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    Newcastle United 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

    By Tom Regan

    Tottenham have still finished in their highest ever Premier League position, but a miserable end to the campaign saw them fail to win in four games. Despite qualifying for Champions League football, a sour taste has been left in the mouth of Spurs fans.

    Bitter rivals Arsenal secured second place after the north Londoners succumbed to a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle at St James’ Park.
    With Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli suspended, Ryan Mason started alongside Eric Dier. Ben Davies was handed a rare start at left-back in place of Danny Rose who took his place on the bench.

    Davies was involved in an early chance for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as he latched onto Christian Eriksen’s ball, then fed Kyle Walker. Kyle connected well but his shot was blocked. Under a minute later, Eriksen struck a 25 yard effort from a central position, but this went wide.
    Rafa Benitez’s outfit started to create some chances and were looking the most threatening of the two sides. Jack Colback’s header was half-blocked, then Aleksander Mitrovic headed towards goal but Hugo Lloris held on.

    Former Lilywhite Andros Townsend hit a ball from the centre towards Mitrovic, but the Serbian’s shot was blocked then gathered by Lloris.  
    Tottenham were still on track to achieve their highest Premier League points tally, but you would not have known it from the effort they were putting in.

    The Magpies made their dominance tell on 19 minutes when Moussa Sissoko passed inside to Mitrovic, who played in Georgino Wijnaldum, and the Netherlands international had the composure to beat Lloris low to his left.
    The next real chance came on the half-hour mark. Mitrovic got the better of Walker, but not of Lloris. Spurs had a chance through their player of the season Toby Alderweireld, but this was comfortably dealt with by third choice keeper Karl Darlow.

    Newcastle doubled their advantage after an attack from the north Londoners broke down. Sissoko broke forward with intent, crossing for Mitrovic who headed home. It nearly got worse for the visitors when Townsend crossed, but Mitrovic and Dier both ended up on the floor, and Lloris punched clear.
    With added time looming, Pochettino’s men had a great opportunity when Erik Lamela and Harry Kane combined, before Eriksen’s shot was saved.

    The Lilywhites made a double substitution as Tom Carroll and Josh Onomah were introduced at the expense of Mason and Son. On 54 minutes, Dier collected Eriksen’s pass, but Eric’s shot was deflected for a corner. Kane was fouled 20 yards from goal, but Eriksen’s free kick was well blocked by the wall.
    Eriksen drifted a good ball over to Davies, but the left-back’s pass for Lamela was far from good, and Erik’s effort was easily blocked. Shortly after, Lamela did get a goal. The Argentinian lashed home from an angle after being set up by Davies.

    Just one goal was needed for the draw required to hold off Arsenal, and when Mitrovic saw red on 67 minutes for a horror tackle on Walker, it looked as if the tie had turned in Tottenham’s favour.
    Walker was unable to continue, and was replaced by Nacer Chadli. Alderweireld switched to right-back where he plays for Belgium. The Magpies won a penalty after Jan Vertonghen appeared to have fouled Sissoko, but replays showed the Frenchman had conned the officials. Wijnaldum stepped up and sent Lloris the wrong way.

    Sissoko got the better of Vertonghen once again but his shot went marginally wide of the left post. Townsend hit the post and the ball rebounded into play. Substitute Rolando Aarons made it 4-1 with a goal from close range after Daryl Janmaat’s cross. The very next minute, Janmaat himself scored after an incisive break. Remarkably, Newcastle had scored three goals with 10 men.
    Kane hit the side netting in added time, by which time most Tottenham fans had made an exit from the abysmal showing of their side.

    The Magpies celebrated doing the double over Spurs, needless to say, Pochettino will be glad his side won’t have to face the North East club next term following their relegation to the Championship. It was a hideous end to the season. Allowing bitter rivals Arsenal to secure second place right at the death was a crippling blow for the Lilywhites. 21 years and counting.
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    Item Reviewed: Newcastle United 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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