Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Newcastle United (27/09/20): match report and analysis

A controversial last minute penalty for Newcastle United saw them steal a point against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur, as football’s divisive rules regarding handballs once again took centre stage.

Newcastle United were hoping to bounce back from last week’s defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion, where they were convincingly beaten by Graham Potter’s side at St James’ Park.

Fans may remember this very same fixture last season saw Joelinton grab his very first Premier League goal in a 0-1 win for the Toon. Fans may not to remember the fact that the Brazilian remains on two Premier League goals since his £40m arrival from Hoffenheim last Summer. But Joelinton was one of Newcastle’s better players on the pitch this afternoon, including winning what would prove to be a decisive free kick towards the end…

Lucas Moura grabbed the only goal in the game, meeting a low cross and tapping into an open net to give his side the lead. Assisted by Harry Kane, it’s the ex-PSG player’s first goal this calendar year. More and more speculation is being made on his and Erik Lamela’s future at the club following the return of Gareth Bale just last week.

Newcastle found themselves being bombarded from very early on in the game: goalkeeper Karl Darlow made a superb double save to deny Giovanni Lo Celso’s free kick and the subsequent strike from close range, courtesy of Kane. Darlow, who is filling in for the injured Martin Dubravka in league games alone, was on top form: one could draw parallels to Tim Krul’s iconic performance against Spurs for Newcastle back in November 2013.

Spurs were the far more threatening team, twice hitting the woodwork in the first half, and led from the 25th minute in a solid performance from Mourinho’s team. They were really unfortunate not to score more like they did last weekend in their 2-5 away win against Southampton.

But just as the game looked set to finish, referee Peter Bankes was called to review a potential handball offence committed by Tottenham’s Eric Dier, as the ball struck the Englishman’s arm in an awkward manner: VAR ruled that Dier had inadvertently interfered with play through his outstretched arm making contact with the ball, and Newcastle were awarded the unlikeliest of opportunities to equalise.

Cue a livid Jose Mourinho storming down the tunnel towards the dressing room, and a phenomenally powerful penalty from Callum Wilson to beat Hugo Lloris and to deny Spurs what was a much deserved win for them. Jamie Carragher on commentary echoing the sentiments of many with how the game of football is being “ruined” with the implementations of new laws and technology.

In a Premier League weekend which has already seen questionable penalty and handball calls being made (namely Richarlison vs Crystal Palace and Bruno Fernandes vs Brighton), today’s result has added even more fuel to a fiery debate.

With Newcastle now having recorded zero shots on target for the second consecutive league game (with the exception of Wilson’s penalty today) manager Steve Bruce will be looking to amend that issue before the midweek Carabao Cup clash away to Newport. With 4 points from 3 games so far this season, Bruce and his Magpies will be hoping this stroke of luck today is more than just a one time occurrence.

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