Harry Kane scored his first Premier League goal of the season as Tottenham condemned Newcastle to a 3-2 defeat in their first game under new ownership.
There was a festival atmosphere ahead of kick-off as the Newcastle fans welcomed their new owners into the directors' box. It began well on the field too as Callum Wilson nodded home inside two minutes to send the stands into raptures.
However, things soon unravelled as Tottenham quickly took the lead. Tanguy Ndombele (17) curled home a wonderful equaliser, before Kane (22) opened his Premier League account for the season. His strike had initially been ruled out for offside, but a VAR review overturned the decision and the goal stood.
But an incident in the stands towards the end of the first half saw play suspended for 24 minutes. A Newcastle supporter needed urgent medical attention and the teams returned to the dressing room as they received treatment, before being stabilised and taken to hospital.
When play resumed, Tottenham added their third. Kane and Heung-Min Son (45+4) linked up for the first time since February, with the South Korean forward poking home, and taking them to within one goal of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba's Premier League combined goals record.
⚽️ Harry Kane & Heung-Min Son have both scored in the same PL game for the 1st time since Tottenham’s 2-0 home win v West Brom on Feb 7— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 17, 2021
The pair have now combined for 35 goals in PL, 1 short of Lampard & Drogba’s PL record pic.twitter.com/KR1JFklis8
Newcastle were reduced to 10 men late in the second half as Jonjo Shelvey (83) was sent off for two quick yellow cards, 23 minutes after coming on as a substitute. However, soon after, Eric Dier's calamitous own goal (89) gave Newcastle a glimmer of hope, but Tottenham were able to see the game out.
The victory sees Tottenham into fifth place, going level on 15 points with Brighton in fourth. Newcastle remain second-bottom with just three points this season, offering the new owners a stark reminder of the work to do at their new club.
How Spurs spoiled Newcastle's part on sobering afternoon
It was a raucous pre-match celebration inside St James' Park. Fans waved black and white flags, held banners aloft and sang along to the stadium soundtrack as the smiling new owners took their places in the directors' box.
It was almost written in the stars when Wilson nodded home Newcastle's opener inside two minutes. The goal came from a wonderful team move too as Allan Saint-Maximin picked out Javier Manquillo down the right. Wilson was waiting, easily beating Sergio Romero, to nod the cross past Hugo Lloris from close range as St James' Park erupted.
Fifteen minutes later though, and Tottenham were level, having taken their time to warm-up amid the boisterous home atmosphere. It was too simple for Spurs too, as Sergio Reguilon squared the ball across the top of the area for the waiting Ndombele, who had far too much time to shape his shot into the corner.
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Emerson (7), Romero (7), Dier (7), Reguilon (7), Nbombele (8), Hojbjerg (7), Skipp (7), Moura (7), Son (7), Kane (7).
Subs used: n/a
Newcastle: Darlow (6), Manquillo (6), Clark (6), Lascelles (6), Ritchie (6), Hayden (6), S Longstaff (6), Willock (6), Saint-Maximin (7), Joelinton (6), Wilson (7).
Subs used: Shelvey (4), Fraser (5), Murphy (5).
Man of the match: Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier.
Shortly after, Kane finally opened his Premier League account for the season and it took a VAR intervention to do so. It was a brilliant ball over the top from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, catching the run of Kane on the shoulder of the Newcastle defence. The Spurs striker then expertly lifted the ball over the oncoming Karl Darlow and into the back of the net.
Kane was initially flagged for offside, but VAR intervened. It did not take too long to show Manquillo was playing the striker onside over on the left, and the decision was overturned as Tottenham quickly took the lead.
While Tottenham began to dominate proceedings, Newcastle went close to equalising. Joelinton picked out Wilson on the left, who held the ball up well while waiting for Saint-Maximin's arrival. However, Reguilon defended him well as the ball evaded Saint-Maximin at the back post. Lucas Moura then saw a header from Son's corner hit the crossbar.
- Jamaal Lascelles and Callum Wilson returned to the starting line-up, replacing Federico Fernandez and Miguel Almiron in two changes from the 2-1 defeat at Wolves.
- Tottenham were unchanged from their 2-1 win over Aston Villa a fortnight ago. Sergio Romero started despite playing for Argentina in the early hours of Friday morning. Giovanni Lo Celso, who also played in that win over Peru, was on the bench.
However, play was soon brought to a halt after a medical emergency was spotted in the stands. Newcastle club doctor Paul Catterson and other medics were sent over to the supporter as Andre Marriner signalled for the players to return to the dressing room. Once the fan's condition had been stabilised, the players resumed the game with seven minutes of additional time in the first half.
It did not take long for Tottenham to add their third. It was another superb team goal from the visitors, but it was Kane who squared the ball into the six-yard box for the waiting Son. He then fired home at the far post as Spurs went into half-time with a commanding lead.
After an elongated and worrying first half, the second half understandably did not match the intensity of the first. Tottenham still saw the better of the play though, with Ndombele firing wide of the target on the hour mark.
Newcastle were reduced to 10 men as Shelvey, who was initially booked for a nick on Ndombele, took out Reguilon as he looked to drive into the area.
But Newcastle were given a lifeline in the 89th minute after a disastrous own goal from Dier. Jacob Murphy delivered an innocuous free-kick into the area, and the Spurs midfielder looked unsure on how to clear it. In the end, it bounced awkwardly off his body before firing past Lloris.
It is the second successive Premier League victory for Tottenham, while Newcastle remain winless in all competitions this season, throwing Steve Bruce's future - who took charge of his 1,00th game as a manager - into further doubt.
