Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Tottenham 0 Newcastle 1

The importance of a goalkeeper has rarely been more evident. Brad Friedel, starting his first Premier League game of the season, was hesitant as Newcastle United took the lead at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Tim Krul, the Newcastle goalkeeper, was then utterly inspired in producing seven genuinely outstanding saves to preserve that advantage. It was a single-handed – sometimes even footed – delivery of three precious Premier League points to his club.

What Hugo Lloris, usually Tottenham’s first-choice goalkeeper, made of it all is unclear. Rested on the advice of medical staff after being knocked unconscious against Everton last week, he sat behind the Spurs dug-out here and was powerless to prevent a third defeat of the season. A fully fit Lloris would certainly have left his goalline rather more quickly and may well have prevented Loic Remy from scoring so easily.

The decisive contribution, however, still came from the other end of the pitch, with Krul producing the performance of a lifetime to win the match.

At the final whistle he was mobbed by his team-mates, threw his gloves into the crowd and was congratulated by just about every member of the club’s staff. Even Tony Parks, the Tottenham goalkeeping coach, sportingly waited beside the pitch to offer his personal congratulations.

The statistics were revealing. Krul made 14 saves – more than any other Premier League goalkeeper in a match since 2007 – while Tottenham had a total of 31 shots during the match. Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas later described Krul as “amazing” while Alan Pardew hailed his goalkeeper as “unbelievable” and said he should be Holland’s No 1.

“It was the highlight of my career,” Krul said. His masterclass began almost immediately after Remy had put Newcastle into a 13th minute lead. Paulinho, as well as Friedel, had been partially culpable for that goal, with the Brazilian losing possession to Yoan Gouffran whose precise pass exploited the space between Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches. Remy had missed a similar chance moments earlier but comfortably rounded Friedel.

Pardew later revealed that he had instructed Remy and Shola Ameobi to try to pull Tottenham’s central defence away from their goal in the hope of exploiting the space between them and Friedel.

Villas-Boas denied that he would have used different tactics if Lloris had started, and his team did put Newcastle under sustained pressure.

Krul was first tested by two shots from Jan Vertonghen before making the gravity-defying save that he rated as the best of the afternoon. It had followed a Christian Eriksen free-kick, with Roberto Soldado guiding his header towards the top corner until Krul intervened. Krul then blocked a powerful shot from Eriksen before provoking further gasps around White Hart Lane by tipping Paulinho’s curling shot wide.

Tottenham made two changes at half-time, with a suspected broken nose forcing Chiriches off and Sandro replacing Moussa Dembele. They immediately had more drive from midfield but still could not defeat Krul. He saved with his foot to deny Eriksen and then produced perhaps his second best save of the day to keep out Gyfli Sigurdsson’s free-kick after a horrible deflection off Cheick Tiote. Younes Kaboul still looked well placed to convert the rebound but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa reacted bravely to clear the danger.

“He put his life on the line for us – it shows the commitment,” Krul said. More desperate but brilliant last-gasp defending was still needed, with Pardew acknowledging that Spurs had put his team under more pressure than they have faced at any time this season.

Mathieu Debuchy made one crucial interception before Krul produced a double save from Townsend and then Soldado. He was still not finished, capping his performance with two final moments of brilliance to again deny Townsend and then Paulinho with another outstretched foot. It was perhaps inevitable that when Krul was finally beaten by a Jan Vertonghen header in the 83rd minute, the crossbar should come to Newcastle’s rescue.

Villas-Boas described his team’s first-half performance as “very poor” but had some justification in claiming that the final result was not a fair reflection on the balance of play. Newcastle have now beaten Chelsea and Tottenham in consecutive weeks, although Pardew was again asked about the club’s relationship with their supporters amid an ongoing ban of the local newspaper.

“I am manager of the team, trying to get a performance worthy of fans,” Pardew said. “I think we have got the greatest fans in the world and we rewarded them.”

Source: Telegraph

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