Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle: Krul’s heroics continue Spurs struggles in front of goal

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Loic Remy put the visitors ahead early and Tim Krul made sure it stayed that way as the Magpies secured their second straight top-class win with a 1-0 defeat of Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Spurs took 29 shots on goal – 14 on target – but they couldn’t find the back of the net and sit on just nine goals scored so far this Premier League season thanks to Krul’s outstanding match.

The game began with both teams looking to find their attacking sense, and it was Spurs who did so first.

Andros Townsend worked well on the right wing early, and the 10th minute saw him combine with Christian Eriksen win a corner. Roberto Soldado subsequently found himself free on the set-piece for a header but put it just over.

Newcastle were playing with a view to the counter-attack, however, and a beautiful ball just a minute later from Yohan Cabaye sprung Loic Remy free and only a fabulous last-ditch tackle from Vlad Chiriches saved the day.

Remy would make amends and finish well in the 13th minute and give Newcastle the lead.  Yoan Gouffran stole the ball from Paulinhoat the mid-line and immediately slotted Remy through past the defense caught out on possession.  Remy one-two touched around Friedel and finished into the empty net.

The goal, just the sixth Spurs have conceded all season, didn’t change the home side’s early approach to the match despite their lack of goalscoring thus far into the season.  It was more of the same from Tottenham though, with lots of passing but no cutting edge or final ball.

Finally Spurs found a chance in the 30th minute, as Eriksen put in a great ball for Soldado and his header was brilliant, but Tim Krul’s save was better to deny the Spaniard despite the beaming sun in his eyes.

source: Reuters
Loic Remy, on loan from Queens Park Rangers, was the man on the scoresheet for Newcastle.

The home side continued to press for an equalizer as Paulinho fired off a shot in the 41st minute but Krul again saved well, the 25-year-old Dutch keeper in fine form.

Halftime brought two changes for Andre Villas-Boas, one via injury as Vlad Chiriches suffered a facial laceration and was replaced by Younes Kaboul.  AVB also tactically removed Moussa Dembele for Sandro.

It brought a new attacking sense for Tottenham, with Paulinho able to push further forward.  Unfortunately for the home side, Tim Krul outdid his first-half heroics with a pair of spectacular saves.

First in the 50th minute Eriksen was in front of goal at point-blank range but Krul saved well.  Then came the beauty, a 52nd minute free kick from Sigurdsson that took a crazy deflection off the wall, but Krul switched direction and brilliantly stopped the ball, and also saved a follow-up before Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa put the ball out.

Newcastle showed no threat of scoring a second, as the second half rolled on it was all about Tottenham equalizing or not.  They pushed, but between the lack of consistent creativity and Krul’s performance, it was not to be.  Paulinho had a chance in the 82nd minute but Krul was well-positioned, and Vergtonghen’s follow-up was saved low.

Shockingly for Newcastle, following their loss in the Tyne-Wear derby they now have not just wins over but also clean sheets against Chelsea and Tottenham in their last two matches, pushing them up to ninth in the table level with Manchester United on points.

For Spurs, they remain in sixth despite the opportunity to go third in the table with a win.

GOALS:

Newcastle – Remy 13′

LINEUPS:

Tottenham – Friedel; Walker, Vertonghen, Chiriches (Kaboul, 45′), Dawson; Paulinho, Dembele (Sandro, 45′); Townsend, Sigurdsson (Defoe, 69′), Eriksen; Soldado.

Newcastle – Krul; Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Debuchy, Santon; Cabaye, Gouffran (Obertan, 85′), Sissoko, Tiote; Remy (Cisse, 75′), Shola Ameobi (Anita, 60′).

Wenger, Kroenke meet; Arsenal board will be told decision Tues.

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Wenger watch is entering its final hours.

The BBC is reporting that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke met with longtime manager Arsene Wenger on Monday to discuss the Frenchman’s future, and that the decision was going to be made together.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

It seems almost certain that Wenger is going to come back to the Emirates Stadium. From the BBC:

The outcome is unclear but the decision rests solely with Wenger and Kroenke and will be relayed to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.

Fresh terms were agreed in principle some months ago, but nothing is signed.

There have been questions about whether Wenger would accept a sporting director being placed above him, and if Kroenke believes the repercussions of keeping the boss would negatively impact the business.

