LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday with Brazilian Joelinton grabbing the winner.
Joelinton, the club’s record 40 million pound signing, finished off a 27th minute counter-attack, keeping his composure to beat Hugo Lloris after being put in by Christian Atsu.
The win was a much-needed one for Newcastle manager Steve Bruce who had lost his first two games after taking over from Rafa Benitez in the close-season.
It was a back-to-the walls effort from Newcastle for much of the game but Tottenham, who started with Christian Eriksen on the bench, struggled to turn their possession into clear chances.
The home side felt they should have had a penalty in the 78th minute when Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles lost his footing and fell into the path of Harry Kane who went down but neither the referee nor the VAR review felt the incident merited a penalty.
Spurs should have got on level terms minutes later but Lucas Moura blasted over the bar after a low cross from the right by Moussa Sissoko.
After last week’s 3-1 loss at promoted Norwich City, Bruce came in for plenty of criticism from Newcastle fans who have struggled to accept his appointment, despite him being a boyhood fan of the club.
“The only way we can respond to criticism is like that. We came to this fantastic stadium, this fantastic club and we performed,” said Bruce.
“I have managed 900-odd games and over the years you would think there would be some sort of respect but I go back to the fact that whoever took over from Rafa Benitez was going to get the abuse.
“I am delighted for my staff and the players. We have responded in the right way from last week’s game.”
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said his team had paid the price for some poor individual performances.
“We didn’t create. We had possession but we didn’t create enough chances. We didn’t find the capacity to break down their defensive line. They were very organised and defended deep,” said the Argentine.
“I’m very disappointed with the performance and with the result. Sometimes, it’s not about possession, it’s about individual actions and today we didn’t show the type of quality we needed.”
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ian Chadband