Oliver Skipp might not be the most celebrated name in the Tottenham line-up but his recall to the team after being left out of the defeats to Chelsea and Arsenal might prove a turning point in their season. His partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele shows real promise.
The 21-year-old midfielder's careful use of the ball was crucial in wrestling back control of the game in an initially frenzied atmosphere at St James' Park. He completed 72 passes with the best passing accuracy of any player on the pitch, circulating possession sensibly throughout.
It echoed the control that he had shown in Tottenham's previous victory, the much-improved showing against Aston Villa before the international break. Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports ahead of the Newcastle game, Nuno Espirito Santo identified it as a tactical breakthrough.
"It worked really well," Nuno explained. "We were able to be more solid in the middle of the park with Skipp and Hojbjerg being side by side, although we still allowed one of them to have freedom to support in attack. It was the same idea but a little bit different and it worked better."