Barcelona to keep goalkeeper Ter Stegen until 2022

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says it has reached a deal to extend the contract of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen until June 2022.

The club said the new agreement, which has a buyout clause of 180 million euros ($201 million), will be signed on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

Ter Stegen has been with the club since 2014, helping it win nine titles in three seasons.

The German goalkeeper has played 93 matches with Barcelona, conceding 90 goals in 71 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses.

Barcelona has already renewed the contracts of Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. It is still working on new deals for Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Report: Wenger ready to pay Ozil, Sanchez club record deals

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Arsenal knows its departure from the UEFA Champions League has to be a short one, and that keeping its two best attackers around is imperative.

That’s why Arsene Wenger is preparing to make Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the top paid players in Arsenal history, according to a report from The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.

The contract status of both players has been a touchy one this season, and Sanchez especially has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe (including London neighbors Chelsea).

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

But perhaps the Gunners’ FA Cup triumph over Chelsea has Ozil and Sanchez feeling good vibes about the Emirates Stadium set, and Arsenal is ready to pounce. According to the report:

Wenger has told the board that he thinks he can win the Premier League if this group stays together and is supplemented by no more than two or three key additions. Ozil is understood already to have been offered more than £250,000 a week and the club are ready to go to around £280,000 for both him and Sanchez.

The Gunners need both players healthy and happy heading into next season, and appropriate additions as well (A top striker is a must. Again). Wage structure is important, but Arsenal will have a blessing in disguise if another player can make a legit case he deserves to be paid like Ozil and Sanchez any time soon.

West Ham, Everton, and the superstar striker’s need for the Champions League

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Come up with a list of active elite level strikers, and it’s likely to be a short one filled with names from UEFA Champions League clubs.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Harry Kane, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Rarely do names like these move to a non-UCL club while in their prime, and it’s just as uncommon to see them stay at clubs which have failed to qualify for the UCL.

The money, the prestige, the endorsements; All are amplified by the world stage. Given the massive import of their domestic stage and spotlight, Premier League sides have bucked this trend on occasion — see Romelu Lukaku — but it’s the exception to the rule.

That’s what puts an ambitious club like West Ham United between a rock and a hard place. The Irons have been vocal about their desires to bring in a top-end striker, and it’s likely they’d be happy to spend what it takes to attract Alexandre Lacazette, Aubameyang, or Cavani to town.

Lyon reportedly rejected a $45 million bid for Lacazette last season, admitting that ultimately the player’s desires would determine his future. Higuain, too, was linked to chairman David Gold’s wallet before moving to Juventus. Carlos Bacca also saw his future connected to the Irons.

Instead, Gold landed Andre Ayew from Swansea, and had to hope Andy Carroll could stay healthy or Enner Valencia would deliver. Not a striker, Dimitri Payet apparently decided to skip town soon after West Ham’s Europa League exit at the hands of Astra Giurgiu.

Now it’s Kelechi Iheanacho being linked to the London Stadium, another hopeful swing from the Irons that points a strong finger at the problem: West Ham can be as ambitious as it likes, but it’s going to need a miracle to pull an elite striker to London without European football.

And it shouldn’t happen, but what if Everton is bumped from the UEL in the third qualifying round or playoff next year? Will Lukaku follow Payet’s lead and sink another team from joining the discussion? Though an argument can be made it’s better for Everton to lose those summer games, the Toffees very much need to succeed in the UEL qualifying and also show signs of strength in the early PL docket. That’s the unforgiving life of sitting on the outskirts of the powerful tier.

Every team at every level is searching for the next elite striker. Some, like West Ham, will need to luck into a young buck on the rise or a flawed striker finding his potential. And how do they hold onto that player, one who will have alerted the big boys to his arrival, without qualifying for Europe? It’s improbable.

The ability of teams like Chelsea and Liverpool to compete for a European slot in the PL standings thanks to missing out on the UCL the year before signals hope for clubs like Everton and West Ham. And five Premier League sides competing in the UCL this year could extend an invitation to stay longer in the Top Seven discussion for sides like Southampton and Leicester City, too.

So this summer’s striker captures are huge for Slaven Bilic and David Gold. This is a window the league’s “next group” won’t have open annually, and West Ham’s hopes of barging into the discussion again hinge on who shows up by August.