Insulting criticism. Complete lies. An over-sensationalised mini-crisis. Steve Bruce’s soundbites had been heavy on emotion in the countdown to this trip to Tottenham, a portrait of a manager determined to fight back after Newcastle’s early-season losses to Arsenal and Norwich. After what must rank among the most satisfying victories of his long managerial career Bruce could reflect on having done precisely that.
Newcastle rode their luck during the closing stages, as Spurs belatedly summoned a little punch in the final third, none more so than when Jamaal Lascelles slipped and appeared to impede Harry Kane as he went to ground inside the area. In came VAR and Spurs sensed the reprieve of a penalty but on this occasion, the technology was not their friend. Lascelles got away with it, as Newcastle did when Lucas Moura lifted a gilt-edged opportunity over the crossbar from Moussa Sissoko’s cross.