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All square at St James' Park - match report and debrief

Newcastle 2-2 Spurs

Sun 04 April 2021, 16:03|Tottenham Hotspur

A late equaliser denied us all three points and a place in the top four of the Premier League at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.

Despite falling behind to Joelinton’s first-half opener, Harry Kane struck twice to put us in front by half-time and we held onto that lead until five minutes from time when Joe Willock levelled it up at 2-2. The draw moved us up to fifth in the table, two points off fourth-placed Chelsea while Kane’s brace moved him to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts on 19 for the season.

A lively game saw Hugo Lloris produce an excellent double save to deny Dwight Gayle in the 19th minute before three goals in the space of six minutes gave us the lead at the interval. It was the home side who took the lead after some poor defending saw the ball fall to Sean Longstaff inside our area and he rolled a pass across for Joelinton to side foot past Lloris on 28 minutes.

We weren’t behind for long however as Kane levelled it up on the half-hour mark, Emil Krafth unable to cut out Giovani Lo Celso’s ball in from the right and it landed perfectly for our England international to slam home from close range. If his first was a touch fortuitous, Kane’s second just four minutes later was clinical. It was created by an excellent through ball from Tanguy Ndombele to Kane down the inside right channel, the forward controlling with his first touch before drilling low right-footed past Martin Dubravka with his second, a wonderful finish.

Both sides had chances in the second period, Japhet Tanganga having a powerful header cleared off the line by Miguel Almiron, Joelinton spurning a great chance when he curled a cushioned volley just wide of the post before Dubravka was off his line quickly to smother after Ndombele had slipped a ball in for Kane. And Kane went so close to completing his hat-trick after a lightning counter-attack but struck the outside of the post on the stretch.

It was a costly miss as the Magpies levelled it up just seconds later in the 85th minute, Joelinton heading Matt Ritchie’s deep cross back into the mix, Almiron’s effort was blocked by Joe Rodon but substitute Willock smashed home the rebound off the crossbar.

So near yet so far

Having turned the game around through Kane’s quick-fire double, it looked like we were going to hold onto a valuable victory until the drama late in the game.

In fact, there were just 52 seconds between Kane striking the post on a swift breakaway and Newcastle scoring their equaliser, such are the fine margins in the Premier League.

The home side will certainly argue that they deserved the draw as, despite us enjoying almost 60 per cent of the possession, the Magpies had 22 shots on goal and six on target, one more than us. But it still felt like two points dropped for us.

There were just two minutes gone when Joelinton fired straight at Lloris from 20 yards before Dubravka palmed away Kane’s drive from a tight angle as both sides went for the early breakthrough. An amazing double save from Lloris kept the game goalless as he produced a strong hand to keep out Gayle’s initial close-range header and then deflected his effort from the rebound against the post before smothering the loose ball.

Then came the flurry of goals and there was disappointment at how we gave up the first. Tanganga hit a clearance straight at Ritchie, the ball fell to Davinson Sanchez who did exactly the same and then Ritchie beat Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the tackle to put Newcastle in on goal, Longstaff finding Joelinton to score.

We responded swiftly though, Kane slamming home after Krafth’s attempted clearance hit him and landed nicely for the striker to score, before producing a wonderful finish to give us the lead.

Just seconds after the restart, Almiron’s left-footed curler was always drifting just wide but Lloris tipped it away just to make sure before Sanchez and Rodon both blocked shots from Murphy. And there were good opportunities for both sides to add to their tallies before the dramatic finale in the closing minutes.

One minute we were defending a corner only to clear our lines and launch a counter, Erik Lamela leading the charge before finding Kane to his left just inside the area and, although he wrong-footed Dubravka with his shot, it went just the wrong side of the post. Newcastle then went on the offensive and got their reward with Willock’s close-range finish.

Gareth Bale stepped off the bench and his first touch was a 25-yard free-kick which went well over the bar, while Lamela skewed wide from the right as we looked for a late winner, but it wasn’t to be.

Kane’s away day record

Not only did Kane move to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with his double, but he also set a new record in the competition. His brace took his tally to 84 away goals in the Premier League for Spurs, the most away goals any player has scored for a single club in the competition

Kane also scored his 161st and 162nd Premier League goals, equalling Jermain Defoe (162) in eighth place among the all-time leading Premier League goalscorers, although Kane needed 258 fewer games in the division than Defoe to reach his mark.

Team news saw Jose Mourinho stick with the same starting line-up that beat Aston Villa last time out on 21 March. Heung-Min Son was back from injury and on the bench alongside Lamela, available again after suspension. Both players came on to feature, while Sanchez made his 100th Premier League appearance.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'We create instability to ourselves'

Jose told Spurs TV at St James' Park: "They had other chances, other chances with some similarities to the goal. Even with us dominating the game, even with the chance to score a third goal and kill it, we always manage to create some instability to ourselves with mistakes we make.

"So, in the end, it’s a hard punishment, but maybe we deserved it, because we create instability to ourselves and when you create instability to the team, at the same time you give confidence, you give hope to the opponent to keep going and get that point."

Newcastle 2-2 Spurs

Newcastle (3-4-1-2): Dubravka, Krafth (Willock 79), Lascelles (c), Dummett, Murphy (Manquillo 83), Shelvey, S Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton, Gayle (Saint-Maximin 71). Substitutes (not used): Darlow, Clark, Hendrick, Lewis, Anderson, M Longstaff.

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Tanganga, Sanchez, Rodon, Reguilon, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso (Bale 88), Kane, Lucas (Lamela 64), Vinicius (Son 46). Substitutes (not used): Hart, Dier, Winks, Sissoko, Dele, Scarlett.

Match data

Goals: Newcastle – Joelinton 28, Willock 85; Spurs – Kane 30, 34.

Yellow cards: Newcastle – Dummett, Shelvey, Almiron; Spurs – Lo Celso, Tanganga.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Venue: St James' Park, Newcastle.

Weather: Light winds, sunny intervals, 11 degrees.