Two first-half goals and an allround accomplished performance helped Newcastle United hand Tottenham Hotspur their first Premier League home defeat of the season on Sunday (October 23). Eddie Howe's side ran out 2-1 winners on the night.
Spurs were shaky for most of the game and their off-the-ball game was off as the visitors ran harde and pushed harder every step of the way. Their two goals came through Spurs goalkeeping errors, but the visitors were good value for money for both.
After Heung min-Son missed a golden opportunity to put the Lillywhites into an early lead, Callum Wilson put Newcastle ahead in the 31st minute. A ball over the top was mishandled by an outrushing Hugo Lloris on the edge of the box. The Frenchman couldn't clear it and went down under pressure from Wilson, who controlled it before shooting into an open net.
Lloris' evening would get worse. Five minutes from the break, his attempted chip out of the box was controlled by Miguel Almiron, who dribbled in from the right wing put the Magpies two goals to the good.
Spurs pulled one back under the driving London rain in the 54th minute through Harry Kane who nodded in from a corner. However, Newcastle held on to climb to fourth in the standings with 21 points from 12 games, ahead of Chelsea on goal difference. Tottenham, meanwhile, remain third with 23 points from 12 games.
On that note, here are the five hits and flops from an intriguing Premier League game:
#5 Flop: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
The experienced and reliable FIFA World Cup winner looked a ghost of his normal assured self.
Not only did his hesitation and poor distribution lead to the two goals, he also let Almiron's shot slip through him softly. Lloris did not command his box the way he did against Manchester United, where he was the team's best player.
#4 Hit: Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)
The Paraguayan winger took his goal in excellent fashion and was a constant menace down the right flank. He had an astounding pass accuracy of 94 and brought up his sixth goal of the campaign.
It now seems a distant memory when Jack Grealish mocked Almiron's style of play during Manchester City's victory parade last season.
#3 Hit: Nick Pope (Newcastle)
From the moment he saved Son's attempt on goal early on, Pope bossed his box with command.
He also saved a Kane shot late in the first period by stretching out a leg as he hardly put a foot wrong. Pope could have done nothing for the Spurs goal, though. He was also yellow carded for time wasting late on, but he won't mind that in the least.
#4 Flop: Spurs attack
With two of the best forwards in the league in Son and Kane, one would have expected Antonio Conte's men to be more potent in front of goal.
However, Son was a pale shadow of himself, and Kane, although he scored a goal, never got into his groove completely. The midfield supply line never functioned cohesively enough, and Spurs only managed three shots on target in the second half despite trailing by two goals.
#5 Hit: Newcastle's game management
When the hosts finally pulled a goal back, Eddie Howe's men changed tack and how. From a ferocious counter-pressing team that rattled the Spurs backline, they became a crafty unit looking to kill off all momentum and succeeded with aplomb.
Kieran Trippier put in a resolute shift at the back and was ably supported by the center-half pairing. Bruno Guimaraes was superb as a deep-lying midfielder breaking up play as the Toons kept the ball well, drew fouls and wasted time. It was a professional performance from the Magpies that got its due reward.