After last week’s reality check a lot was made of Newcastle United’s character, and whether they could bounce back from not only such a disappointing result but a performance to boot.
No such worries at St James’ Park against top-five rivals Tottenham Hotspur. In previous weeks the Magpies have been slow out the blocks, they were nothing short of electric against a nervous Spurs side.
It took just two minutes to get the Newcastle faithful off their seats when the superb Joelinton thundered into the box before releasing a shot that had Hugo Lloris scrambling. The Frenchman could only palm the ball to Jacob Murphy’s path, and the winger made no mistake with the finish into the top corner.
Now it was about keeping the pressure on, and just four minutes later that pressure told. Fabian Schar produced a fantastic over-the-top ball, to find Joelinton who timed his run to perfection. The Brazilian rounded Lloris and slotted the ball home, 2-0 up and cruising.
If Newcastle weren’t in complete control at 2-0, there was absolutely no questioning their dominance just three minutes later when Murphy thundered in a lethal shot from 25 yards, Lloris didn’t even move. Murphy looked shocked, and he wasn’t the only one to be left stunned in the stadium. This was unbelievable, this was 4th against 5th but the difference in quality was seismic.
St James’ Park had to wait a little longer for number four, only ten minutes though! Joe Willock produced the pass of the season, using the outside of his right foot inside his own half, he spotted the run of Aleksander Isak to grab his first of the game with a calm finish into the bottom corner. 4-0 inside 19 minutes a truly remarkable opening to the game, Spurs were left shell-shocked.
Just two minutes later they were at it again. This time coming down the right-hand side, with great interplay by Murphy, Isak, and Longstaff. Longstaff flicked the ball back to Isak and the rest was history: 5-0 with only 21 minutes gone.
Jaws on the floor in amazement everywhere.
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris did not emerge for the second half, with Fraser Forster replacing him, and substitute Callum Wilson restoring Newcastle’s five-goal advantage only 65 seconds after coming on following a well-taken consolation goal by Harry Kane.
If this was a test of Newcastle’s top-four credentials, they passed with flying colors. This wasn’t just a win, it was an absolute mauling. Two contrasting clubs one not only united in name and the other completely falling apart from top to bottom.
There’s still work to do for Newcastle to confirm their place in the Champions League next season, but they’ve taken a massive leap against a sorry-looking Spurs.