a home fixture that saw both sides create loads of scoring opportunities throughout the ninety minutes.

The defeat meant that the Hornets stretched their losing streak in the Premier League to three games and Javi Gracia would surely be a perplexed man. 

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In another afternoon fixture on Saturday, high-flying Brighton started as the favourites at home against Southampton, who arrived at the Amex Stadium on the back of consecutive defeats against Burnley and Liverpool. However, it was Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side who turned the tables in a game that had plenty of talking points.

Florin Andone was sent off for a shocking studs-up challenge on Yan Valery midway through the first half and Lewis Dunk had a goal ruled out for offside after a VAR check before Moussa Djenepo came off the bench in the second half to put the Saints in the lead with an absolute stunner. 

Jurgen Locadia hit the post and missed the chance to equalise towards the end of the game before Saints’ forgotten man Sofiane Boufal set it up for Nathan Redmond to make it 2-0 in stoppage-time, thus ending Brighton’s unbeaten start to the season.

The most shocking result on Friday, however, came from Old Trafford, where Man United went down 2-1 to Crystal Palace, who registered their first-ever victory over the Red Devils in the Premier League. 

Jordan Ayew’s opener put Roy Hodgson’s side ahead before Marcus Rashford missed a glorious chance to equalise midway through the second half, with the youngster’s penalty kick hitting the inside of the post. 

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Daniel James looked to have saved United’s blushes with a stunning equaliser in the 89th minute but David de Gea’s goalkeeping error allowed Patrick van Aanholt to find the net in injury-time and secure Palace’s first victory of the campaign.

Elsewhere at Bramall Lane, both Leicester City and newly-promoted Sheffield United went into the game looking to continue their unbeaten run but it was the Foxes who had the last laugh.

Jamie Vardy’s first-half opener assisted by James Maddison was cancelled out by Oliver Mcburnie’s header off Chris Basham’s cross before Harvey Barnes came off the bench to silence the home crowd with an absolute stunner of a half-volley that had pure class written all over it, thus making it 2-1 in favour of the visitors.

While most of the games on Saturday were largely entertaining, the much-anticipated big-six clash at Anfield between Liverpool and Arsenal turned out to be a rather one-sided encounter, with the Reds completely outclassing Unai Emery’s side 3-1. 

Joel Matip made Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe pay for their missed chances with a towering header just at the stroke of half-time before Mo Salah’s second-half double made it 3-0 for Jurgen Klopp’s outfit. 

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Lucas Torrerira pulled one back for the Gunners five minutes from time but Liverpool romped home to their third straight win in the Premier League this term, thus finishing Round 3 on top of the standings with a perfect record. 

Turning the clock back to the action on Sunday, Man City had absolutely no problems in putting Bournemouth to the sword away from home, as Raheem Sterling’s fifth goal of the season and Sergio Aguero’s brace propelled Pep Guardiola’s side to a 3-1 victory on the south coast. 

The most amazing spectacle of the game, however, came from a Bournemouth player. For the second week running, Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson sent the fans crazy with an absolutely sensational goal, this time from a free-kick just outside the box. 

Shockingly, Spurs suffered their first major setback of the Premier League season on Sunday, with a 1-0 loss to Newcastle United at home leaving many to wonder whether Mauricio Pochettino’s heavy investment this summer is really going to transform the club into realistic title contenders. 

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Joelinton’s goal assisted by Christian Atsu in the first half proved to be the winner and whilst Spurs should have had a penalty when Jamaal Lascelles appeared to have dived across Harry Kane inside the box, the travelling fans will be less than impressed with a below-par performance that lacked any sort of class and conviction. 

Elsewhere at Molineux, Wolves didn’t have the best of games and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were probably lucky to have maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Ashley Barnes’ impeccable finish in the first half was cancelled out by a controversial Raul Jimenez penalty in second-half injury-time, just a short while after the Mexican had hit the post with a shot from inside the box. 

Clearly the better side in the 1-1 draw, Burnley will consider themselves unlucky for not grabbing all three points ahead of a tough home fixture against Liverpool this weekend.

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