Newcastle hand shaky Spurs first home loss in six months
Newcastle United handed Tottenham Hotspur their second Premier League defeat in a row on Sunday as a cacophony of errors at the back left Antonio Conte’s squad lucky to walk away with only a narrow loss.
Spurs started the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in control, driving forward in the opening frame and creating some good opportunities but failing to capitalize. Harry Kane set Son Heung-min up with one of the best chances in the game in the 11th minute, but the Korean striker fluffed the shot, sending a tame effort that Nick Pope was able to save.
The opportunities continued to rain in, with Son narrowly missing the post and a low Kane effort connecting with Pope’s boot. Had the home side been able to continue chipping away at the Newcastle defense they likely would have eventually won the war of attrition to take the lead.
But disaster struck in the 31st minute in the form of a catastrophic Hugo Lloris mistake. Running off his line to clear a through ball from Fabian Schar, Lloris collided with Callum Wilson and went down, presumably hoping to draw the referee into calling a foul.
But there was no foul and while Lloris was lying on the ground, Wilson was able to grab the loose ball and lob it over Lloris and Eric Dier and straight into the empty goal.
Ten minutes later Newcastle struck again, and again it was a Lloris mistake that led to the goal. The Spurs captain misplaced a kick to Sessegnon, leaving the midfielder floundering and allowing Miguel Almirón to steal possession and break through to score.
Tottenham managed to get one back in the second half when Son curled a cross into the box, which Clément Lenglet flicked on to Kane’s head, beating Kieran Trippier to find the back of the net.
Spurs were unable to get anything across for the rest of the game, ending with a 2-1 loss for their first home defeat since April this year.
Lloris wasn’t the only player to let the side down, with Dier also looking especially shaky at the back — and nearly sending a poorly placed pass into his own net — and Sessegnon, Son, Emerson Royal, Ivan Perisic and Lucas Moura all failing to provide any sort of threat at the other end of the pitch.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Kane alone had a good game, providing the vast majority of the Spurs offense and taking advantage of the opportunities they had.
With the loss, Spurs remain in third place on 23 points, with Newcastle and Chelsea trailing on 21. Spurs have lost three of their last five games, the worst recent performance of any club in the top eight.
Tottenham will be back in action on Wednesday as they take on Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]