Tottenham Gets Off to Winning Start vs. Newcastle as Alli, Davies Seal Win
Spurs have ended a run of two seasons without an opening day win with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.
Having returned to the Premier League, this result may prove to be the catalyst that finally gets owner Mike Ashley to provide Rafa Benitez with the funds to improve his squad.
A red card from Jonjo Shelvey massively swung the pendulum in Spurs' favour, as Newcastle spent the second half attempting to cling onto a precious point, to no avail. The Newcastle captain had let down his side, who were in with a chance of a result prior to his outburst.
Tottenham looked to assert their Premier League authority onto the game early on, using their physicality to bully Newcastle, going tough in the tackle, all the while, controlling the tempo of the game easily. New boy Kyle Walker-Peters and Moussa Dembele were particularly impressive in the opening skirmish, looking composed in their duties.
Rafa Benitez was forced into two first half changes, as Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune suffered injuries. The tackle on the later was particularly rash, as Harry Kane was duly booked for a conventional, poorly timed, striker's challenge.
Jamaal Lascelles and Chancel Mbemba were brought on to replace the defenders. However, Newcastle were resolute in their two banks of four, with Spurs struggling to create chances despite their dominance.
In comparison to the majority of the Premier League fixtures on the opening day, this match was faltering and lacked life. Eriksen had the mainstay of efforts on goal, but all were from distances and all were stopped with ease by Elliot. The deadlock remained going into the break, with the teams matching each other in every department.
The game was in dire need of something to liven the affair up, and it didn't take long into the second half for this to happen. Newcastle went down to 10 men as Shelvey needlessly stepped on Dele Alli's ankle; the step was evidently intentional as Shelvey attempted to fetch the ball off the Tottenham man, having drawn the foul.
Spurs came close to opening the scoring, but Kane was denied by Rob Elliot, who saved magnificently given the close proximity of the striker's effort. The game was now clearly in their favour and it was a matter of time before they would open the scoring. Dele Alli bagged the opener, on the stretch, the midfielder put the ball into the back of the net with an hour played.
Ben Davies added a second minutes later with a superb team goal, the movement and one touch football was exquisite and the game was surely past Newcastle at this point. Spurs continued to see the game out comfortably, with Newcastle failing to provide much of a threat against the best defence in the league last season.
Kane struck the woodwork late on having gone one-on-one with Elliot, as his run of failing to score in August went one game longer.
As the final whistle blew, it was back to the drawing board for Rafa Benitez, with injuries to contemplate and the hole left in his side by Shelvey's suspension, further recruitment is clearly needed.