Alli header ensures Spurs start season with impressive away win
PUBLISHED: 14:30 11 August 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Premier League: Newcastle United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2
A Dele Alli header helped Tottenham Hotspur make a winning start to the new Premier League season with a 2-1 victory at Newcastle United.
The Spurs midfielder ghosted in at the back post to put the Lilywhites ahead after the two sides had exchanged early goals at St James’ Park.
It was a pleasing way to begin the campaign for Mauricio Pochettino, especially after the criticism the club had received following their lack of activity in the summer transfer window.
The Argentinean selected five players who reach the semi-finals of the World Cup with Hugo Lloris in goal, Jan Vertonghen in defence and Eric Dier, Alli and Harry Kane further forward.
Lucas Moura also earned a start and so did Moussa Sissoko against his old club after shaking off a pre-season injury.
It didn’t take long for the opening goal of the game to be scored and it went to Spurs with nine minutes played.
Christian Eriksen’s corner was flicked on by Davinson Sanchez and Vertonghen got enough on his header at the back post to see it cross the line with goalline technology awarding the goal.
The Magpies responded immediately, however, with Joselu heading past Lloris only two minutes later.
After a frantic opening at St James’ Park, there was more drama to come as in the 18th minute a third goal of the contest was scored.
Serge Aurier produced a moment of quality on the right with a cross to the back post and on hand to head home was Alli – netting against Newcastle in the season opener just like he did last August.
Further opportunities were created in the remainder of the half, but it stayed 2-1 until the break.
Newcastle almost levelled twice after the restart with Mo Diame hitting the woodwork in the 47th minute and Lloris having to bravely dive at the feet of Kenedy four minutes later.
Spurs made a change with 22 minutes left as Mousa Dembele was introduced for Moura and Heung-min Son then replaced Alli with 81 on the clock.
The Magpies came close again to an equaliser with five minutes left when Rondon was given too much space, but fortunately for Tottenham Vertonghen was able to get a deflection on his effort which saw it hit the crossbar before Sanchez cleared.
Pochettino was forced into his third and final substitution minutes later as Dier, who was struggling, came off to be replaced by youngster Luke Amos making his debut for the club.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the 90, but they went by without much to note to give Spurs an impressive winning start to the season.
Next up for Tottenham is a home clash, at Wembley Stadium, against new boys and London rivals Fulham where Pochettino’s men will aim to make it six points from six.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris ©; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Dier (Amos 88), Eriksen; Moura (Dembele 68), Kane, Alli (Son 81).
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Alderweireld, Walker-Peters, Llorente.