Football Features

“Better late than never!” – Winners & Losers as Joelinton delivers to heap more misery on Mourinho with 2-2 Spurs draw

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 16:34, 4 April 2021

In a dramatic afternoon of football, Newcastle scored a late equaliser to pick up a priceless point with a 2-2 draw.

The Magpies had taken the lead before Harry Kane unloaded on them, but they kept going to bag a late equaliser. Who were the winners and losers?

Winner: Joelinton

Joelinton joined Newcastle at the start of last season and in that time had played 59 games and scored just 3 goals. That is pitiful for a striker that the Magpies spent so much on. But today against Spurs we saw the Brazilian show a glimpse of his true potential.

This was an absolutely dominant performance up-top from Joelinton. From first whistle to last he was bossing the Spurs defenders with his movement, intelligence and physicality. He scored Newcastle’s opening goal was unerring precision, could have scored an equaliser in the second-half and then it was his towering back-post header that kept the ball alive and led to Newcastle’s equaliser.

Yes he’s been poor overall, but if he’s found some form he could be the man to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. Better late than never!

Loser: Davinson Sánchez

Whatever happened to Davinson Sánchez? The defender who was playing Europa League finals a teenager and then joining Spurs and progressing wonderfully under Mauricio Pochettino? Because the Davinson Sánchez doesn’t look anything like that player.

Or, perhaps, the problem is he looks exactly like that player. That at 24-years-old he plays with all the haphazard immaturity of that 19-year-old playing for Ajax. Today he was all over the place at the back for Newcastle, being bailed out constantly by Joe Rodon. His involvement in Newcastle’s opening goal was so chaotic it defies description and he didn’t cover himself in glory for their late equaliser either.

He needs help.

Winner: Harry Kane

When Spurs were down in both a figurative and literal sense they needed a saviour to rise and bring them back to life and unsurprisingly that man was Harry Kane. Two goals, the first a fortunate but instinctive bit of finishing and the second an absolutely phenomenal finish that Kane struck so effortlessly that it looked to be an ordinary, routine effort.

Kane was a problem all afternoon for Newcastle, which was remarkable given how poorly Spurs played overall. Spurs had 11 shots all told and Kane managed 7 of them. He was their only genuine threat and deserved more support from his team-mates.

Kane has more goals and assists than anyone else in the Premier League and only Robert Lewandowski has more direct goal involvements across Europe’s top five leagues. He is a striker that is clearly too good for the Europa League, and so if Spurs fail to secure a top four finish you best believe we’re in for a dramatic summer in North London.

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Loser: Emil Krafth

As much as Davinson Sanchez embarrassed himself for Spurs’ opening goal, Emil Krafth matched him just 90 seconds later as Spurs broke forward looking for an immediate response. Gio Lo Celso played a nice ball into Harry Kane’s path but Krafth had read it and should have made a simple clearance but instead he completely whiffs his clearance and the balls ends up bouncing into Kane for an immediate equaliser that completely reset the terms of engagement. Newcastle got a point, but they could have had all three but for Krafth.

Winner: Steve Bruce

It’s been a rough old season for Steve Bruce, and he definitely hasn’t helped himself at times. But today he got the better of “El Jurassico” against José Mourinho, proving that in terms of dinosaurs he is above the Portuguese manager in the food chain.

Newcastle dominated the game, didn’t really get any lucky breaks, but kept on plugging away to get back into the game. Bruce made bold subs, timing them well, and in the end was rewarded with a dramatic late equaliser (the second against Spurs this season) that has lifted them three points above the relegation places. Does hope spring eternal for the Magpies?

Loser: José Mourinho

Imagine being a former Champions League winning manager and one of only three coaches to retain the Premier League and then losing a match that had been referred to with the epithet “El Jurassico?” What a fall from grace it has been for Jose Mourinho, but he has most assuredly fallen and fallen hard.

Spurs didn’t just drop points this afternoon, well they did, but it was so much worse than just that. They missed out on a huge chance to go fourth in the league with eight games left to play. They also dropped their 15th point from a winning position, which is the third-worst record in the league. There was and is no sense that they were capable of that vintage Mourinho move of shutting down and holding onto a lead.

Even when it looked like that were going to win it felt underwhelming. Newcastle out-shot Spurs 22 to 11 this afternoon. That simply cannot be allowed to happen, not with the attacking talent Spurs possess. Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane alone should have been enough to win this game; and when Gareth Bale and Heung-min Son came on? Shoulda been game over for Newcastle, yet instead we got a result to match a performance so dour and dire that maybe it should be game over for José Mourinho?