Dele Alli’s strike proved to be the difference as Tottenham Hotspur beat Newcastle United 2-1 in their opening clash of the season at St James’s Park on Saturday.
The North London giants opened the scoring in the eighth minute courtesy of Jan Vertonghen’s strike, but the home side made a grand comeback just three minutes later as Joselu made it 1-1 on the pass from Matt Ritchie.
But Alli’s strike just before the half-time proved to be the difference as Mauricio Pochettino’s men started their new campaign on a high.
With the signing of Salomón Rondón and Yoshinori Mutō, it was expected that Joselu will become the automatic third-choice front man for the Magpies.
But the former Stoke City striker showed that he is not ready to go down without a fight and put a brilliant performance in a 2-1 defeat.
The 28-year-old opened the scoring for Magpies in the 12th minute and did a perfect job for the manager up front.
He showed his presence in the air as well by winning seven aerial duels, most by any offensive player in the match.
With Rondon and Muto still finding their feet at the club, Joselu has given Rafa Benitez a suitable option and if the former Real Madrid striker continues his good form, he might well become one of the first names to get on the team sheet.
Down but not out
Newcastle had a more than decent outing against a team which finished third last season. After going a goal down, the team showed great attitude and bounced back brilliantly to make it 1-1.
Even after going behind for the second time in the game, the Magpies looked like a team focused on the job and created numerous opportunities.
Even though the Toon Army would’ve been gutted to lose their opening match against Spurs — the second time in two seasons — but manager Benitez will take a feel-good factor in the matches to come.