Spurs kicked off the season in the best possible way as Newcastle were brushed aside in a comfortable victory at St. James’ Park.
Mauricio Pochettino rolled the dice with his first starting eleven of the new Premier League campaign, handing a debut to academy product Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back following the sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
However the 20-year-old seemed unfazed by the occasion, causing all sorts of problems down the Newcastle flank with the help of the heavily-jeered Moussa Sissoko. He was the brightest spark in what was a largely uninspiring first half of action in the North-East.
Dwight Gayle was kept quiet by a resilient Spurs defence, while Christian Eriksen enjoyed plenty of freedom in the final third, but no clear-cut chances emerged before the break.
After the break came what some would say was the defining moment of the game, as Jonjo Shelvey characteristically lost his head in an altercation with Dele Alli, and was sent for an early bath.
The Newcastle captain ended his 100th Premier League appearance after just 4 minutes of second half football, stamping on the leg of the England international right underneath referee Andre Marriner’s nose.
And from then on there was only one outcome. The extra man in midfield gifted the magician Eriksen yet more space, and it was space that he took just 10 minutes to exploit.
The Great Dane swung in an irresistible cross for Dele to slide home and net Spurs’ first goal of the season.
That was Eriksen’s 11th assist of 2017.
…And his 12th wasn’t far behind.
Fullbacks have been the talk of the transfer window so far this summer, but Danny Rose won’t need to Google the name of Spurs’ second goalscorer. The man who has been filling in for him at left-back, Ben Davies, got forward well to score his second goal in his last two Premier League games.
Davies’ goal on the last day of the season against Hull was a lot more impressive, but the Wales international will take what he can get.
All Spurs fans needed for the perfect day was that elusive Harry Kane August goal. The Premier League’s double Golden Boot winner has never scored in the opening month, and he was frustrated once again on his 11th attempt.
The woodwork was to blame this time around as the England man drew a blank once more.
However it was little concern for Pochettino’s Spurs, who welcomed back long-term injury layoffs Heung Min-Son and Harry Winks towards the end of the game, alongside previous doubt Victor Wanyama.
Debutant Walker-Peters scooping Sky Sports’ Man of the Match award could be seen as the icing on the cake – with the side taking up 3rd place in the League table thanks to a promising start.
Chelsea will visit temporary home Wembley Stadium next weekend in what will be a much tougher test.
You can get LIVE highlights DURING the game, here on @JMcCarthyLIVE!
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