Tottenham lucky in Newcastle win, says Vertonghen
Jan Vertonghen conceded Tottenham rode their luck in the opening 2-1 Premier League win at Newcastle United.
Vertonghen headed Spurs into an early lead – an advantage that was restored after 18 minutes by Dele Alli following Joselu's equaliser for the hosts.
Mohamed Diame rattled the post early in the second half and a desperate challenge from Belgium centre-back Vertonghen, one of five World Cup semi-finalists in the Tottenham starting XI, denied Newcastle substitute Salomon Rondon a debut goal as his shot spun against the crossbar.
"They had a couple of good chances and hit the post and bar in the second half," Vertonghen said when interviewed by Sky Sports after the match at St James' Park.
"At the end of the day, we kept the ball well. It sounds crazy but we defended well with the ball.
"I was lucky to get a touch and it didn't go in the goal. Sometimes we were a bit lucky but it was a very good start for us."
The Goal Decision System showed Vertonghen's opener was a mere nine millimetres over the line when Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka pushed it away.
It was the defender's first Premier League goal for more than five years and he welcomed being on the right end of a tight call.
— Jan Vertonghen (@JanVertonghen) August 11, 2018
"I'm a happy man with goal-line technology definitely," he said. Hopefully I can score a couple more.
"So many goals I've scored have been taken away from me. In my head I've scored every season."
England midfielder Alli was a more familiar goalscorer, with his cool finish from Serge Aurier's cross the stand-out moment of a fine overall performance.
"It's very important. Everybody knows the first game is a big one," he told Sky Sports.
"It's a long season and we've got to improve.
"It was very tough. Newcastle is a difficult place to come. They've got unbelievable fans, it's an atmosphere that's not too nice to play in but we know the job we have to do."