London: Tottenham Hotspur missed out on the chance to go level on points with second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League as goalkeeper Tim Krul inspired Newcastle to a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Loic Remy scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute of the early kick-off match when, played in by Yoan Gouffran, he rounded Spurs keeper Brad Friedel before producing a composed finish.
But that the Magpies, fresh from beating Chelsea, took all three points from this trip to north London owed much to a brilliant display by Dutch shot-stopper Krul, who produced a hatful of excellent saves.
Among them were a fine effort to keep out Roberto Soldado’s backwards header after he met a free-kick and an athletic effort when Krul, going the wrong way after Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick took a huge deflection, clawed the ball away before combining with defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to clear Younes Kaboul’s follow-up off the line.
“The first save was the best, Soldado’s header,” Krul told Sky Sports. “The sun was low and it kick-started from there.
“Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa put his life on the line to clear one and it shows the commitment, from the back five to the strikers. A great squad.
“This is the highlight of my career. It was nice to celebrate with the back four. These kind of games don’t happen very often. A great result.”
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew added: “We have to defend with our lives but that is what makes football great. Our goalie was terrific and the centre halves, they were the stars.
“He has had a few good ones [matches] for us, Tim,” said Pardew. “I think he is the best Dutch goalie for sure and I think he is the best in the Premier League.”
Victory saw Newcastle go ninth in the table and left them just three points adrift of Spurs, who remained in sixth place.
Tottenham went into the last international break on the back of a home defeat to West Ham and their players will join up with their countries this week with further doubts over the club’s top-four prospects.
For Spurs, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was a frustrated spectator on Sunday. Lloris was knocked unconscious a week earlier at Everton and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was heavily criticised for letting him finish that game.
The Portuguese boss had insisted Lloris would play against Newcastle but the former Lyon goalkeeper was told to rest after medical advice.
Spurs’ head of medical services Wayne Diesel said: “We’ve continued to monitor Hugo all week and after discussions, Andre and the medical department have agreed to afford the player a couple more days rest.
“Hugo is naturally disappointed as he was keen to return to action, however we feel this decision is in the player’s best interest.”