Newcastle vs Tottenham has always been one of the Premier League’s least predictable fixtures. The last six encounters between the two sides are split equally with three wins each – albeit, with the Lilywhites boasting an aggregate score of 12-6.
And today’s installment didn’t disappoint, producing four goals in a feisty clash as the momentum swung from side to side.
Tottenham opened the scoring through Nacer Chadli after half an hour, his swerving shot outfoxing Tim Krul, only for Jack Colback to cancel out the Belgium international’s effort just moments into the second half.
A Christian Eriksen inswinging free-kick, evading the pack to bounce in the box and sneak past Krul at the far post, reinstated the visitors’ lead, which was capped off in the 91st minute by who else but Harry Kane.
In case you missed the clash, however, we at Football Fancast have listed its three biggest talking points:
With Chelsea’s Diego Costa stuck in the physio room for the next few weeks, the Premier League’s Golden Boot award will almost certainly go to either Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane this season. The Manchester City star threw down the gauntlet earlier today, netting the second in a 2-0 win over West Ham to bring his tally for the campaign to 20.
It was a tough afternoon for Kane at St. James’ Park – and for a while he looked set to record his third consecutive Premier League appearance without finding the net, having not scored for Spurs since returning from international duty with England last month.
Although he popped up in pockets of space in habitual fashion, his first three attempts at goal went straight at Newcastle No.1 Tim Krul – a lot of huffing and puffing, but not much to show for it.
That was until stoppage time, of course, when the 21 year-old finally ended his dry spell by finishing off a Spurs counter-attack.
Desperate to claim a point, the Magpies had everybody in Tottenham’s box for the final moments, but a breakaway left Kane with almost an entire half of the pitch to run into, honing in on Krul’s goal. As the Dutchman attempted to close the space, the Spurs forward calmly passed the ball into the corner of the net.
If Kane does finish up as the Premier League’s top scorer this year, he’ll be the first Englishman to claim the Golden Boot since Kevin Phillips – all the way back in 2000.
If you didn’t see the game today, you’d be forgiven for assuming Newcastle were a complete shambles.
This was their sixth consecutive defeat in the Premier League, a dire situation further amplified by the huge pre-match protests against Mike Ashley and Sunderland fans flying this plane above St. James’ Park, reminding the Toon of their terrible record in the Tyne-Wear derby:
Banterous stuff. But actually, Newcastle weren’t that bad this afternoon when compared to their apathetic performances of recent weeks. Take a look at the stats, with Newcastle in orange and Spurs in blue:
They suggest the visitors had the upper-hand, and they were certainly the more assured sides for large periods. But 45 tackles shows Newcastle were at least applying themselves, whilst they had more than enough opportunities at goal to have got something out of today’s game.
Amid a stronger run of form and with a bit more luck, things could have been very different.
That being said, it’s becoming harder and harder to see where the next positive Newcastle result will come from. Looking at the league table, they probably only need one more win to avoid the possibility of relegation to the Championship:
But every defeat is making that needed victory seem all the more unlikely. The Magpies are in complete free fall and John Carver is quickly running out of ideas. Here’s a look at their final run-in:
Away defeats to QPR and Leicester City, by no means unimaginable considering their current form, could put the Tynesiders right into the mix for relegation with just a few games remaining – and when the pressure’s on in the Premier League, anything can happen.