TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 vs NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas felt the record-breaking performance of goalkeeper Tim Krul was decisive as his team dropped points at home for the third time in four Premier League matches yesterday.
Krul saved 14 of Spurs’ 31 attempts at goal, the highest number of stops in a single match since detailed data from top-flight fixtures began to be compiled in the 2006-07 season.
The Holland stopper’s display meant the 13th-minute goal from striker Loic Remy, on loan from QPR, was enough to earn Newcastle their first win at White Hart Lane since 2008.
But Villas-Boas felt Spurs did not deserve to lose.
“I think that the result is unfair, given what we created, particularly in the second half,” he said. “I think Tim Krul was the key to the game. He made the difference.
“Obviously we have to look at ourselves and recognise that our first half was very, very poor.
“Newcastle made a good start and we made a poor start ourselves, so we’ve responded with a good second half, but that 45-minute advantage was probably the blow for us.
“Our disappointment comes from that, although I still think had one of those opportunities gone in we would have won the game.”
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who played four games as a triallist for Tottenham in 1995, was also full of praise for Krul’s match-winning display, which saw Newcastle move into the top half of the table.
“Certainly in the second half Tottenham really turned up the heat and he answered almost everything,” said Pardew. “It was an unbelievable performance.
“I think he is the best goalie in Holland and he proved that.”
Villas-Boas named 42-year-old Brad Friedel in goal, with regular No1 Hugo Lloris unavailable on the advice of the medical department as he continues to recover from concussion suffered at Everton last weekend.
The veteran American was swiftly beaten though following a succession of errors from Spurs deep inside their own half. Vlad Chiriches and Mousa Dembele failed to clear their lines before a wayward pass from the Belgian to Paulinho gifted possession to Yoan Gouffran, then able to play an incisive through ball for Remy who skipped around Friedel and finished into the empty net.
Roberto Soldado went close for Spurs with a flicked header, which Krul saved at full stretch, and the Dutchman then beat away efforts from Christian Eriksen and Paulinho before half-time.
After the break the same trio were denied again and winger Andros Townsend saw a powerful left-foot strike parried away by Krul, before defender Jan Vertonghen rattled the crossbar with a back-post header in the dying minutes.