Paul Dummett

Benitez: Kane tackle worse than Shelvey’s red card


Rafa Benitez knows most teams aren’t going to find three points when two backs go down in the first half against a superior team.

He also knows that Jonjo Shelvey‘s red card was deserved, and that Spurs picked up a deserved win after Newcastle held them without real danger for 50 minutes.

[ MORE: Recap | Pochettino reacts ]

That’s where the understanding ends for Benitez, who saw big summer signing Florian Lejeune scythed down by a Harry Kane scissor kick and just a yellow card shown. Lejeune left the game, joining left back Paul Dummett as players needing first half subs.

From the BBC:

“It was difficult from the beginning. We had to adapt things [after injuries]. The red card changed everything. I think we were defending well. We have to improve. We had our chances but we missed them.”

“The Harry Kane tackle was worse than this one. It’s more dangerous. We lost one player from that. We made a mistake, but I think maybe someone has to analyse these things to see what’s more dangerous.”

Let’s be clear, Kane’s ugly tackle — easily a yellow card — wasn’t worse than Shelvey walking on Dele Alli‘s achilles tendon. But Benitez is right to feel aggrieved when Newcastle lost a major player on an unseemly tackle, and we’re sure he’s raging at Shelvey for ruining what looked like it could be a scoreless draw and welcome point from the Magpies’ Premier League return.

Newcastle United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Dele breaks through 10-man Magpies

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  • Shelvey sent off
  • Scoreless at break
  • Dele with breakthrough
  • Davies adds insurance

Dele Alli drew a red card than scored the winner, and Ben Davies also scored as Tottenham Hotspur beat 10-man Newcastle United 2-0 at St. James Park on Sunday.

Jonjo Shelvey was sent off and will face a significant ban for stepping on Dele’s ankle after the midfielder delayed the match by holding onto the ball following a foul.

Spurs host Chelsea in one week’s time, while Newcastle visits Huddersfield Town on the same Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle opened pressing very high, and Spurs struggled to get the ball in the first five minutes as a loud St. James Park.

Dwight Gayle flubbed a couple chances, and the crowd lustily booed ex-Magpies midfielder Moussa Sissoko when he got the ball.

Newcastle left back Paul Dummett needed to leave the match after six minutes, and captain Jamaal Lascelles subbed into the mix.

A Javier Manquillo foul provided a rare chance for Spurs, but Harry Kane‘s heading a free kick bounced harmlessly to Magpies backstop Rob Elliot.

Newcastle was sloppy with its touches and passing, but its relentless pressure allowed the hosts most of the ball through most of the first half and a significant amount of corner kicks.

Rafa Benitez was forced into his second substitution when new signing Florian Lejeune was injured from a rash tackle from Kane — the Spurs man saw just yellow — and a second center back came off the bench in Chancel Mbemba.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Spurs found their footing around the 41st minute, and Elliot had a little work to do when Christian Eriksen curled a shot from outside the box.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Jonjo Shelvey was given a red card after the break. Dele Alli handled the ball after a foul and would not release it. As Shelvey stepped over Dele to gather the ball, he stepped on the Spurs’ player’s ankle and was sent off.

Newcastle would have to play 42 minutes down a man.

Harry Kane made a sliding point-blank shot that Elliot foiled for a corner as Spurs mounted their attack.

It was Dele the villain who put Spurs ahead, rightly so, with a sliding finish off Christian Eriksen’s feed. Kane started the play, and Lascelles was victimized on the finish. 1-0, Spurs.

The Magpies held firm for less than 10 minutes, and this time it was Davies with a stylish finish of more fluid play from Dele, Kane, and Eriksen.

Christian Atsu put a shot into the outside of the netting in the 83rd minute as the Magpies sought a goal. A late free kick then saw Ciaran Clark hit a partial clearance right into Hugo Lloris‘ arms.

Kane, who doesn’t have a PL goal in any August, battered the post in the first minute of stoppage time then scored an offside goal in the second.

Pardew laments firing, credits Palace turnaround to new players

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Alan Pardew knows why Crystal Palace was failing when he got fired, knows he could’ve fixed it, and seems pretty bummed he’s not there any more.

Pardew emerged to make the comments after Sam Allardyce helmed another upset win for Palace, a 2-1 win over Liverpool which joins defeats of Arsenal and Chelsea.

The win moves Palace 12th, and the Eagles have a legitimate shot at a top-half finish despite their poor start to the season. But Pardew wants fans to know it was about a personnel mistake, and that Palace dropped into the relegation zone after he was fired.

[ PL PREVIEW: Chelsea vs. Southampton ]

The Northeast Chronicle says Pardew aimed to bring former Newcastle left backs Davide Santon and Paul Dummett to Palace, but couldn’t get the moves over the line. Then Pape Souare was hurt in a car accident and Palace was in trouble.

Over to you, Pards (From the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder):

“We were kicking ourselves not to have any left-footed cover. We were playing right-footed players there and things were exploiting that situation. We became one dimensional.

“I was really disappointed I didn’t get to the window because Sam Allardyce followed me and the results didn’t really improve until the new players got bedded in and they made a big difference.”

Allardyce brought in Patrick Van Aanholt from Sunderland and Jeff Schlupp from Leicester to shore up the left side.

The story is made more amusing by the fact that Allardyce has not hesitated to make Palace’s return to form almost exclusively about his influence, while Pardew bleeds the very same blood.

Who’s on first?

Championship season under way with favorites Newcastle already dropped by Fulham

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Had we done this Championship season preview a few hours ago, we’d sit here and tell you how Rafa Benitez and Newcastle are the clear favorites to win the league and make a straight return to Premier League play.

