4 things to note following Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Newcastle United
Two late goals helped make it back-to-back victories for the Magpies. And few would disagree that the fight shown by the visitors didn't deserve victory as they hit back through two goals from their substitutes to snatch a late win.
Here are our tactical notes from the game using the Stats Zone app...
1. Magpies find fighting spirit
Victory at White Hart Lane meant Newcastle recorded their first consecutive victories in the Premier League since November 2014, and their first comeback victory in the league since last December –achievements Steve McClaren was justifiably proud of post-match.
The Magpies boss, clearly delighted with the team spirit and togetherness his side demonstrated after a disappointing first half, revealed he had a job to get a word in at half-time, with the players rallying themselves – Rob Elliot and Fabricio Coloccini the main protagonists –to ensure the second half didn't follow the same theme as the first.
“They were terrific at half-time, so vocal in the dressing room which was the pleasing thing for me,” said McClaren. “The response was fantastic, we grew and got stronger. We want to be like this every, week which needs hard work, attitude, commitment and discipline.”
The visitors managed just one shot to Tottenham’s 11 in the first half, but were resolute in their defensive duties and scored from half of their shots on target overall.
2. Spurs got complacent
The longer the score remained at 1-0, the more it felt as though Newcastle had a sniff of getting something.
“We didn’t kill the game,” Maurico Pochettino acknowledged afterwards. "At 1-0 up you give the opposition the opportunity to come back into the game. The chances we conceded were easy for Newcastle."
Of Spurs’ 11 first-half shots, three forced Elliot into saves but seven of them were from long range. The second half followed suit, with the home side registering nine shots with four on target – but again seven were from outside of the penalty area.
On another day, Christian Eriksen – who attempted seven of the home side’s 20 shots – may have buried a trademark free-kick, but complacency set in among the Tottenham players, with an expectation the second would come. Newcastle were having none of it.
3. Elliot the difference
Where Tottenham will be ruing missed opportunities and defensive lapses, Newcastle will be thankful they have Elliot in goal to save them.
Many were sceptical of Newcastle’s chances of avoiding relegation when Tim Krul was ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury, but Elliot is growing in confidence with every game and proved his worth with a string of impressive saves.
Harry Kane had an unusually quiet afternoon, often drifting deep to try to get more involved. Although his passing was impressive and his work rate commendable, he only tested Elliot twice without venturing into the penalty area with the ball all afternoon, credit to Chancel Mbemba and Coloccini for marshalling him well.
4. Super subs
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez made the difference for Newcastle after coming on as second-half substitutes. They pushed further upfield than the starting strike partnership of Papiss Cisse and Siem de Jong. Though tireless workers, dutifully carrying out the instructions being barked at them from the touchline to squeeze the play and put the Spurs backline under pressure, they failed to provide much of an attacking threat.
Moussa Sissoko also caused Spurs problems in the second half with his pace, power and brute force at times. Although many of his crosses are recorded as unsuccessful, more often than not it was a case of a decent deliveries with no one available to make the most of them.