Dele Alli: 'Tottenham Hotspur have got to improve'
12 August, 2018, 08:41 | Author: Suzanne Horton
Newcastle and Tottenham get their Premier League seasons underway on Saturday afternoon when they meet at St James' Park.
Tottenham came in for plenty of criticism on transfer deadline day, when they became the first Premier League team in the history of the summer window not to buy or sell a single player.
But it proved another frustrating afternoon for England skipper Harry Kane, who left Tyneside still awaiting his first ever Premier League goal in August after 14 games.
Kane has only recently returned from his summer break after helping England to the World Cup semi-finals, but the club captain - along with Three Lions teammates Eric Dier and Dele Alli - are all named in Mauricio Pochettino's starting lineup.
Get the latest World Cup news updates.
The season kicked-off to the backdrop of a protest staged by hundreds of Newcastle fans outside the nearby branch of Mike Ashley's Sports Direct.
Ashley, the club's notoriously parsimonious billionaire owner, saw fit to spend £90 million (10.6 million euros, $11.5 million) on the ailing department store group House of Fraser. A back post header by Jan Vertonghen hit off the bar and was confirmed by goal-line technology.
Tottenham's second goal was simple in its construction and should have been comfortably dealt with.
And as Newcastle's early energy began to wane, Alli put the visitors back in front, timing a back-post run to perfection to meet Serge Aurier's cross with a textbook header past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
The home side nearly took the lead through one of their new signings, Salomon Rondon, in the 85th minute, but the Venezuelan was denied by an excellent block from Vertonghen, which deflected the ball onto the bar.
Newcastle's Slovakian keeper provided an even better stop to keep out a well-struck effort from Moussa Sissoko.
Kenedy and Ayoze Perez also had good opportunities to score, but Hugo Lloris remained composed and made two brilliant saves.
He took up a position on the left of midfield, regularly helping Ben Davies, and gained possession nine times for Spurs, more than any of his team-mates.
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