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.
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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.
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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.
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