Oh, how things change in a few hours.

Fulham – last season’s defensive punchlines – took down a frail looking Newcastle 1-0 at Craven Cottage. Here are three things you need to know from this match: Newcastle did not put on a title-winning performance, looking shaky at the back; Fulham, on the other hand, looks a completely revitalized squad with a host of solid signings; and one of those new additions, Denis Odoi, completed this utterly ridiculous bit of skill, sending Paul Dummett to the woodshed:

Nevertheless, the Magpies remain the clear favorite in the league, with Rafa Benitez one of two Champions League-winning managers in the English second tier. The other is Roberto Di Matteo, the new Aston Villa manager charged with bringing them back to the Premier League with a much more underwhelming squad than Newcastle boasts. Di Matteo does have the chance to deploy a bright, shiny new toy up front in experienced Championship striker Ross McCormack, signed from Fulham on Thursday for a healthy sum of cash.

There are plenty of contenders for those promotion spots, however, and as always in the Championship, it’s a long, slog of a season to keep the favorites honest. Reading finished 17th last season, and replaced Brian McDermott with former Champions League winning player in Jaap Stam, handing the 44-year-old his first managerial job. Fulham is another side to keep an eye on, who finished 20th last year with a miserable defensive record, but despite the loss of leading scorer McCormack, as displayed in their victory over Benitez and Newcastle, they’ve made a host of smart signings and look to be a solid side under the management of former Chelsea midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic.

Derby County is another contender, having found themselves just barely on the wrong side of promotion yet again last year. Under the wing of Nigel Pearson – the man who brought Leicester City to the Premier League – they’ll give it another go. QPR is always a team to look out for, although they were uncharacteristically quiet this summer. Brighton Hove & Albion missed out on promotion last season on goal differential, and after succeeding in fending off interest in some of their best players this summer, they look ready to go, plus the addition of experienced midfielder Steve Sidwell.

The grinding nature of life in the Championship has begun again – with a shocking result already upon us on opening day – and it promises to be a wild ride as always, with everything on the line.

PL Sunday preview: Manchester Derby, Tyne-Wear Derby, Spurs’ title chances

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A pair of local derbies — one with top-four implications, the other a relegation six-pointer with two months remaining in the season — a title hopeful needing a win to stay in the race, and mid-table battle with European qualification implications … Sunday’s four-game slate of Premier League action has a little bit of everything.

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Newcastle United vs. Sunderland — 9:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra

The Tyne-Wear rivalry has been an exercise in futility in recent years, as both Newcastle and Sunderland flounder in the relegation zone for much of the year, only to escape at the tail end of the season. In the on-field derby, it’s been little more than a training exercise for the Black Cats, who have beaten the Magpies in six straight PL meetings by a combined score of 13-1 beginning in April 2013. Newcastle’s last derby win came nine tries ago, on Aug. 20, 2011. In their first meeting of the 2015-16 season, back in October, Sunderland triumphed at the Stadium of Light, 3-0.

Newcastle (24 points) currently sit 19th in the league table, with Sunderland a single point and spot ahead of them. Norwich City (28 points) currently occupy 17th and the safety that comes along with it. On the injury front, Newcastle will be without Paul Dummett (hamstring), while Papiss Cisse (knock), Fabricio Coloccini (calf) and Chancel Mbemba (heel) will all face late fitness tests to be available. As for Sunderland, Lee Cattermole (concussion) and Jeremain Lens (groin) are expected to return to action.

Southampton vs. Liverpool — 9:30 a.m. ET, on Live Extra

After knocking off Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday, spirits are at an all-time high under first-year manager Jurgen Klopp, which makes Sunday’s trip to St. Mary’s Stadium a real banana skin-in-waiting. The two sides have already drawn at Anfield this season, 1-1 back in October, and they find themselves now separated only be goal differential (Saints’ +8 to Liverpool’s +6), sitting in eighth and ninth. James Milner will be suspended for Liverpool, while Roberto Firmino (undisclosed) and Alberto Moreno (hamstring) are both doubts to be available.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Leicester go 8 points clear again ]

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Bournemouth — 12 p.m. ET, on Live Extra

With Leicester City’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, Tottenham once again sit eight points back as the side most likely to spoil the Foxes’ unlikely title triumph (it’s still unbelievably to weird to type that). When Spurs and Bournemouth met for the first time this season, back in October, the final score was 5-1 in favor of the visitors. Jan Vertonghen (knee) is still a week or two away from returning for Spurs, while Eric Dier is a slight doubt for Sunday with a slight knock. Alongside Bournemouth’s season-long injuries, Harry Arter (achilles) will undergo a late fitness test to determine his status for Sunday.

Manchester City vs. Manchester United — 12 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra

Sunday will mark the 171st installment of the Manchester Derby, as Man City hope to hold off their city rivals in the race for a top-four finish and UEFA Champions League qualification next season. Ahead of Sunday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium, four points is all that separates fourth-place City from sixth-place United in what can only be described as a thoroughly disappointing season for either side.

After winning for straight Manchester Derbies from April 2013 to November 2014, City are winless in the last two after drawing 0-0 in October. On the injury front, Vincent Kompany is once again out for an unknown period of time due to a calf injury, while Kevin DeBruyne (knee) remains out until next month, and Nicolas Otamendi could be available after picking up a knock in the Champions League on Tuesday. As for United, Wayne Rooney (knee), Phil Jones (knee) and Luke Shaw (broken leg) remain out long-term, while Ashley Young (groin) and Ander Herrera (groin) are both questionable.