Last-gasp Duff seals Toon win
A last-gasp winner from substitute Damien Duff sealed a 2-1 Newcastle win against Tottenham.
By Laura Slatcher
Last Updated: 21/12/08 5:46pm
A last-gasp winner from substitute Damien Duff ensured Newcastle made it six matches unbeaten with a 2-1 win against Tottenham on Sunday.
Charles N'Zogbia opened the scoring for Newcastle after 12 minutes latching onto Shay Given's up-field ball before outwitting Benoit Assou-Ekotto to pass the ball past Heurelho Gomes.
Newcastle's lead brought the visitors to life and it was another unlikely assist, this time from defender Michael Dawson, which led to Spurs' equaliser in the 28th minute.
Played onside by Jose Enrique, Luka Modric picked up Dawson's long ball down the centre and calmly slotted the ball underneath a flailing Given.
Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear replaced Enrique with Duff after 87 minutes and just three minutes later he played a neat one-two with Mark Viduka before perfectly placing the ball past Gomes.
The Magpies' win moves them up to 12th while Tottenham remain just one point above the relegation zone as Harry Redknapp suffered his third defeat since taking charge.
It was hard luck on Spurs, who had played their part in a tight contest and had looked the more likely winners until Duff's late intervention.
It was the visitors who looked the more likely victors as time ran down with substitute Frazier Campbell going close twice in the dying minutes in front of an increasingly anxious black and white contingent among a crowd of 47,982.
When the two sides met at St James' Park in the League Cup third round back in September, they were firmly entrenched in the lower reaches of the league table and under severe pressure.
If the fare served up that September night was less than appetising, today's offering was much more palatable as both sides went for victory.
If anything, the visitors edged the first half with Aaron Lennon causing all kinds of problems for left-back Enrique and Modric pulling the strings behind lone striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.
However, it was Newcastle who took the lead with 11 minutes gone when, having claimed David Bentley's free-kick, Given launched the ball downfield to put N'Zogbia into a foot race with Assou-Ekotto.
The full-back hesitated, and although he recovered to hold the Frenchman up, N'Zogbia turned smartly to shoot right-footed past keeper Gomes.
But having started well, the visitors re-grouped and managed to drag themselves back on to level terms within 17 minutes.
Dawson's challenge on Shola Ameobi sent the ball over the top to Modric, who took full advantage of the uncertainty caused by Pavlyuchenko working his way back from an offside position to fire past Given.
Newcastle, who replaced the injured Ameobi with Viduka before the game restarted, lost their way in the immediate aftermath of the goal, and had it not been for Enrique's vigilance on two occasions, Pavlyuchenko might have increased their woes.
Newcastle, with Viduka prominent, started to exert greater pressure as the second half got under way, although they were too often let down by poor final balls.
But Spurs pushed once again and Sebastien Bassong and Given had to combine to prevent Tom Huddlestone from reaching Lennon's 62nd-minute through-ball, the midfielder picking up a booking for going to ground under the Irishman's challenge.
Campbell flicked an 83rd-minute header well wide from Bentley's cross, and with Newcastle's propensity for conceding late goals no secret, anxiety levels within the stadium were rising all the time.But with seconds of normal time remaining, Duff collected Viduka's return pass to beat Gomes and send the black and white faithful into raptures.
|Newcastle United||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|2||Shots on Target||5|
|3||Shots off Target||5|