Newcastle threw this game away three minutes into the second half when the Newcastle captain Jonjo Shelvey stupidly stood on Deli Alli’s foot deliberately;y right in front of referee Andre Mariner and the referee rightly gave the playmaker his marching orders with a red card.
Shelvey looked surprised but he shouldn’t have been, and he knew exactly what he was doing – throwing the first game of the season away for Newcastle United.
Shame on Shelvey.
Rafa Benitez seemed incensed because it looked like nothing, but when he sees the TV replay, there’s really nothing the referee could do but send Jonjo off.
This is not the first time Shelvey has let the side down, and he was suspended for five games last season for racially abusing a player, and he will now get a three game suspension for his latest misadventure.
This had followed a first half in which Newcastle were as good as Spurs, who are one of the best sides in the Premier League.
We held our own well throughout the first and looked really well organized and there were few chances to either side although Gayle had a good chance early which he hit over the bar with his left foot.
Jonjo Shelvey sent off after 48 minutes
But after 6 minutes Paul Dummett picked up a hamstring strain and had to leave the field being replaced by Jamaal Lascelles.
Ciaran Clark went to left-back.
And then a terrible tackle and a yellow card from Harry Kane crippled Florian Lejeune who up to that point had looked pure class for Newcastle.
Off went Lejeune and on came Chancel Mbemba as a straight replacement for the Frenchman and at the half, it was 0-0 with Newcastle looking workmanlike and organized.
But then 3 minutes into the second half we lost the game.
After 61 minutes a good Christian Eriksen cross into the box found a wide open Deli Alli who put it past Elliot to make it 1-0.
And then 9 minutes later it was left back Davies who scored to make it 2-0 as Newcastle were being overrun a bit at the back.
Rafa changed it to three at the back, and it seemed to work as we saw out the game with no further goals conceded and Mikel Merino who will probably start at Huddersfield next Saturday was brought on in place of Dwight Gayle for his debut for Newcastle.
Mikel is likely to be asked to fill in for Jonjo for three games.
But Rafa will be counting the cost of this first game with two players injured and Jonjo Shelvey out for at least three games now.
Things are worse than they were at the start of this game – unfortunately.
This was a game we needn’t have lost, but we did because of ill discipline in the team.
We cannot do this too often this season if we want to be around mid-table and avoid a relegation fight.
The way things were going in the first half we could have come out of this game with a point or even a win with some luck on our side.
On the positive side Lejeune, Manquillo and Atsu all looked good this afternoon for Newcastle – it’s just a pity we had nothing to show for it.