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  • January 22, 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 51010
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Newcastle United 1-1 Tottenham: Injury Time Lennon Strike Rescues Point But Visitors Lose Bale To Injury

Newcastle United 1-1 Tottenham: Injury Time Lennon Strike Rescues Point But Visitors Lose Bale To Injury

Welsh winger limps off after 13 minutes

Tottenham left it late to steal a point at St James Park, as Aaron Lennon was once again the scourge of Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United, as his stoppage time equaliser move Spurs level with Chelsea, and within touching distance of the top four.

The host had take a deserved second half lead through the unlikeliest of sources, as Argentine defender Fabricio Coloccini marked his birthday, and 100th appearance for the club with a scorching drive on the hour mark.

Harry Redknapp was forced to tinker with his line-up, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto ruled out of the match with a knee injury, allowing new signing Steven Pienaar to make his debut, with Gareth Bale dropped back into the full-back role. And it was the Welshman who would make the first notable impact on the game.

Sadly for the visitors however, it was the untimely substitution of the Welshman on 13 minutes with a muscle injury, with the Spurs man being replaced by former Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong.

Despite the Cameroonian inexperience in the position, it was right back Alan Hutton who was on the receiving end of a barrage of attacking bursts from a spirited Newcastle side, with Jonas Gutierrez leading the attack. And the majority of their chances would blossom from the Argentine.
Working in tandem with full back Jose Enique, the winger fizzed ball after ball into the spurs box, but 

it was the defender who supplied the first real chance of the match, as his whipped delivery left Cudicini stranded, and the Leon Best, who volleyed on the slide, was only denied by the cross bar.
Spurs meanwhile struggled to impact the left-hand side, and Pienaar looked lost at times without the energy of a comfortable full-back to work in front of, as Bassong remained reluctant to advance much beyond the halfway line.

Lennon was the visitors main threat, and switched between flanks in search of an opening, which almost arrived for Spurs, against the run of play, just before half time.

Jermaine Jenas, featuring against his former side, nipped in bravely to win back possession with a neat header, before unleashing Luka Modric. The Croatian meandered his way past the attentions of Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan, before slipping a ball to the Rafael Van der Vaart, whose deft backheel put Jermain Defoe through, but Steve Harper was on hand to make the block.


Early exit | Bale limped off after just 13 minutes with suspected muscle injury

Neither Pardew or Redknapp made alterations to their sides during the interval, and neither did Gutierrez to his game.

The Argentine picked up where he had left off, but this time down the right flank, targeting the positional weakness of former team-mate Bassong.

Having flighted a dangerous delivery beyond the Spurs man, Best was unable to make the telling touch, as his header drifted wide of Cudicini’s left-hand post.

The game itself opened up, with both sides enjoy decent space and possession in front of their opposing back fours, but it would be Newcastle’s Argentine defender who grabbed the opener, on his 29th birthday.

Having denied Pienaar a shot on goal moments before with an expertly timed tackle, Coloccini, still up field following a set piece, was picked out on the corner of the 18-yard box.

With Hutton to beat, he dodged the Scotland international with a composed chest of the ball, before riffling a volley beyond Cudicini which made you question whether Andy Carroll was in fact playing, but sporting a freshly arranged perm.

Cudicini was then required to keep his side in the match, and denied Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands in quick succession in a performance of impressive agility from the Italian veteran.
Their lead was well deserved, but it certainly woke Spurs up.

Lennon quickly began to pick up possession all of the field, linking up with Van der Vaart and Modric at every given opportunity, and it was the Croatian who was a whisker away from putting Spurs level.

Having received the ball on the edge of the box, Modric took one touch, shifting the ball to the right, before unleashing a thunderous drive on goal which almost took the goal out of the turf, and certainly left the Harper’s crossbar rocking.

But Newcastle were made to pay for their missed chances, and having opened the scoring in the reverse of this fixture in December, it was Lennon who dragged Spurs level.

The winger found space on the left-hand side once again, and having cut inside Danny Simpson to the edge of the box, shifted the ball onto his right foot before fizzing a powerful low drive past the despairing Harper, to hand Tottenham a point they probably didn’t deserve with a goal he certainly did.

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