One of the surprising heroes of yesterday was winger Christian Atsu. Christian was injured during the Africa Cup of Nations in July and just returned to full training in the past week.
The timing of his return was quite fortunate as Allan Saint-Maximin injured his hamstring in training last week. He was declared fit for Tottenham and made the team. However, after sprinting to the byline early in the game, Allan tweaked that hamstring again. He had to be removed a few minutes later.
But Atsu was on the bench thankfully and came in on the left-wing for Allan. It was quite a performance from the 27-year-old. He set up the lone goal of the match expertly picking out Joelinton after some breathtaking build-up play.
Christian Atsu spoke to NUFC TV after the game. This is what Christian said about the performance and how difficult the game was:
“That was a really difficult game and we had to dig really deep to win this game. The way we defended, we deserved to win this game.
“That is what the gaffer wants from us. To be able to defend but also to attack. He wants also to play football, and that’s what we got. Throughout the week we have been practicing this, and now we showed it.
Christian was also asked about the support of the fans, and this is what he said:
“The fans love this club, and they want the best for the club. So whenever things are going wrong, they have to be upset, but a lot of people never expected us to beat Tottenham.
“They will say our best should have been a draw, but this is what Newcastle is made of and this is what the fans are made of, to support this club and to fight for this club.
“Newcastle fans are always amazing and fantastic. They support the club through thick and thin, so for us, we thank them for their support. We are going to fight and work hard this season.”
Atsu had a terrific game, and he also ended last season very strongly in the absence of Miguel Almiron. He will be pushing for his place after a performance like this.
— Christian Atsu (@ChristianAtsu20) August 25, 2019
Here is the play build-up play leading to the goal. What a pass from Christian and goal from Joelinton.
1??7?? passes – then ?
Catch up with the ? moments from yesterday's win on NUFC TV.
Extended highlights: https://t.co/VMAFUZmWdy
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 26, 2019