Newcastle United have claimed their first three points of the 2019/20 campaign as Joelinton’s maiden Premier League goal earned a 1-0 triumph at Tottenham.
Steve Bruce claimed his first win as Magpies boss, after he saw his side slipped to a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal and a tame 3-1 loss to Norwich City in his opening two matches in charge.
Those setbacks only served to deepen the gloom that followed Rafael Benitez’s departure, but Newcastle produced a superb away performance as Spurs suffered an early slip up in the 2019-20 campaign.
For much of their opening 3-1 win over Aston Villa, Tottenham was behind but this time they were unable to create a comparable turnaround, although the hosts were controversially refused a penalty after Jamaal Lascelles seemed to impede Harry Kane.
Bruce’s side received an early blow when Allan Saint-Maximin limped off with a hamstring injury while in a free-kick routine wasting the ball out of play.
The visitors were then fortunate not to concede a penalty when Fabian Schar appeared to bring down the returning Son Heung-min.
However, Tottenham’s defence failed to heed the warning of Sean Longstaff forcing Hugo Lloris to tip over, allowing Joelinton too much space to collect a Christian Atsu cross as Newcastle’s record signing confidently fired in from close range.
Son stung the palms of Martin Dubravka with a half-volley and then dragged another effort wide before Lucas Moura miskicked a chance to equalise with the goal at his mercy.
A Schar’s last-ditch tackle stopped Erik Lamela from levelling out of Son’s deflected attempt and Spurs was apoplectic when Lascelles dropped to the floor and took Kane with him, only for referee Mike Dean to dismiss shouts for a punishment and have VAR back him up.
Lucas and Kane both spurned glorious late opportunities for Tottenham as Newcastle held on for a result that should serve as a much-needed morale boost.
What does it mean? Fortune favours Newcastle
Some may believe Bruce was handed a poisoned chalice succeeding Benitez amid a fan revolt. However, with Tottenham having two strong penalty claims dismissed, luck was firmly on his side as he got off the mark with his boyhood club.
While the chance for Saint-Maximin to repay the reported £16million fee Newcastle paid for him lasted only 17 minutes, Joelinton at least briefly silenced with an impressive display those questioning his £40m arrival.
He brilliantly took his objective and was crucial in the defensive attempt of Newcastle.
Up next will be the North Londoners paying a visit to Arsenal in the north London derby while Newcastle welcome Leicester City to St James’ Park in the EFL Cup in midweek before hosting Watford.