Men of the match - Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier
"It is entirely possible that they have saved someone's life today."— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 17, 2021
Sergio Reguilón and Eric Dier have been named joint Premier League Men of the Match for #NEWTOT after their swift-actions during an incident during the first-half. pic.twitter.com/OfFrGJjVOU
It's a joint award for the two Tottenham players. Their quick thinking during the medical incident allowed vital attention to reach the supporter as quickly as possible.
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a medical technique which is given to someone who goes into cardiac arrest.
That occurs when the heart encounters an electrical issue and stops pumping blood around the body and to the brain, causing the person to fall out of consciousness and stop breathing.
Medics define this as 'clinical death', which is the onset of biological death, although CPR can help re-start the person's heart functions and save their life.
By administering chest compressions and rescue breaths, the CPR performer helps to pump blood and oxygen around the person's body, taking over the role of their heart and lungs.
Always seek professional help by calling 999 before starting CPR. The NHS's advice to carry out chest compressions is as follows:
- Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person's chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
- Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
- Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) on their chest.
- Keeping your hands on their chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
- Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.
The British Heart Foundation recommends that in an emergency situation it is better to try and perform CPR, even if unsure, rather than to not do anything at all.
What the managers said
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce: "We were certainly beaten by the better team. After a wonderful start, unfortunately the problems that we've had for a while now defensively was there for everyone to see. The goals we gave away, you could say it was a lot of good play from Tottenham, but our defending left a lot to be desired to say the least.
"I think we've started a few games like that - we've got off to a good start, we've scored and got our noses in front, but unfortunately at the moment, we're not able to defend well enough as a team. I'm not criticising the back four or the midfield players, football is a team game, but from front to back at the moment, we're not defending well enough.
"We have tried to change and be a little bit more on the front foot, but it's difficult because you cannot keep having to score three goals to win a match."
On his future: "That's for other people to decide. If I was reading everything and seeing everything last week, I might not have been here today. But my job is to get a few results and unfortunately, if you're a manager in the Premier League and you haven't won in seven or eight, you become under pressure. It's part and parcel of being in the Premier League with the big boys and I'll crack on and carry on as best I can until I hear otherwise.
"Every football club needs clarity from the top right through to all the things that make a football club what it is. The new owners have been very respectful, I can't say enough of them with the way they've gone about their business. But Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say. We've got our frailties as a team and it's up to me, in the near future anyway, to hopefully get better."
Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "I think we handled it well, but we didn't start well. We knew what was coming, what's happening around Newcastle, the atmosphere. They came and we weren't able to handle it, but we came back fast and really good.
"We played really good football. We achieved goals, we controlled the game. It was a really positive performance.
"We stayed in the game and kept it steady. We knew it was about possession and finding the right spaces, and we did that. The moment that we started moving the ball around created a lot of problems for Newcastle in finding the gaps in the small pockets that our talented players can find. They built well and they played such good football, I'm really proud of them.
"It's a long process, but today, we made another step. We reacted to the goal we conceded, we've been able to play good and improve from our previous international break that was a disruption to get back into the rhythm. The players need to play together so I believe that the more time we spend on the training ground creating partnerships, improvement will come."
Skipp's recall has helped stabilise Spurs
Analysis from Sky Sports' Adam Bate:
Oliver Skipp might not be the most celebrated name in the Tottenham line-up but his recall to the team after being left out of the defeats to Chelsea and Arsenal might prove a turning point in their season. His partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele shows real promise.
The 21-year-old midfielder's careful use of the ball was crucial in wrestling back control of the game in an initially frenzied atmosphere at St James' Park. He completed 72 passes with the best passing accuracy of any player on the pitch, circulating possession sensibly throughout.
It echoed the control that he had shown in Tottenham's previous victory, the much-improved showing against Aston Villa before the international break. Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports ahead of the Newcastle game, Nuno Espirito Santo identified it as a tactical breakthrough.
"It worked really well," Nuno explained. "We were able to be more solid in the middle of the park with Skipp and Hojbjerg being side by side, although we still allowed one of them to have freedom to support in attack. It was the same idea but a little bit different and it worked better."
After a sluggish start, the same proved true here. Not only does the presence of Skipp at the base of midfield free up Ndombele to have more of an impact in the final third - scoring the equaliser - it also encourages the full-backs to advance and provider greater support in attack.
Sergio Reguilon was still racing forward late on, drawing the foul that led to Jonjo Shelvey's red card. "If you have a square, two centre-halves and the two midfielders, that can release the players in the wide areas while, at the same time, keeping the balance of the team," Nuno had noted.
Heung-Min Son has been Tottenham's outstanding performer, while the return to form and fitness of Harry Kane might well be the more obvious determining factor in the team's success this season. But it is Skipp who has brought some much needed tactical stability.
- Since the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign, when Steve Bruce replaced Rafa Benitez as Newcastle manager, the Magpies have dropped the most points from winning positions on home soil of any Premier League side (28).
- Tottenham have now gone on to win each of their last four Premier League matches when conceding the first goal within the opening two minutes (5-1 v Bournemouth in Oct 2015, 4-1 v Southampton in Dec 2016 & 6-1 v Man Utd in Oct 2020).
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored six goals in eight Premier League appearances at St. James' Park - five of which have come in his last three visits - with only Wayne Rooney scoring more goals there as an away player in the competition (9 in 12). In fact, in Premier League history, only Rooney (94) has scored more away goals than Kane (88), who moved one clear of Alan Shearer (87) this afternoon.
- Substitute Jonjo Shelvey was shown the fifth red card of his Premier League career, and third since joining Newcastle; two of those three have come against Spurs, also receiving his marching orders in this fixture back in August 2017.
Live Renault Super Sunday
Newcastle are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm. Tottenham resume their Europa Conference League campaign on Thursday with a visit to Vitesse Arnhem. They will then be back in Super Sunday action next weekend when they travel to West Ham, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm.