Newcastle United’s first match under the new ownership began on a sour note as Tottenham spoiled the takeover party with a 3-2 win at St James’ Park.

Harry Kane got off the mark with his first goal of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign as Tottenham rallied from a goal down to defeat Newcastle United 3-2 at St. James’ Park on Sunday evening.

Newcastle got off to a flying start as Callum Wilson nodded home inside two minutes to give the Magpies an early lead. Allan Saint-Maximin stretched the Tottenham defence before rolling the ball to an overlapping Javier Manquillo, who whipped in a teasing cross for Wilson to head it in.

However, that initial intensity was short-lived from as Newcastle dropped off while Spurs grew into the game and found themselves level soon after, with Tanguy Ndombele curling the ball into the top corner past a standstill Karl Darlow.

Minutes later, Kane believed he had flipped the momentum around with a brilliant dink over Darlow, but the offside flag was raised. However, after a VAR review, it was found that Manquillo was playing him onside by the slightest of margins, and the goal was awarded. Saint-Maximin nearly tucked in the leveller from Wilson’s low cross while Lucas Moura’s header struck against the crossbar on the other end.

The match was temporarily halted towards the end of the first half after a fan collapsed in the Newcastle crowd. Son Heung-min wasted no time to add the third for Tottenham in the delayed first half injury time after some neat exchange of passes on the edge of the box to cut Newcastle wide open. Moura released Kane into the right half-space, with Kane cutting in a timely low cross for Son to blast it into the net past Darlow.

Tottenham controlled the proceedings from there on while Newcastle were sucked out of energy and drive. Their agony was compounded when substitute Jonjo Shelvey earned a second yellow card for a nasty tackle on Sergio Reguilon, but Eric Dier’s bizarre own goal from Jacob Murphy’s free-kick gave them a late lifeline.

However, Tottenham held on to grabbed valuable all three points to rise to fifth in the Premier League standings while Newcastle remain in the relegation zone with a mere tally of three points. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over both sets of players after their recent encounter at St James’ Park.

Newcastle United

Karl Darlow: 5/10

Made a couple of early stops but was well-beaten to Harry Kane’s lob. Despite Tottenham’s domination, he was not tested enough in the second half.

Javier Manquillo: 6.5/10

Grabbed an excellent assist for the opening goal, but kept Kane onside for the second goal, although he kept Sergio Reguilon at bay on the right. Could not assist Newcastle in regaining control of the game in the second half.

Jamaal Lascelles: 6.5/10

Was solid in the first half and made some crunching tackles but faded as the game progressed. This trend persisted during the second half. One of the better defenders and completed a team-high six tackles.

Ciaran Clark: 5/10

Rusty. Probably age is catching up with Clark, and the once robust defender was exposed quite badly by Tottenham. Was caught ball-watching for Spurs’ second goal. As Tottenham got stronger, he failed with the fundamentals.

Matt Ritchie: 4/10

Could not handle Lucas Moura at all and was bullied at times. Sent in poor crosses and lacked energy.

Isaac Hayden: 6/10

Tried his hardest to restrict Tottenham’s midfield and began well but was ultimately overrun by Oliver Skipp and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Newcastle enforcer completed four tackles, two interceptions, two clearances and stopped a counter crucially but provided nothing going forward.

Sean Longstaff: 4/10

Not good enough from the academy graduate. He was anonymous in midfield and barely contributed in any area on the pitch. Can lose his spot to Miguel Almiron for the next game.

Joe Willock: 5/10

Willock played his part in the build-up to the first goal with a pass, but he did not do anything else that was noteworthy. His energy levels were high compared to the other midfielders but lacked those lung-busting runs from midfield.

Joelinton: 6/10

Frustrating. He showed a few flashes of brilliance with his ball control and hold-up but lost possession far too often in dangerous areas. Joelinton cut open the Tottenham defence to put Wilson down the left but the angle was too tight for the Newcastle striker, who slid in for Saint-Maximin inches away from a tap-in.

Allan Saint-Maximin: 7/10

Newcastle’s most dangerous player, entertaining the crowd with directness and constant glittery. He teed up Manquillo for his cross leading to the opening goal, but his only decent effort blazed well over the bar. Wasn’t at his best, end-product wise.

Callum Wilson: 7/10


Did not take long to show what Newcastle were missing in his absence due to injury. Great movement to trick his marker and head home, and had a few more chances late in the first half but was scarcely feeding off the scraps as Newcastle were unable to create anything meaningful. Lacked legs and energy coming on the back of long lay-off.


Jonjo Shelvey: 2/10

Horrendous and intolerable from Shelvey. He was brought to add creativity and passing impetus but somehow managed to get sent off with two bookings for rash challenges.

Ryan Fraser: 4/10

Looked lively, added freshness and tried to create patterns of play but had tired legs around him. Should start the next game.

Jacob Murphy: 4/10

He was fairly quiet in the 15 minutes he was afforded.

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris: 6/10

Could not have done much more to save Callum Wilson’s opener. Aside from a late scare in the wake of Dier’s own goal, he had a comfortable evening and had to face only one shot on target.

Emerson Royal: 6/10

Getting into the rhythm of the Premier League. Delivered crosses and long balls from the right flank while making good overlapping runs, played a part defensively by keeping the ball, and drew fouls while making some big tackles. Kept Joelinton quite.

Cristian Romero: 7/10

Impressive at the back. After a shaky start, Romero contained Wilson and Joelinton well, as Tottenham overcame the initial setback. He smashed in with well-timed challenges, clearances and ball recoveries.

Eric Dier: 6/10

Decent positionally and tried to play out from the back to launch rapid counters. Dier teamed up well with Cristian Romero and found the foothold as the game went on but conceded a weird own goal in the dying minutes of regulation time to hand hope to the home side.

Sergio Reguilon: 7/10

Reguilon was uneasy in the defensive phases at times, but his rampaging runs, speed, and attacking participation caused all sorts of problems for the Magpies down the wings. He set up for Ndombele for a screamer in the 17th minute. His surges continued to cause difficulties and earn fouls, resulting in Jonjo Shelvey getting a sending off in the final minutes of the game.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 7.5/10

Dominated the midfield battle with plenty of retained possession and pushed Tottenham forwards. Had a shot on goal denied comfortably by Karl Darlow, but the Dane got an assist when he picked a cute through ball over the top for Harry Kane’s dink goal. Committed a massive eight tackles – the highest on the pitch.

Oliver Skipp: 6.5/10

Skipp is becoming better and adapting to the intensity of the Premier League. He maintained precision when moving the ball across the field, although he battled to retain the ball under pressure on a few instances. Recycled the ball well while making several crunching tackles when screening the defence to preserve the advantage.

Lucas Moura: 7/10

A brilliant leap only to hit the woodwork from a corner. Still a lot left in his tank, and his pacy outlet left Matt Ritchie unfounded. Was lively on the day and created the chance for Son’s goal.

Tanguy Ndombele: 8/10

Given the freedom to roam in the attacking areas, and he performed so superbly, curling in an equaliser before assisting Son to make it 3-1. His close ball control and tricks were exceptional in addition to his work rate and ball progression, which were also supreme on the day. He seems to be enjoying his football at Tottenham now.

Heung-min Son: 7/10

Son’s late first half tap-in eventually proved to be the difference. The South Korean forward was the creative spark on the pitch and combined well with Kane to cause havoc in Newcastle’s defence.

Harry Kane: 8/10

Kane was quiet for the first 20 minutes but then kept up with his run and beautifully lobbed the ball over Darlow and into the back of the net. He roamed around to much joy and served it on a plate for Son’s decisive goal.

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