After a rough few weeks, things weren’t about to get easier for Tottenham Hotspur as Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United were the next side to visit N17. Much like Spurs, Newcastle had been struggling with injuries and a depleted squad, while still playing quite attractive football at times - their 1-0 defeat of Manchester United a scoreline ineffective at telling the story of the Magpies’ dominance in that match.
The Lilywhites likewise had shown an inability to make dominance count, and Ange Postecoglou opted to make a couple of changes as a result, bringing back Richarlison and Pape Matar Sarr into the side for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Giovani Lo Celso.
Things started pretty evenly, with Spurs looking good on the ball but unable to pick a final pass, and it was Newcastle with the better early chances. Bruno Guimaraes had a go from distance following a Joelinton cutback, before Newcastle had a huge opportunity to open the scoring, with only a last-ditch touch from Ben Davies preventing a tap-in from Alexander Isak following Anthony Gordon’s square ball. There were half-chances for Spurs as well, as Cristian Romero tried to repeat last week’s goal-scoring heroics as his header was cleared off the line by Miguel Almiron.
As in recent weeks, it was Spurs with the opener. Destiny Udogie received the ball in the inverted fullback position and continued his run forward after feeding captain Heung-Min Son out wide. Son beat ex-teammate Kieran Trippier easily and squared across the goal, where Udogie found himself with a tap-in. It was Ange-ball at its finest, and Spurs were in the lead.
Spurs could have had a second immediately after Brennan Johnson drove forward into space and squared for Pape Matar Sarr, but the Senegalese midfielder whiffed on his shot, shanking it wide from the penalty spot. Newcastle then had a huge chance to equalize after Johnson played a terrible backpass straight to Isak. The Swede fed Gordon, who in turn played Almiron through on goal, but the winger could only scuff his shot straight at Guglielmo Vicario.
It was Spurs, however, with the second goal of the match, and in some way, it was a replay of the first. Once more, Son made Trippier look silly - this time, following a cross-field pass from Pedro Porro - and found his way to the byline before cutting the ball back. Again, it was a tap-in, this time for Richarlison, who gleefully accepted the simple chance, and Tottenham for once went into half-time two goals up.
Newcastle started the second half looking the more dangerous side as Tottenham started to look somewhat passive out of possession, but that danger was all for nothing as Spurs soon added a third. A beautiful ball from Pedro Porro over the head of Jamaal Lascelles found the feet of Richarlison. His touch was typically messy, but he did just enough to control the ball and knock it past an onrushing Martin Dubravka.
Tottenham Hotspur were turning on the style for the crowd and continued to batter the Newcastle goal. Brennan Johnson had an effort that bounced of the inside of the post following a Dejan Kulusevski through ball, and Heung-Min Son had a volleyed effort from the left that flew wide. Eddie Howe attempted to stem the bleeding with some substitutions, and Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson thusly made their returns from injury for Newcastle.
Ange Postecoglou made some substitutions of his own, pulling off his own two players who had made their returns from injury: Richarlison and Sarr were replaced by Hojbjerg and Lo Celso. Another player who had missed time recently was possibly lucky to not miss more, as Cristian Romero was involved in a bad challenge on Wilson. Thankfully, only a yellow was awarded, as Ange likely breathed a sigh of relief.
It was soon 4-0 for Tottenham Hotspur. Porro played in Son, who could have struck at goal early, but slightly miscontrolled the ball. He opted to instead take it past Dubravka, and the Newcastle #1 could only take down the South Korean in his attempts to retrieve the ball. Son dispatched the penalty, and things went from good to gleeful in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Skipp and Gil made late appearances, and Skipp had a huge chance blocked by Dubravka, before Son hit an attempt past the far post after once more breaching the Newcastle backline. Jamie Donley was the last substitute to make an appearance for Spurs, in an exciting moment for the Tottenham youth product. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite have the time to make an impact, with Newcastle instead scoring a late consolation in Spurs’ only blemish of the night, with Spurs running out deserved 4-1 victors.
- Things finally came together for Ange’s men. This was relentless, free-flowing football at its finest. Newcastle had no answer.
- Well, not no answer, just not enough of one. There was still that drop-off just after half-time, but this time Spurs weathered the pressure and instead struck themselves.
- Kulusevski’s passing left a bit to be desired today, regularly missing opportunities to play in his forwards on a number of breaks; but that’s possibly being overly critical. The reality is that his and Sarr’s energy in the midfield three today was invaluable, and a huge reason why Spurs were able to stay on the front foot for so long.
- It was great to see Richarlison back in the goals. It’s been a long time coming, and he was great today.
- A shout out to Pedro Porro. He was excellent again today, and taking into account availability (and potentially even ignoring it!) he’s honestly in the running for Tottenham’s player of the season.
- Bryan Gil is more one-footed than Dejan Kulusevski, and that’s saying something.
- Yves Bissouma has looked more comfortable again in the last two fixtures as he’s had a proper 8 alongside him - Hojbjerg against West Ham and Sarr today. Maybe he needs that bit of a safety blanket to really operate freely?