Dele Alli inspires Spurs to opening win after Jonjo Shelvey's idiotic red
Premier League, St James' Park - Newcastle United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Alli 61, Davies 70)
Dele Alli and Ben Davies were on the scoresheet as Tottenham opened their Premier League campaign with a comfortable victory over 10-man Newcastle United.
Newly-promoted Newcastle were more than holding their own until captain Jonjo Shelvey was shown a straight red card for a senseless stamp on Alli at the start of the second half.
From there, Spurs took control and broke the deadlock on the hour-mark when Alli slid in from Christian Eriksen’s sublime cross. The Dane was the architect once again when he set up Davies as Spurs doubled their advantage minutes later.
Rafa Benitez’s side will aim to bounce back when they visit Huddersfield next Sunday, while Tottenham host title rivals Chelsea on the same day.
Jonjo Shelvey’s red card: Newcastle had been fairly comfortable until their captain was sent off for the most needless and ridiculous action. At 25 years old, the midfielder should know better and he’s let his team-mates and club down.
Newcastle United's English midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (C) passes Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino (L) and Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael BenitezGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham): Young Kyle Walker-Peters - replacing namesake Kyle Walker at full-back, with Kieran Trippier out injured – deserves a mention for an impressive debut, but you can’t look past the influence Eriksen had on the match. Created two lovely goals and could have got on the scoresheet himself.
Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team mates during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.PA Sport
5’ - CHANCE! Gayle times his run to perfection to latch onto a lovely ball over the top of the Spurs defence. He snatches at his shot, however, and it's a let off for the visitors.
6’ – INJURY: Paul Dummett has pulled up, and it looks like it's his right hamstring. The Newcastle defender is taken off, and Jamaal Lascelles is on.
26’ - CLOSE! Eriksen is allowed space inside the area to have a shot. It goes through the legs of Lascelles, but wide of the bottom corner. That's as close as Spurs have come thus far.
33’ - INJURY: Florian Lejeune appears to have hurt his ankle - and will be forced off. He’s replaced by Chancel Mbemba.
48’ - RED CARD! Shelvey is shown a straight red for a foul on Alli! He appears to stand on his ankle, right in front of Andre Marriner. It was the RIGHT decision and totally senseless
61’ – GOAL! Newcastle 0-1 Tottenham: And there's the opener - Dele Alli gets Spurs off the mark. The England international is picked out wonderfully by Eriksen and he slides home to give his side a well-deserved lead.
70’ – GOAL! A lovely team move involving Alli and Kane is almost finished by Eriksen, but Davies nips in to steal the goal from the Dane! Spurs are cruising to victory.
83’ - CLOSE! The unmarked Hayden nods a ball to the back post, but Atsu can only find the side netting. It was a chance for Newcastle.
90’+ 2 - KANE HITS THE POST! The Spurs frontman times his run to perfection to meet Son's pass, but he's denied by the woodwork.
- Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Christian Eriksen has assisted more Premier League goals than any other player (29).
- Jonjo Shelvey is the first Newcastle player to be sent off at St James' Park in the opening game of a Premier League season since Alan Shearer.
- Ben Davies has scored twice in his last two Premier League appearances - as many as in his previous 102 combined.
- No player has had more shots than Harry Kane so far in the Premier League this weekend, but his August drought continues (11 appearances).