Dele Alli gets Tottenham off to a winning start against Newcastle

Jan Vertonghen opened the scoring for Spurs and, though Joselu equalised, Dele Allis goal gave Tottenham a 2-1 victory at St James Park, where anti-owner chants were regular

Christian Eriksens

In Mauricio Pochettinos native Argentina interest rates have been held at an emergency 40% since May and the plummeting peso recently led to the government receiving an emergency $50bn International Monetary Fund bailout. It makes the UKs own travails seem rather tame but Tottenhams manager has nevertheless said he feels sorry for the English people as Brexit looms. Moreover, Pochettino blames the Leave vote for the fall in the pound which prompted a rise in the costs of building the new White Hart Lane and, apparently, precipitated his clubs failure to buy a single player during the transferwindow.

Even by football manager standards it is a creative excuse but the good news is that Pochettino is infinitely more convincing as a coach than an economist, and his young squad were arguably not really in need of reinforcement anyway.

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Although Spurs were most definitely not at their best in the warm Tyneside sunshine they still enjoyed an opening-day victory, with Jan Vertonghen and the quietly impressive Dele Alli both scoring on an afternoon of excellent crosses, towering headers and dodgy defensive cameos.

Newcastle showed massive energy and it was difficult for us but I feel so proud, said Pochettino, whose side included five players, Harry Kane among them, who resumed training only last Monday after returning from post-World Cup holidays. Everyone showed their commitment to the club.

Tottenhams manager looked irked when someone suggested the hard-working if seemingly ring-rusty Kane had lost his edge. The England striker is at his best, Pochettino replied, but Harry cant score a hat-trick every week.

Rafael Bentez said he believed Newcastle at least deserved a draw. He did, though, acknowledge that merely competing with Spurs necessitated his team being at full throttle throughout. A difference of quality made the difference between the teams, explained the home manager pointedly. When you have money and you buy players you buy quality.

The day began with Newcastle fans staging a protest against Mike Ashleys stewardship of the club outside a city centre outlet of his Sports Direct chain, chanting: We want Ashley out. Although the distribution of 200 chocolate bars to shop workers by the organisers emphasised the demonstrations peaceful nature, targeting Ashleys business signified an escalation of long-festering discontent. It seems a transfer market profit of around 20m was a watershed for protestors who want to see Bentez receive the funding required to pursue silverware.

For now Newcastles manager says avoiding relegation is the target and he looked suitably dismayed as Spurs took a ninth-minute lead from a corner. Christian Eriksens outswinger was flicked on by Davinson Snchez for Vertonghen to direct a header against the underside of the bar. Goalline technology confirmed the ball crossed the line.

Joselu equalised within three minutes. The Spanish striker preferred, controversially, to the West Brom loanee Salomn Rondn was cued up by a fabulous left-footed, right-wing Matt Ritchie cross. Joselu dodged the suddenly dozy Snchez before powering a header beyond Hugo Lloris. The intense glare Pochettino shot his errant centre-half spoke volumes. The same applied to Ritchies expression when he was later replaced by Christian Atsu and was caught on camera mouthing an expletive.

Spurs restored their lead thanks to the defensively vulnerable Serge Auriers excellent cross and a fine header from Alli, who timed his late run to perfection. That goal prompted yet another glare, this time directed at DeAndre Yedlin by Martin Dubravka. Allis clever movement had thoroughly deceived the former Spurs right-back.

Almost imperceptibly Pochettinos players took their foot off the pedal and regressed. Where previously they had manipulated the ball with dexterity and calmed Newcastles ferocious tempo now every other pass suddenly seemed badly weighted. Bentezs players duly forced their way back into things and Mo Diams 12-yard left-foot shot hit a post.

A fine Joselu through-ball might have created a goal for the Brazilian Kenedy, had the Chelsea loanees touch not let him down. At the other end Dubravka did well to block Moussa Sissokos shot after the former Newcastle player did Spurs really pay 30m for him? met Ben Daviess superb cross.

Eric Dier, Sissokos sidekick in what swiftly morphed into a new-look 4-3-3 formation for the visitors, was perhaps slightly lucky not to receive a second yellow card after fouling Ayoze Prez. Rondn replaced Joselu and saw a late shot deflected on to the bar.

Pochettinos tiring defence wobbled but somehow clung on with a constant anti-Ashley soundtrack as the backdrop. How Bentez must wish Brexit was his only worry.

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Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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