Fresh from their warm weather training camp in Dubai, Eddie Howe's Newcastle United return to Premier League action this weekend with a visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face Antonio Conte's Champions League-chasing Spurs on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of the 54th top-flight meeting between The Lilywhites and The Magpies, VAVEL takes a look back to March 2008 when Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle fought back from a goal down to cruise past Juande Ramos’ Spurs with a rampant second half display at White Hart Lane.
Despite an energetic start by Newcastle, it was the hosts who found the breakthrough via Darren Bent on 26 minutes before The Toon Army delivered a sucker punch on the stroke of half-time through Nicky Butt after a rare mistake by ex-Magpie Jonathan Woodgate, who made 37 appearances for The Magpies and is still widely regarded on Tyneside as one of the club’s best centre-backs in the modern era.
After the equaliser, the black-and-whites dominated proceedings and on 52 minutes, a jaw-dropping free-kick from Geremi gave Keegan’s side a well-deserved lead before they inflicted more damage on Spurs as the half wore on.
Michael Owen added a third with a first-time finish on 65 minutes and with seven minutes remaining, a stunning solo effort from Obafemi Martins rounded off a stellar afternoon in north London and saw The Magpies secure their fifth successive league win over Tottenham.
Story of the game
Newcastle almost took an early lead inside the opening five minutes as Habib Beye was presented with a golden chance after a poor clearance from Woodgate and the Senegalese full-back struck a venomous strike against the crossbar.
But after surviving an early scare, Spurs showed their composure and opened the scoring midway through the first half when Steed Malbranque’s inch-perfect cross was headed home by Bent from 12 yards.
The Magpies stunned Spurs with a first half stoppage-time equaliser and it arrived with the help of Woodgate, as the former defender could only half clear Jose Enrique’s left-footed delivery into the path of Geremi and the Cameroon midfielder found Butt on the edge of the area whose shot sneaked into the bottom left-hand corner.
The goal came at the perfect time and it crucially lifted Newcastle’s mood heading into the interval and they believed the three points were there for the taking, while it undoubtedly deflated Spurs’ confidence.
Just seven minutes into the second half, The Magpies completed their fightback courtesy of an astonishing free-kick by Geremi, which sailed through the wall and left Paul Robinson wrong-footed.
It got even better for Newcastle on 65 minutes when their front three superbly combined as Martins picked out Mark Viduka, who flicked the ball into Owen and the England forward made no mistake with a fine first-time finish.
As Spurs pushed for a lifeline back into the contest, Keegan’s men caught Spurs on the counterattack as Adel Taarabt was dispossessed by Joey Barton and he slipped the ball into the feet of Martins and the Nigerian breezed past Teemu Tainio with ease before he coolly slotted home to wrap up a famous victory in the capital.
Man of the match - Obafemi Martins
While there were a few contenders for the man of the match accolade on that unforgettable afternoon at White Hart Lane from a Newcastle perspective, Martins overall contribution, particularly in the second half, made the number nine a worthy winner.
His work rate was first class and he was involved in all three goals after the break, the striker won the free-kick which Geremi scored after he was fouled by Woodgate, he linked up with Viduka and Owen for the third goal and still had enough time to grab his fourth goal in a row against Spurs with a composed finish past Robinson.
Martin’s performance against Spurs was no fluke either as in the previous season, he scored and grabbed an assist in a 3-2 victory over The Lilywhites, with the goal registered at an extraordinary 84mph.
During his three years in the North East, Martins scored 35 goals in all competitions in 104 appearances for The Magpies before he left the club in 2009 and joined then Bundesliga Champions VFL Wolfsburg for a reported £9 million fee.
Tottenham Hotspur: Robinson; Hutton, Dawson, Woodgate; Zokora, Huddlestone, Malbranque, O’Hara; Berbatov, Keane, Bent. (3-4-3)
Newcastle United: Harper; Beye, Taylor, Faye, Enrique; Barton, Geremi, Butt; Martins, Owen, Viduka. (4-3-3)