Newcastle 1-3 Tottenham: Chadli, Eriksen see Spurs into sixth

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A pair of goals from Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen bracketing halftime saw Tottenham Hotspur past a pesky but inconsistent Newcastle at St. James Park. Harry Kane sealed the deal with his 30th goal of the season as time expired.

Among swaths of protests before and during the match by the home fans, Tottenham proved the better side as John Carver slumped to six straight defeats in charge of Newcastle.

The teams both started bright in a lively opening 10 minutes, with Newcastle delivering a few savory crosses without a final ball while Spurs produced a few solid spells on the ball with nothing to show for it in front of goal. Ayoze Perez nearly got on one of those Newcastle crosses on 14 minutes from Yoan Gouffran, but his shot was saved low by Michel Vorm.

Past the 20 minute mark Spurs put together a delicious bit of passing started by a stellar through ball from Harry Kane to Christian Eriksen who hit a perfect lob to Paulinho, but the Brazilian tried to connect with Erik Lamela instead of shooting, and his touch was just too strong.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Spurs, for all their good passing, got the opener just before the half-hour mark on what appeared to be a somewhat timid buildup. Chadli slowly worked his way through the attacking third on the ball with little challenge, and he decided to have a go from outside the top of the box. The ball curled away from Tim Krul, and the Newcastle keeper may have been shielded as he got a late jump, and the ball nestled into the back of the net.

There was a nervy moment just before halftime as Lamela took down Vernon Anita which forced the referee to have a chat with his assistant, but just a yellow card was produced, and replays showed there was little more in it than a caution.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Things exploded as the second half arrived. Newcastle scored almost immediately out of the gates, as amid a scrum Perez touched to Jack Colback in the box and the 25-year-old drove a powerful punch home less than a minute after the break. But it wouldn’t last long, as Spurs took the lead back seven minutes later. A whipped free-kick from Christian Eriksen from a long way out came all the way through the box without a touch, and with Krul expecting a redirect, he was powerless to stop the delivery from settling into the far corner.

Spurs burst to life, and Kane remained dangerous up front. The England striker nearly had his 20th Premier League goal and 30th in all competitions, but he was denied by a brilliant Tim Krul save. Charging to meet a cross at the far post, he thundered a shot on the run that slammed into Krul, and the Dutch keeper scrambled to keep it from going in. Replays showed the goal line technology was unsurprisingly correct, as Krul just snatched the ball off the line before it completely crossed.

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The visitors remained dangerous as they came so close yet again with under 20 minutes to go, but a delicious through ball from Naleb Benaleb to Lamela but Krul again snuffed out the chance. Newcastle threatened in bursts but they couldn’t put much consistency together. Harry Kane kept shooting, and he’d get his milestone goal in stoppage time as Newcastle poured forward, and it allowed Spurs to break down the other end. He becomes the first 30-goal scorer for Tottenham since Gary Linekar in 1992.

The win lifts Spurs above Southampton into sixth place, and they go level with Liverpool on points, only below them on goal differential. Newcastle, meanwhile, don’t seem to be in danger of relegation, but they suffer their sixth straight defeat and remain stuck on 35 points, well below the magical 40 point mark.

LINEUPS:

Newcastle United: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Anita (Armstrong 75′); Abeid (Obertan 46′), R.Taylor, Colback; Gouffran (Ameobi 46′), Perez, Cabella.

Goals: Colback 46′

Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose (Davies 82′); Bentaleb, Paulinho (Mason 88′), Chadli (Dembele 78′), Eriksen, Lamela; Kane.

Goals: Chadli 30′, Eriksen 53′, Kane 90’+1

Will winning the double be enough to keep Kovac at Bayern?

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BERLIN (AP) Niko Kovac is the first to win a domestic double in Germany as a player and coach, yet it may not be enough to keep his job as Bayern Munich coach.

[ MORE: Valencia end Barcelona’s four-year hold on Copa del Rey ]

Kovac, whose side defeated Leipzig 3-0 in the German Cup final on Saturday, a week after clinching the Bundesliga title, is yet to be given assurances in public from the club that he will remain in charge, despite bringing a successful end to what had been a testing season.

The pressure and uncertainty appeared to cast a shadow on what was Kovac’s second successive German Cup win — he was Eintracht Frankfurt coach when the side defeated Bayern in the final last year.

“Last year I was leaving the team. This year everything is a little less emotional, no tears, but still, I’m happy,” Kovac said.

“Sometimes I would really wish that things went a little differently. It’s difficult to turn the wheel back. We should all work on it, we’re all human. We should make sure that we get along with each other.”

[ U-20 WORLD CUP: Ezequiel Barco’s golazo paces Argentina to big win ]

Kovac, who won the double as a player in 2003, acknowledged the cup win on Saturday was “very important” as “it shows that we have worked well.”

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was again coy when pressed on the coach’s future.

“At the end of the day, we have to get titles. Of course the coach plays a central role,” Rummenigge said. “It was never an issue for us with the term that he has until 2021, that he would simply not be there anymore as coach beforehand.”

John Terry is a finalist for the vacant Middlesbrough job

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In a matter of just a few days’ time, John Terry could be named the new manager of side Middlesbrough.

