Match Report: Newcastle United 2 Spurs 3 (what a weekend).

Match Report: Newcastle United 2 Spurs 3 (what a weekend).

What a weekend. It all started off for me on Friday when I went up to Banbury; from there, I was picked up by a friend (Mel) at 7am, and we travelled to Newcastle, parked up and met Terry, Colin, Ian and David. Had drinks, then went on for a meal and to the stadium. Collected my programme and into the stadium, then walked up their steep step to our seats.

As we waited for the match to begin, the jokes were coming out about Arabs, beheading, flogging etc. It was a packed house for the first time in years, and the atmosphere was great, from both set of fans. The Tottenham supporters were singing about Steve Bruce being beheaded and much worse.

The new owners got a good cheer from the Newcastle fans while we gave the predictable shoutouts. But to the match.

As I said, it was also watched by the new non-executive chair Yasir Al-Rumayyan and part-owner Amanda Staveley, and it couldn’t have started off better for them as Newcastle led after two minutes as Callum Wilson returned from injury to head in. The home fans went predictably wild as they thought Christmas was coming early (it doesn’t work like that).

After marking his 1,000th game in management, Steve Bruce might have felt a sense of optimism while clinging to hope that he may continue in the job as they went 1-0 up. But things quickly changed as we scored twice in five minutes.

First, Ndombele fired in a right-footed drive before Harry Kane scored his first league goal of the season when he beat Newcastle’s offside. The goal was awarded by the video assistant referee after initially being ruled out.

Things quickly changed just before the whistle was blown for halftime as the match was halted when a fan suffered a medical emergency in the stands. Supporters and players played their part in alerting medics to the seriousness of the situation before the game was suspended for a short while.

Play resumed with five minutes of the first half remaining, and we extended our lead when Son slid in at the back post for his fourth of the season.

We moved up to fifth in the table. To be honest, I thought we looked comfortable in the second half as things turned bad towards Steve Bruce, with home fans calling for him to be beheaded and a lot worse.

Substitute Jonjo Shelvey received a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Sergio Reguilon after 83 minutes. And despite a brief response from Newcastle, if you can call it that, with Dier scoring in his own net, making it 3-2; that result left the Magpies in the bottom half of the table.

Asked if he will remain in the job, Bruce said: “That is for other people to decide. Ever since I have walked into this club, it is difficult, and I knew how difficult it was going to be with the frustrations. I will carry on as best I can until I hear otherwise. The owners have conducted themselves respectfully since they came in. As long as I don’t hear otherwise, I will go into work tomorrow.”

As I said initially, there was a unique atmosphere outside St James’ Park and around the city before kick-off. Some fans were celebrating the Saudi Arabian-backed takeover by wearing headdresses and draping themselves in Saudi flags. Still, the overwhelming majority answered the call to wear black and white as they heralded a new era after Mike Ashley’s 14-year controversial reign came to an end.

There was a sea of black and white at the Gallowgate End as supporters waved flags and unveiled a banner quoting lyrics from the performer Jimmy Nail’s 1995 song Big River, about the city and rebuilding hope for the future.

My thoughts

The way we opened up the home side’s defence showed how much work is needed to take them into the top four, never mind winning League titles etc. Their priority this season is to avoid relegation.

Our result was a welcome result for Nuno, as we earned successive wins after a derby defeat by the Gooners. Our front four of Ndombele, Son, Lucas Moura and Kane were a menace to Newcastle. Before the game was stopped for a short while, Moura headed on to the bar, and we looked far more likely to score in the second half than the home side before Dier decided to help them out with a gifted goal.

So, that was that, and now we are up to fifth, four points behind leaders Chelsea and three points behind second-placed Liverpool.

After the game, we all met up again and went to a restaurant where the food and drink flowed as if it was coming from a magic fountain. Got back to the hotel about 10.30 with Mel, the others continued partying until the early morning hours. Got up at 8am and left – stopping on the way – and finally getting home at 3pm (bloody long drive; Mel drove).

Next up for Mel and me is a trip to Holland on Wednesday for our Europa League game, followed by an invitation to an Ipswich game on Saturday (one of their directors/ a friend has a box for us). We are staying the night over, and then the next day, we travel to West ham territory for a game at the London stadium. Simples! It will be bloody knackering.

Be safe, Glenn

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