Tottenham v Newcastle: Match Report - It's a Krul Game
A heroic performance by Tim Krul kept a 75 minute Tottenham onslaught at by on Sunday lunchtime as a chemistry lacking Spurs fell to Lady Luck's Newcastle 1-0.
A disjointed opening 45 minutes saw the home side go into the break a goal down after being tactically outplayed and out muscled.
The lack of grit and fight shown by Tottenham gifted Newcastle their goal after a lose touch by Paulinho led to the Brazilian flinching away from the resulting challenge with Yohan Cabaye. The Frenchman took ownership of the situation, and possession, before guiding in a well weighted pass through the off guard Spurs defence and into the path of logic Remy, who rounded Fiedel before tucking the ball into the empty net for his 7th league goal of the season.
The visitors produced little after going ahead and, aside from an earlier effort from Mathieu Debuchy that forced a finger tip save from Brad Friedel, in in place of Hugo Lloris, and the resulting follow up that the American sprawled away from the target, Tottenham's goal went reasonably untested.
The white shirts coveted possession but Newcastle seemed less than interested in controlling the play after going ahead. Instead they pressed and crowded out Tottenham, smothering them as they moved forward, cutting off passing lanes and slowing their forward progress to a near stand still.
When Spurs did finally test the Newcastle goal they were given a reminder of the Tim Krul that almost took Newcastle to the Champions League two seasons ago. Two magnificent one handed stops tipped both Roberto Soldado's flicked on header, and Paulinho's curling effort from 20-yards, wide of the target.
The Dutchman's heroics continued after the break, including a magnificent double save from a Paulinho deflected free kick. The man between the posts appeared to have shifted his weight the wrong way as the shot ricocheted off the Newcastle wall, but with a frantic leap Krul palmed the effort away into the path of the oncoming Spurs attackers. Another solid fist and a miraculous clearance from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa kept the visitors ahead but his goal was leading a charmed life after Christian Eriksen's effort was saved by the legs of Krul just minutes before.
Spurs began to throw the kitchen sink at their guests and a fluidity returned to their play, helped in part by the introduction of Sandro at the interval, who took over the grunt work position in the midfield from Mousa Dembele. Gylfi Sigurdsson though, remained a bystander on the left flank while Christian Eriksen was never given the time and space to manoeuvre and manipulate his side's attacks.
Krul continued to deny Tottenham as the home side's pace drifted away. Andros Townsend's 44th shot of the season forced a save low down to the Magpie's stopper's left side 20 minutes from time, before another toe tip save denied Paulinho from the centre of the 18-yard-box after substitute Jermain Defoe linked with Eriksen to set up the midfielder's strike.
Jan Vertonghen crashed a header of the crossbar 6 minutes from time and a obvious handball by Mathieu Debuchy was missed by all of the men in black, signalling just which side Lady Luck was on Sunday lunchtime.
Tottenham finished the game with 65% of the possession. Newcastle finished with a 1-0 win and three points.
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