Back to back wins of the highest calibre against London teams has, if not changed the season, has certainly changed the complexion of it, on the pitch at least. This was a win of the highest calibre to put together with last Saturdays exhilerating victory over Chelsea.
Farting about at home resulted in a pre-match drink of only a hurried vinegar-laced Stella at the Beehive (your lager tastes like bad cider) before the skip up to White Hart Lane on a sunny, crisp winter’s day.
Pardew trusted in the starting XI from Saturday which felt right bar possibly Anita for Tiote. The match started at a phenomenal pace with both teams attacking from the start. The busy, if lightweight Paulinho got a decent header in before United made the decisive attack of the match. Just after a Cabaye through ball almost put us 1 up, a similar ball from Gouffran threaded its way through for Remy who coolly rounded Friedel with ease before calmly slotting the ball home.
Remy is simply lethal on the shoulder of defences and supply him the right ball he does the rest against a high line. We did this often throughout the 1st half and kept Spurs defence very occupied. Some of Remy’s hold up play was of a very high standard with his control excellent. I’ll give credit to Pardew as he found the best way to use Remy.
Before this Debuchy came close with a shot following a corner but after our dominance, Spurs began to assert some control with a decent free kick from Vertonghen testing Krul. Then a dipping header from an otherwise listless Soldado produced a world class save from Krul. That header was goal bound before our man miraculously clawed it round the post. Another fantastic save denied Paulinho from 18 yards and his skill was to shine through the 2nd half.
Ameobi, who once again had an effective shift in holding up play, was called for offside before scoring as we reached the break 1-0 up. Thus far I thought we had expertly played to our strengths of pace and had defended stoutly against a very talented side. Once again, the side had defended as unit with Gouffran and Sissoko constantly snapping at Spurs while Debuchy was a force supporting the right hand side.
The second half saw Spurs come right at us. Eriksen who I rated their best player, should’ve scored from point blank range only for Krul to save Jennings-like with his feet and soon after save from a Sigurdsson free kick. The rebound saw Mbiwa somehow scoop the ball off the line on a very impressive display alongside Williamson. I really like Y-M and seeing him rise to the challenge of the last 2 matches affirms my opinion of him being a cracking signing for us. He just needs time to adapt to the English game.
Pardew then took off Ameobi to a well-deserved applause for Anita, which could’ve been 10-15 mins too early but as Shola is virtually knackered is probably wise.
Krul continued his master class with excellent saves from Townsend and Paulinho (again) before we held our breadth with a Vertoghnen header from 5 yards smacking the bar. Sure we were grateful to Krul’s excellence but the defence were brilliantly organised, bar Santon’s wayward positioning which Gouffran worked his bollocks off covering the left side. Townsend is very dangerous outside but show him the inside and he’ll waste opportunities with pot shots. Credit to our back four and midfield then denying him the space to get into better positions.
United saw out the 6 minutes time which included Dawson scything down Sissoko’s run to the corner. Krul was absolutely immense, saving 14 shots out of 31. Has he ever played better? He gave the away support huge acknowledgement at the end. On top of that Mbiwa and Williamson kept Coloccini on the bench while Remy is deadly sharp and supported by a rejuvenated midfield of Sissoko, Gouffran, Tiote and Cabaye.
These 2 wins have put an unexpected wind behind our sails with Pardew maximising our pace and organising our defence expertly. From the depths of 2 weekends ago we now find ourselves comfortably positioned in 9th. With Norwich and WBA to come at home before a trip to Swansea, we should aim for 7 points as a target, though WHU and Hull are reminders of this side’s difficulty in breaking down sides at home. Putting that aside this was a thoroughly enjoyable day out in North London!
Newcastle United: KRUL 10, Santon 6, Mbiwa 8, Williamson 8, Debuchy 8; Gouffran 8 (Obertan n/a), Tiote 7, Cabaye 7, Sissoko 7; Ameobi 7 (Anita 7), Remy 8 (Cisse 5).
Subs Unused: Elliot, Coloccini, Sammy Ameobi
Ref: Foy 6 – Could’ve sent Dawson off for attempting to knacker Sissoko and gave Paulinho too much leeway to play act. Other than that correctly waived away 2 Spurs penalty claims.
Mags: 7. Loud at times. Wiping off the 4am cobwebs and the Friday beer sweats. Some predictable chants but decent.
Theirs: 5. Pretty standard sit on your hands PL support. Their away support is far better.
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THRU BLACK & WHITE EYES – Read All About It – 10/Nov/13