Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heroic Elliot Is United's Platform for a Deserved, Epic Victory

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heroic Elliot Is United's Platform for a Deserved, Epic Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: John GIBSON

GOALSCORERS are football's natural heroes, the glory boys who take the biggest chunk of credit from magnificent victory marches.

And so it came to pass that Newcastle's second-half super subs Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez basked in a huge glow of satisfaction as the Mags turned a one-goal deficit into back to back victories against elite teams Liverpool and Spurs.

Yet I must ask Rob Elliot to take a step forward for a special curtain call.

Because keepers too can be winning heroes.

Elliot was the shot-stopping superman when United gained their first victory on the road this season at Bournemouth, and at White Hart Lane he again provided the platform for a victory fight.

If he had not made two quite stunning first-half saves from Erik Lamela and another full-stretch stop when Harry Kane fleetingly lost his shackles then all would have been lost.

It was a man-of-the-match performance from United's third-choice keeper, though I suspect he has jumped up the pecking order after this.

Even on Tottenham's goal Elliot almost kept the ball out, getting his hand to Eric Dier's flashing header.

Fabricio Coloccini was at fault, losing Dier on Christian Eriksen's flag-kick, but United's skipper redeemed himself on the equaliser, drifting behind Spurs' defence to head Daryl Janmaat's freekick back across the six yard box where Mitrovic, on the field for only a couple of minutes, stuck out a leg to divert the ball in.

United were terrific as an attacking force on the counter second half with Moussa Sissoko regularly the outlet ball, and in injury time Perez struck to clinch an epic victory.

Sure, Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris was badly at fault, beaten at his near post, but it was Perez's decision to shoot instantly rather than taking touches that surprised a man usually so sound.

Ironic, isn't it, that earlier in this topsyturvy campaign much hope was pinned upon the strike partnership of Mitrovic and Perez, yet of late both had been dropped with Papiss Cisse and Siem de Jong preferred. …

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