Rafael Benitez: 'Newcastle United deserved a draw'

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Vertonghen headed Spurs into an early lead - an advantage that was restored after 18 minutes by Dele Alli following Joselu's equaliser for the hosts.

Benitez added: "You could see our team spirit and work-rate, and with the chances we created, we deserved something from the game".

With seven new quality players now on board, Newcastle's current players have to prove that they are worthy of maintaining their roles as starters or primary substitutes.

Spurs fielded a surprisingly strong starting XI at St James Park, with returning World Cup stars Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Harry Kane all playing from the off. New signings Schar, Ki, Muto and Rondon all started on the bench.

Within the Premier League's own fantasy football game however, Kane's stature ensures he remains a popular selection, with nearly a third of managers picking the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot victor for the first gameweek of the season.

But Newcastle levelled shortly after through Joselu, ghosting in-between Spurs defenders before heading home Ritchie's wonderful ball from the right flank.

Joselu battled, scrapped and led the line admirably for the 59 minutes he was on the field, before being replaced by new signing Salomon Rondon.

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Spurs regained control after conceding, however, and the Magpies struggled to get the ball into the feet of their attacking players, with Mohamed Diame particularly sloppy on the ball.

The only surprise was that, after Alli's 18th-minute victor, there was no further score with both keepers, Martin Dubravka and Hugo Lloris, forced to make a string of impressive saves.

For Spurs, Eric Dier was booked and struggled to get a foothold in the game, and though Harry Kane was forced extremely deep, the Golden Boot victor battled hard.

"No one voted to make one of Britain finest exports - the Premier League - less competitive".

Benitez also has cause for concern about the way his side defended crosses, after Vertongen and Alli both benefited from slack marking to score for the visitors.

All three goals were scored in an incident-packed first half, and though the pace of the game slowed down considerably in the final stages, Pochettino was pleased with his side's efforts.

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