Super-subs Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic fired Newcastle out of the Premier League’s bottom three with a goal each as the Magpies secured a 2-1 victory against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Spurs’ Eric Dier headed the hosts in to the lead in the first half and it looked as if Muaricio Pochettino’s side would hold on to climb in to the top four with all three points. But McClaren used his substitutes wisely in the second half by introducing Mitrovic and Perez as he went in search of a third consecutive Newcastle victory at White Hart Lane.
And it paid off within just 60 seconds of Mitrovic coming on to the field as he was on hand to prod home at close range after a goal mouth scramble from a corner.
And then Perez nabbed the winner – just like he did here last season – in added time after he latched on to a through ball and saw his half volley squirm underneath Spurs stopper Hugo Lloris to send the away support in to raptures.
It was a relatively uneventful game into the final 20 odd minutes, but here are three things we learned from Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Spurs…
From the very first kick it was clear Tottenham were still tired from their Europa League commitments on Thursday night. Although they were at home and comfortably brushed aside Monaco, against Newcastle they looked tired for most of the game.
However, Kane also looked disinterested and unlike his usual self despite not featuring in that game against Monaco. Credit has to go to Newcastle’s defence for keeping Kane quiet, but Kane normally finds a way of making a difference one way or another. And he didn’t.
With such a big chance to claim a spot in the top four with victory against Newcastle, they ultimately missed their chance with a lacklustre display.
It only took a couple of minutes of Mitrovic to score Newcastle’s equaliser, having replace Cisse with 20 minutes to go. And then Perez popped up with the winner stoppage time.
Cisse was just as quiet as Spurs’ Kane and some would say Steve McClaren should’ve made the chance a lot earlier. It’s well known that Mitrovic has a short fuse and can get himself in to trouble too often, but he showed against Spurs that he’s capable of injecting a more positive dimension to Newcastle.
Perez was lively as soon as he came on, too, and bagged his second consecutive winner at White Hart Lane after he was the hero in North London last year.
Both will have definitely given McClaren food for though in the future.
What a second half performance there, great substitutions, just shows how good mitrovic and Perez can be!! Need to be starting them!! #NUFC
— Scott Kerr (@ScottKerr10) December 13, 2015
Both clubs went in to today’s clash with huge incentives to get the win. Spurs could’ve climbed in to the top four, while Newcastle would’ve got themselves out of the top four with all three points.
And although it was Newcastle who grabbed their opportunity, Spurs still have enough about them to secure a top four finish this term.
Spurs have been banging on the door of the top four some time now and with Chelsea completely out of the race and Liverpool prone to dropping points, Mauricio Pochettino’s side arguably have their best opportunity to do it in years.
Newcastle looked almost dead certs for the drop a couple of months ago, but their last two games have seen them grab huge results against two very good footballing sides, which can only boost their confidence further as they try and put a run of results together.
McClaren’s side should now build on those two victories and start climbing the table.