Saturday 24 February 2018

Newcastle on the up as substitutes stun Tottenham and end their unbeaten run

Aleksandar Mitrovic, left, equalised with 16 minutes remaining before Ayoze Perez completed the comeback in stoppage time
Aleksandar Mitrovic, left, equalised with 16 minutes remaining before Ayoze Perez completed the comeback in stoppage time

Newcastle substitute Ayoze Perez scored a dramatic injury-time winner as the Magpies came from behind to snatch a shock 2-1 victory against Tottenham.

Spurs looked on course for another routine victory when Eric Dier headed home in the first half but two Newcastle substitutes turned the game on its head as first Aleksandar Mitrovic equalised with 16 minutes remaining before Perez completed the comeback in stoppage time.

The defeat brings an end to Tottenham's 14-match unbeaten run in the league while Newcastle climb out of the relegation zone into 15th.

Spurs knew three points would see them move into the Champions League places for the first time this season but Mauricio Pochettino's men fell flat as Newcastle completed a second consecutive victory for the first time since November 2014, to follow up last weekend's surprise win over Liverpool.

Tottenham dictated possession early on but found Newcastle difficult to break down and they were grateful to Papiss Cisse in the opening five minutes when he blocked Siem De Jong's goalbound shot.

Otherwise, apart from referee Roger East tripping himself up, there was little for either side to cheer about and it took 36 minutes for Spurs to carve out their first real chance.

Carroll's clever ball through released Danny Rose, who cut back to Erik Lamela but the Argentinian's bending finish was palmed wide by Rob Elliot.

Elliot was called into action again two minutes later and again it was Lamela he denied, as the winger latched on to Harry Kane's flicked header but saw his snap half-volley fly straight at the Newcastle goalkeeper.

From the resulting corner, however, Spurs did break the deadlock as Fabricio Coloccini let Dier run free and the midfielder jumped above Moussa Sissoko at the near post to head home his third goal of the season.

Suddenly Tottenham looked more threatening and they almost doubled their lead before half-time when Christian Eriksen's shot fell fortuitously into the path of Rose - but his stinging drive evaded both the far post and Kane sliding in.

The interval came at a good time for Newcastle, who stormed out of the blocks after the restart and should have equalised when Cisse was sent clear by Sissoko - but the striker dragged his finish wide.

The visitors were faster on the ball than Tottenham and sharper in their pressing, and in the 73rd minute they deservedly found an equaliser when Chancel Mbemba's header was poked in on the line by Mitrovic after Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris failed to clear.

Both sides pushed forward late on in search of a winner and Newcastle went close when Sissoko's fizzing cross was almost converted by Mitrovic - but the forward was just unable to reach it.

Spurs failed to heed the warnings and Perez made them pay when he sneaked inside Jan Vertonghen before half-volleying past Lloris at the near post.


"Great three points. Thoroughly deserved after that second half performance!" - Alan Shearer, @alanshearer



Hugo Lloris: 5

Kyle Walker: 6

Toby Alderweireld: 6

Jan Vertonghen: 6

Danny Rose: 6

Eric Dier: 7

Tom Carroll: 6

Erik Lamela: 7

Dele Alli: 6

Christian Eriksen: 7

Harry Kane: 7


Son Heung-min: 6

Nacer Chadli: 5


Rob Elliot: 8

Daryl Janmaat: 7

Chancel Mbemba: 6

Fabricio Coloccini: 6

Paul Dummett: 6

Moussa Sissoko: 7

Vurnon Anita: 6

Jack Colback: 6

Georginio Wijnaldum: 7

Siem de Jong: 5

Papiss Cisse: 6


Ayoze Perez: 8

Aleksandar Mitrovic: 8

Yoan Gouffran: 5


Goalkeeper Rob Elliot kept the Magpies in the game in the first half with a number of important saves. Spurs had 11 shots on target during the first 45 minutes and Elliot did well to keep it goalless until the 39th minute. Elliot's best save of the half came in the 36th minute when he managed to keep Erik Lamela's curling shot out. Although he had a quieter second half, his 56th-minute save from Harry Kane kept his team in it and provided the platform for their comeback.


In the 44th minute, a Christian Eriksen shot deflected off Fabricio Coloccini to Danny Rose, whose low cross to Harry Kane was just too close to the goal for the striker to slide in and score. Had that been the second goal, any sort of comeback would have been beyond Newcastle. On such fine margins are many Premier League games decided.


Referee Roger East was not happy when Tottenham's Kyle Walker, who had been off for treatment after a 50-50 challenge with Newcastle left-back Paul Dummett, tried to come back into play and take the throw in. Walker was ready to throw the ball in when East blew his whistle and ran over to the 25-year-old defender only to tell him to put both feet on to the pitch so he could step back off the pitch to take the throw.


Mauricio Pochettino will be particularly frustrated at Spurs' second half performance, but they have done little wrong so far this season and a rare defeat in an unpredictable division should not be held against him. The coming weeks should be interesting, however. How will Spurs respond, and how will he balance a squad he asks so much of during the busiest period of the season?

Steve McClaren's stock at Newcastle is at its highest since before the opening game of the season, with consecutive victories over Tottenham and Liverpool unquestionably impressive when he was under pressure. Magpies fans will hope he capitalises on this momentum and steers his team into the comfort of mid-table.


Southampton v Tottenham, Premier League, Saturday 19 December

Newcastle v Aston Villa, Premier League, Saturday 19 December

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