[ MORE: Valencia end Barcelona’s four-year hold on Copa del Rey ]

According to a report from the Guardian, Terry is being considered as one of three finalists, alongside former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic and former Boro defender (and current first-team coach) Jonathan Woodgate, for the EFL Championship side’s vacant job.

Terry has reportedly spoken to the Boro hierarchy in recent days, and chairman Steve Gibson is expected to make a final decision over who will replace Tony Pulis following the weekend. Boro spent the entirety of the 2018-19 season jostling for a place in the promotion playoffs, but finished seventh and missed out by a single point.

After announcing his retirement from playing in October, Terry was named assistant coach on Dean Smith’s staff at Aston Villa, where he has remained throughout the season and will do so through Monday’s promotion playoff final against Derby County.

[ U-20 WORLD CUP: Ezequiel Barco’s golazo paces Argentina to big win ]

Jokanovic led Fulham to promotion last season before he was fired in November as the Cottagers appeared headed for an immediate relegation back down to the Championship, which ultimately came to pass.

Woodgate came through the Boro academy and played for the club on two occasions, 2006-2007 and again from 2012-2016. He was named a member of Steve Agnew‘s coaching staff in March 2017, less than a year after ending his playing days.

German Cup: Bayern Munich complete double by beating Leipzig

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BERLIN (AP) Captain Manuel Neuer returned from six weeks out injured to help Bayern Munich complete a domestic double after beating Leipzig 3-0 in the German Cup final on Saturday.

[ MORE: Valencia end Barcelona’s four-year hold on Copa del Rey ]

Robert Lewandowski scored twice and Kingsley Coman grabbed the other as Bayern claimed a record-extending 19th cup win to make up for the disappointment of losing last year’s final to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who was in charge of Frankfurt at the time, boosted his chances of keeping his job in Munich after bringing a successful end to what had been a testing season.

Neuer, who missed Bayern’s Bundesliga triumph the week before due to a calf injury, produced two stunning saves in either half when a goal for Leipzig might have been decisive.

Neuer somehow denied Yussuf Poulsen’s header from close range in the 11th minute, when the ball crashed back off the crossbar, and got the better of Emil Forsberg in a one-on-one after the break, when the Swedish midfielder should have equalized.

“You couldn’t write a better script,” Neuer said.

Lewandowski opened the scoring with a header in the 29th, Coman doubled the lead in the 78th after Forsberg’s miss, and Lewandowski wrapped it up with a chip over the goalkeeper in the 85th.

[ U-20 WORLD CUP: Ezequiel Barco’s golazo paces Argentina to big win ]

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery went on late to make their last appearances for Bayern after 10 and 12 seasons respectively. Ribery became the only player to play in eight German Cup finals.

“They delivered a lot for the team and the club,” Lewandowski said. “We have to be grateful.”

Leipzig was appearing in its first, and had been hoping to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its founding date with a win. Thousands of fans made the relatively short journey from Saxony to cheer their side, though they found themselves outnumbered by Bayern fans at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, which hosts German soccer’s showpiece every year.

“It’s a huge disappointment,” Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff said. “When you come here, you want to win.”

The supporters had been warming up for hours before the encounter, downing beers and singing songs at various locations in the city before making their way to the game. Fans who arrived on chartered buses lit barbeques and shared crates of beer by the side of the road.

Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick, the sporting director who took charge of the team on an interim basis before Julian Nagelsmann arrives from Hoffenheim, started with his strongest team, with American Tyler Adams lining up beside Kevin Kampl in midfield.

Leipzig looked sharper, fresher and quicker at the start, but one lapse was all Lewandowski needed to open the scoring. David Alaba whipped the ball in toward the penalty spot, where Lewandowski had too much space to head inside the left post.

Coman displayed a fantastic first touch to control the ball past the helpless Peter Gulacsi for Bayern’s second, and Lewandowski ensured the result was emphatic when he claimed his competition-leading seventh goal. Lewandowski was booked for removing his shirt in the celebrations, but he accepted the yellow card with a smile.

“We worked hard for the whole season. In the end you could say it was a good season for us,” the Polish striker said.

Valencia end Barcelona’s four-year hold on Copa del Rey

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Barcelona’s four-year reign as Copa del Rey holders came to an unceremonious end on Saturday, as Valencia shocked Barcelona in the 2018-19 final in Seville.

[ U-20 WORLD CUP: Ezequiel Barco’s golazo paces Argentina to big win ]

Saturday’s upset capped off a thoroughly successful 100th season for Valencia, who finished fourth in La Liga — assuring them of a second straight season in the Champions League — and lifted the club’s first major trophy since its last Copa triumph, in 2008.

Barca, on the other hand, must make do with merely winning the league title by 11 points and reaching the Champions League semifinals.

Kevin Gameiro opened the scoring with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 21st minute. Jose Gaya’s cross came in from the left and found the Frenchman all by himself with plenty of time for a touch to settle and open up space for the shot.

Rodrigo Moreno doubled Valencia’s lead in the 33rd minute, sending a downward header past Jasper Cillessen after Carlos Soler worked his way around Jordi Alba to deliver a hard-hit ball across the face of goal.

Lionel Messi tapped home an empty-net rebound to pull a goal back for Barcelona in the 73rd minute, but that’s as close as Barca would get to mounting a comeback.

Valencia have now lifted the Copa del Rey on eight occasions (fifth-most all time), but still trail Barca’s record of 30 Copas by some way.