Tottenham Hotspur 0 Newcastle United 1 match report: Spurs shown error of their ways by Loic Remy

Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul made a total of 14 saves in the victory

Tottenham were blessed with a wealth of riches following the £86m sale of Gareth Bale in the summer, but they are continuing to pay the price this season for not deciding to shop for a striker closer to their north London home.

One of their targets Loïc Rémy, was available just a few miles across town for a paltry £2m season-long loan fee from QPR, yet they decided that going abroad was the best option and invested a mammoth £26m in Roberto Soldado from Valencia instead.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially given the latter’s impressive record in Spain, however Tottenham fans were given the ultimate chance to compare the duo at White Hart Lane and were given another stark reminder of just what they have missed out on.

While Rémy settled the game with a finish of high class to take his tally to an incredible seven goals in nine League appearances, Soldado was on the periphery of the action and looked short of confidence.

He is not solely to blame for Spurs’ attacking woes this season, which thanks to a miraculous performance from Newcastle keeper Tim Krul, now stands at nine goals from 11 League matches.

But as Rémy’s pace and movement off the ball constantly worried Spurs’ defenders, Newcastle, barring one first-half header, were able to keep the 28-year-old Soldado at bay with ease.

A prolific forward can make the difference between being title contenders, finishing in the top four or remaining among Europe’s also-rans in the Europa League. How Spurs could do with the pace of Rémy, who latched on to Yoan Gouffran’s smart through ball in the 13th minute before rounding Brad Friedel and stroking the ball in the net.

“Loïc really is in great form,” the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. “He gave us the platform to win. He has a silkiness to the way he moves, a nice gait the way he runs. He really is a classy looking performer which is great if you back it up with goals, which he is. It makes him stand out.”

Whether the France international would have had such an easy task ghosting past Hugo Lloris rather than Friedel is open to debate.

After being besieged with criticism following their decision to keep a concussed Lloris on the pitch last week against Everton, following a painful blow to the head from Romelu Lukaku’s knee, he was left out for the second game in a row.

The 26-year-old was expected to return for this match and, given his ability to patrol the edge of his area with such speed and aplomb, one suspects that he would have made a better job of stopping Rémy than the ageing Friedel, who only found out he was starting a few hours before kick-off.

Not surprisingly, Villas-Boas couldn’t hide his tension over the subject when it was raised in the post match press conference.

“I think the medical department should be allowed to explain to you,” he said. “The only thing I can tell you is the medical department advised us not to play the player. I just follow orders. We did everything by the book to save the life of the player, the medical department deserve respect.”

An impact test, which is a common practice used to measure whether a patient has fully recovered from concussion or not, was conducted on Lloris and it was deemed that the game had come too early for him to play.

He will be allowed to play for France in the World Cup play-off against Ukraine, with the first leg on Friday night.

Buoyed from their superb 2-0 victory over Chelsea the week before, Newcastle certainly deserved their first half lead, especially with Pardew playing an adventurous 4-4-2 system that saw Shola Ameobi playing alongside Rémy up front. Spurs looked as dazed and confused as Lloris did in the aftermath of his encounter with Lukaku at Goodison Park and the home fans let their frustration show, particularly when Soldado was slow to react to a fine cross from Christian Eriksen.

Even though the home side laboured for long periods, they still should have earned at least a point, but Krul was inspired in the Newcastle goal. A remarkable 14 saves in all, the highest since Opta started recording statistics in 2006, rightfully earned the plaudits.

The stop from Soldado’s header in the first half and a remarkable double block after the break to stop Eriksen’s deflected free-kick and Younes Kaboul’s follow-up, took the breath away.

“Wow,” Pardew enthused afterwards. “I think he is the best keeper in Holland. He answered almost everything, it was an unbelievable performance.”

Boos rang out again at White Hart Lane as the match came to an end and the fans’ frustrations with the lack of goals was palpable.

Villas-Boas added: “We have scored 29 goals [it’s actually 32] this season, which is the second highest tally.”

The majority of those were in lesser competitions. Perhaps they’ll want to give QPR a call when Rémy’s season-long loan runs out.

Tottenham (4-2-3-1) Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches (sub 46, Kaboul), Vertonghen; Paulinho, Dembele (sub 46, Sandro); Townsend, Eriksen, Sigurdsson (sub 69, Defoe); Soldado.

Newcastle (4-4-2) Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Sissoko, Tiote, Cabaye, Gouffran (sub 85, Obertan); Ameobi (sub 60, Anita), Remy (sub 75, Cisse).

Man of the match: Krul (Newcastle)

Match rating: 8/10

Tim Krul keeps out Christian Eriksen from close range Tim Krul keeps out Christian Eriksen from close range

For Premier League Sunday - as it happened, CLICK HERE

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor