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Tottenham Hotspur beat Newcastle United by an eventual 3-2 scoreline at St. James Park on Sunday afternoon in a match which was overshadowed and delayed by serious illness to a supporter in the stands.
With the away side leading 2-1 the majority of the way through the first-half, Spurs defender Sergio Reguilon alerted the referee Andre Marriner to a medical issue in the crowd. A supporter had been taken seriously ill was given care by medical professionals while the game was suspended.
The supporter was stabilised and conscious before being taken out of the stadium for further treatment, meaning the match was re-started with seven first-half minutes left to play.
Son Heung-min added a third for Spurs after goals from Harry Kane and Tanguy N’Dombele had overturned the early lead which Callum Wilson had given to Newcastle, and in truth the visitors were in total control from the moment they equalised.
In the second period substitute Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for the home side after two bookings, while Spurs relaxed and saw the game out without overly exerting themselves, aside from Eric Dier’s bizarre late own-goal which reduced the deficit to one and led to a bit more stoppage-time interest than the home crowd had anticipated.
Fast actions can save a life
The most important thing we learned today, if we hadn’t already, is that fast actions and quick treatment can save the life of somebody in cardiac arrest. Here’s a quick reminder which hopefully you will never need, but is most certainly worth knowing.
1. Ensure the scene is safe and check for a response from the person who has fallen ill.
2. If there is no response, call for help and a defibrillator.
3. If the person is not breathing, begin chest compressions. Put one hand over the other and press down on the person’s chest repeatedly. About 100 times in a minute is good.
4. If a defibrillator is available, read the instructions in the box and use it on the patient.
5. Continue with CPR until the person starts to breathe again or help arrives.
Harry Kane’s intelligence has gone nowhere
Kane hadn’t scored in his six Premier League appearances so far this season and his poor performances had been blamed by plenty of observers on his ultimately doomed dalliance with Manchester City in the summer transfer window.
The England captain turned things around here though with the kind of superb, nonchalant goal that only the very best forwards are capable of mastering, as he flicked a lobbed shot over the on-rushing Karl Darlow with his back to goal and eyes firmly on the ball.
The goal was a fine example of Kane’s sheer intelligence in-and-around the penalty area as he read calculated his own position, that of the goalkeeper and perfect the angle and weight of shot needed to score, all while facing away from the net.
The fact that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s excellently directed assist was relegated to a mere footnote just emphasises the quality of the finish.
1,000 and out for Bruce
For all the delirium of Newcastle’s fast start they soon settled down into a pattern which has become all too familiar throughout Steve Bruce’s tenure at St. James’ Park. The Magpies were toothless in attack after scoring the opener, too easily walked through in the centre of midfield, and too often dragged out of defensive shape at the back.
The end result was another lacklustre performance in front of a home crowd desperate for something to believe in, and a defeat for Bruce in his 1000th fixture as a manager.
The 61-year-old was heavily linked with the sack prior to the takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and a fifth loss in a winless season suggests he may well no longer be in the charge for the trip to Crystal Palace next weekend.
Nuno’s Tottenham can score goals
Since Nuno Espirito Santo’s (eventual) arrival as manager this summer, Tottenham Hotspur have struggled to score goals. In their previous seven Premier League fixtures this season, they had managed just six and looked done for if the opposition scored first.
Here, though, they kept their composure after an early setback in front of a raucous home crowd and picked their passes brilliantly in attack to punish a poor Newcastle defence. Hojbjerg in particular looked significantly more comfortable moving the ball forwards than he often has done so far this season.
Nuno will always be a manager that values being difficult to beat over anything else, but the lesson is here that he can try to marry that approach with less rigidity in attack and more progressive use of the ball in midfield to good effect.
Newcastle fans in Saudi fancy dress is just plain weird
Plenty of Newcastle supporters took the opportunity to dress in Saudi-style headscarves and clothing for the first fixture attending by the club’s new owners, meaning there were plenty of shots of glum-looking fans whose revelling had long subsided come the final minutes of the match.
It is of course understandable that fans are optimistic about a new era about fourteen barren years under Mike Ashley’s stewardship, but ‘simping’ for a public investment vehicle linked to a state which Amnesty International has raised significant human rights concerns about? At worst problematic, and at best just plain weird.