Newcastle United’s new era started with a familiar feeling of disappointment as Tottenham ran out 3-2 winners at St James’ Park, with Sunday’s match marred by a medical emergency in the stands.
With the pre-match build up dominated by Newcastle’s off-field changes, the club’s new PIF owners were served up a stark reminder of the issues on the pitch as Steve Bruce’s 1000th game as a manager ended in defeat.
Callum Wilson’s second-minute header buoyed an already rampant home crowd, but Tottenham hit back through Tanguy Ndombele before Harry Kane scored his first Premier League goal of the season.
A fan was taken to hospital after an incident late in the first half, which led to a defibrillator being called for and the suspension of play. When it restarted, Kane turned provider for Son Heung-min.
Jonjo Shelvey’s red card seemed to erase any Newcastle hopes, only for Eric Dier’s late own goal to worry Spurs, but it was ultimately not enough to inspire a comeback.
Newcastle’s pre-match elation swiftly carried onto the pitch. Only one minute and 47 seconds had passed when Wilson got ahead of his marker to head in Javier Manquillo’s cross.
Yet a blistering following 10 minutes failed to produce another Newcastle goal and, after Lucas Moura fired a warning shot, Spurs drew level through Ndombele’s superb, curling strike into the right-hand side of the goal.
Spurs’ turnaround was complete five minutes later as Kane darted onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s lofted pass and finished deftly over Darlow. The goal was initially disallowed for offside, but VAR spotted Manquillo’s failure to step up in time.
Lucas rattled the woodwork as Spurs searched for a third, though play was then suspended due to a medical emergency in the crowd.
Spurs picked up where they left off following a long delay – Kane squaring for Son to make it 3-1.
Devoid of ideas going forward, Newcastle’s day turned from bad to worse in the 83rd minute.
Shelvey, brought on as a 60th-minute substitute, brought down Sergio Reguilon, duly receiving his second yellow card.
Newcastle were handed hope by Dier bundling into his own net, though Spurs held firm to condemn their hosts to another damaging defeat.
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There has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the Saudi Arabian-backed takeover, but many fans have been left dreaming of what their club can achieve with such wealth at their disposal.
However, talk of mega-money deals for global superstars must now make way for the bleak reality Newcastle face. They sit 19th, without a win to their name and only a point above Norwich City. It may be early in the campaign, but the focus come January has to be retaining the club’s Premier League status.
Harry gets off the mark at his happy hunting ground
Kane’s misfortunes have become a major talking point in recent weeks, with last season’s golden boot winner far from his best since his failed move to Manchester City.
But he finally opened his league account for the campaign on Sunday, before then combining with his partner in crime Son. Six of Kane’s seven top-flight goals for Spurs against Newcastle have come at St James’ Park. He has only scored more away goals against Leicester City and Everton.
Time up for Bruce?
Bruce hit out at the media in his pre-match news conference, after numerous stories of his impending dismissal proved to be untrue. Yet on his milestone game as a manager, Bruce’s deficiencies were there for all to see. Newcastle started brilliantly, but in the final 10 minutes, a chorus of “sacked in the morning” echoed around the stadium. It was not exactly clear which sets of supporters were responsible.
His record stands at W376, D254, L370, while Bruce has won just four of his 27 encounters with Spurs in all competitions, and the speculation over his future seems set to continue as Newcastle’s new owners assess the state of play.
Newcastle face another London team in the form of an away game at Crystal Palace next Saturday, while Spurs travel to the Netherlands to play Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.