Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Willock rescues vital point for the Magpies
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on April 04, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A late equaliser from Newcastle United's Joe Willock cast Tottenham Hotspur's ambitions to finish in the top four into serious doubt at St James' Park on Sunday.

The Magpies had gone ahead in the first half following a neat finish from Joelinton before Tottenham's Harry Kane equalised 60 seconds later.

The England captain was at it again just five minutes later as he buried a neat volley into the corner of Martin Dubravka's net.

Newcastle came out on the front foot in the second half and set the pace for the majority of the remaining 45 minutes.

On loan, Willock will have sent a feeling of jubilation amongst both Newcastle and Arsenal fans, as the Gunner stabbed home a loose ball in the dying minutes.

Spurs climb above Liverpool and West Ham but remain two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Newcastle could fall into the relegation zone should Fulham win at Aston Villa later in the day.

Story of the game

The Tyneside hosts were the brighter of the two teams for the majority of the match, they started well and pressed high as a team which caused early issues for Spurs.

Dwight Gayle and Joelinton were working as a pair to cause lots of issues down both of Spurs' flanks. This resulted in an early chance for the hosts when a Jonjo Shelvey cross was met by Gayle, forcing a diving save from Hugo Lloris

Gayle thought he must've scored on the rebound but the Spurs skipper somehow managed to keep the ball from crossing the line.

This seemed to spark some life into Spurs, with Spaniard Sergio Reguilon galloping forward and delivering some neat crosses into the forward pairing of Kane and Carlos Vinicius.

A few offside goals later, Spurs were caught out. A poor clearance from Columbian centre-half Davinson Sanchez was picked up by Sean Longstaff, who played a weighted pass in front of Joelinton, who slotted home.

Newcastle deservedly led, but their persistence was undone barely a minute later. Kane found himself in on goal and a few lucky bounces gave him an empty net to draw the visitor's level.

The North-London club capitalised on this naivety by the home side and doubled their lead in the 34th minute.

Tanguy Ndombele played an inch-perfect pass through to Kane, who controlled the ball superbly before slamming a half volley into the far corner.

Spurs went into the break 2-1 up, but the problems were there for Newcastle to expose, and they needed to brainstorm some more effective methods in how to deal with the attacking threat they were presenting.

Heung Min Son came on at halftime to replace Vinicius and add some width to the game for the London club.

The second half fell into a similar pattern as Newcastle continued to accumulate shots and fashion chances.

Joelinton had another chance but poked his attempt just past the post. Having witnessed another underwhelming performance full of defence errors and poor passages of play, Jose Mourinho turned to his bench again, introducing Erik Lamela in place of Lucas Moura.

With 20 minutes left Shelvey picked up a booking for a cynical foul on Lamela as he tore down on goal, looking to unleash Kane, who was on a hattrick.

It wasn't the talismans day as a few minutes later he got caught in his own feet after being played through by Japhet Tanganga. With five minutes remaining Kane hit the post and effort which will have killed the game off and won it for the visitors.

The failure to capitalise on their scarce chances led to heartbreak for Spurs as almost immediately Newcastle went up the other end and equalised. Sanchez and Joe Rodon ran collided in an effort to block an initial headed attempt before Willock pounced on the loose ball and leveled the game.

Gareth Bale entered the fray for the remaining five minutes but his contribution was restricted to a sole free-kick, as it was Newcastle who looked the likelier to go on and win the game.

The points were shared in the end and Newcastle will be disappointed to come away with one instead of three, as they came up against a Spurs side who were really there for the taking today.

Takeaways

Sloppy Spurs concede late again

Mourinho will be furious at another performance that has been exceptionally frustrating to watch.

Spurs have now dropped 15 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season. This can only further highlight the need for a defensive rebuild this summer and chairman Daniel Levy will have been watching with stern eyes in the stands.

As well as this, Spurs have now conceded nine goals after the 80th minute in league games this season. All but one of these has been crucial to the final result (an equaliser of match-winner).

Good omens for Newcastle

Newcastle accumulated 22 shots in total against Spurs. 

With the return of Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson progressing well, Newcastle fans have reasons to hope that they can avoid the drop.

Newcastle's remaining fixture list looks horrid, with games against Manchester City, Arsenal, West Ham United, Leicester City, and Liverpool. 

However, they have proven that they are capable of mixing it up with the big boys, and with more performances like today, this race to beat the drop could come down to that all-important final day.

VAVEL Logo