A late, controversial penalty allows Newcastle to steal a point vs. Spurs

The ball hits the arm of Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur leading to a penalty. (Photo by Newcastle United/Getty Images)
The ball hits the arm of Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur leading to a penalty. (Photo by Newcastle United/Getty Images) /

Newcastle United didn’t do much in the attack, but a late penalty allowed the Magpies to steal a point on the road.

After desperately defending for a large chunk of the match, Newcastle United took away a 1-1 draw after a late penalty by Callum Wilson canceled out a Lucas Moura first-half tally.

VAR to the Rescue!

With a loss drawing closer, Newcastle United benefitted from a VAR-assisted handball call after Andy Carroll’s header deflected off of Eric Dier’s arm. By rule, it was a penalty, but it’s a tough pill to swallow for Spurs. Wilson stepped up to the spot and beat Hugo Lloris for the late equalizer.

Deep Defending

Rather than enter the match prepared to take the action to a Tottenham side with some tired legs, Steve Bruce decided to sit nearly everyone behind the ball and bunker down.

The irony of setting the tactics up with such a defensive approach is that it makes it a more difficult day defending more times than not. With little possession or intent going the other direction, the defense is required to be on high alert the entire match and just continue to withstand waves of attacks.

Costly Wasted Chances

With those negative tactics, it left Newcastle United with limited opportunities in the attack. But, there were a few moments that needed a clinical touch. Jonjo Shelvey got to line up a shot from a Matt Ritchie cross, but it went wide. Miguel Almiron did well to center a pass for Jeff Hendrick who also shot wide of goal. Joelinton’s cross towards Federico Fernandez was not received by the central defender. Thankfully, the chance they finished from the spot was enough.

Quick Kicks

  • This was a huge performance from the Newcastle United goalkeeper. Martin Dubravka has showcased his value by helping the Magpies keep matches close and winnable with some huge saves. Darlow picked up an early double save and continued to keep it a one-goal lead after the Moura goal. His 11 saves allowed NUFC the chance to pick up the point late and earned a shoutout from Jose Mourinho.
  • For the second straight season, I thought Joelinton turned in a solid performance for the Magpies at Spurs. He wasn’t heavily involved due to the lack of attacking play from Newcastle, but he worked hard to get into good positions and had some bright moments on the ball.
  • Speaking of Joelinton, Wilson experienced what a good chunk of Joelinton’s matches were like last season. Isolated, very little service, and just trying to make an impact in limited moments. But, when he was needed, he converted from the spot.
  • Jacob Murphy, with his performance in the preseason and vs. Morecambe, deserved a runout. But, he maybe was pressing too much to make a big impact and coughed the ball up a few times trying to do too much dribbling. He had some chances to play quickly to Wilson but tried to make the hero play himself.
  • Poor job from Matt Ritchie on the Spurs’ goal as he lost track of Lucas Moura at the far post.

Next. Ashley should sack Bruce and rehire this former NUFC manager. dark

What’s Next?

A Round of 16 matchup in the EFL Cup for Newcastle United vs. Newport County AFC. The Exiles defeated Bolton in League Two yesterday by a  2-0 scoreline yesterday and currently sit third in the fourth division.