Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham: Joe Willock’s late equaliser secures vital point in relegation battle

Joe Willock’s late equaliser secured a deserved – and vital – 2-2 draw for Newcastle against Tottenham, with Spurs missing the chance to go fourth.

All eyes were on Newcastle after a dismal defeat to Brighton two weeks ago, but the international break seemed to breathe new life into the team as they deservedly went ahead when Joelinton (28) fired home.

But the lead was short-lived as Kane bundled in the equaliser less than two minutes later (30), before powering home a superb second not long after (34).

Much like the first-half goals, it was a short period towards the end of the game that ultimately decided the outcome. Kane spurned a golden chance to wrap up the three points and his hat-trick when he clipped the post, before Arsenal loanee Willock (86) found the net via the underside of the crossbar two minutes later.

It was the least Newcastle deserved after a much-improved performance. They remain 17th ahead of Fulham’s trip to Aston Villa later on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, but could still end the day in the bottom three on goal difference should Fulham win.

Tottenham miss the chance to go into the top four, instead moving into fifth, two points behind Chelsea. West Ham could displace them when they travel to Wolves on Monday Night Football.

How Newcastle secured a vital point

Joelinton fired Newcastle ahead in fine style

The first half began with sights of goal for both sides. Davinson Sanchez – making his 100th Premier League appearance – nodded the ball into Joelinton’s chest, with the Newcastle striker eventually sending his effort straight at Hugo Lloris. At the other end, Kane beat Emil Krafth before firing on the angle, but Martin Dubravka was level to it.

Newcastle had two quickfire chances to take the lead in the 19th minute. Jonjo Shelvey lofted a superb ball into the area, picking out Dwight Gayle in the middle of the defenders. His first strike forced a superb, leaping save from Lloris. Gayle was then lurking for the rebound, but his shot was caught under the body of the Tottenham goalkeeper, who was able to collect.

Soon after though, Newcastle took a deserved lead. Matt Ritchie collected a poor clearance from Sanchez, before slotting Sean Longstaff through. He then squared the ball for the waiting Joelinton, who emphatically fired home for only his second Premier League goal at St James’ Park.

Player ratings

Newcastle:Dubravka (7), Murphy (7), Krafth (6), Lascelles (6), Dummett (6), Shelvey (6), Ritchie (7), S Longstaff (7), Joelinton (7), Almiron (7), Gayle (7).

Subs used: Saint-Maximin (6), Willock (7), Manquillo (n/a).

Tottenham: Lloris (7), Tanganga (6), Sanchez (6), Rodon (7), Reguilon (7), Lo Celso (7), Ndombele (7), Hojbjerg (7), Moura (6), Vinicius (5), Kane (8).

Subs used: Son (6), Lamela (7), Bale (n/a).

Man of the match: Harry Kane.

But the joy was short-lived as Kane equalised 90 seconds later after some more suspect defending. Giovani Lo Celso slotted the ball through for Kane, with Krafth and Dubravka between them unable to clear their lines. Kane dinked over both, with the ball ricocheting kindly off his legs and into the back of the net.

Kane added his second in superb fashion four minutes later. Tanguy Ndombele chipped the ball in for him on the right of the area, with the striker unleashing a thunderous half volley that rifled into the far-left corner.

Team news

  • Newcastle made five changes from their 3-0 defeat to Brighton. Javier Manquillo, Ciaran Clark, Joe Willock, Isaac Hayden and Ryan Fraser dropped out with Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Emil Krafth, Jacob Murphy and Sean Longstaff coming into the XI. Allan Saint-Maximin returned to the bench after injury.
  • Tottenham named the same XI that beat Aston Villa two weeks ago, with Heung-Min Son back on the bench.

Within seconds of the restart, Newcastle went close to an equaliser. Miguel Almiron curled an effort goalwards, but Lloris made a vital, fingertip save to send the ball around the post. The half continued with far fewer clear-cut chances than the first half, but Tottenham went close in the 67th minute.

Lo Celso delivered a corner, which Dubravka initially punched away. However, it landed on Tanganga’s head, sending the ball goalwards, but his effort was seen away by Almiron’s own nodded effort on the line.

Harry Kane celebrates equalising for Tottenham against Newcastle
Harry Kane scored both Tottenham goals at St James’ Park

Newcastle could have been left to rue a huge miss from Joelinton shortly after. Krafth sent a fizzing cross into the area, finding the striker, but he could only lash his effort past the post. Kane then let two glorious chances for his hat-trick pass him by. Much like his second goal, Ndombele played the Spurs striker through, but he could not sort his feet out and Dubravka came across to smother.

Tottenham then drove forward on a speedy break, with Lamela feeding Kane in the area, but he could only send his effort onto the post. It proved to be a pivotal moment as two minutes later, Newcastle equalised. It was a chaotic goal too, with Ritchie’s cross nodded back by Joelinton. Almiron saw his close-range header blocked by Rodon, but Willock was coming in to hammer the ball home via the underside of the crossbar, peeling away for a delirious celebration.

Man of the match – Harry Kane

Once again, Kane was the man to the rescue for Tottenham with two goals that almost won the game. The first was a real slice of luck but the second was vintage Kane – firing home into the bottom corner.

The striker has been directly involved in 45 goals in all competitions this season (29 goals and 16 assists), equalling his career-best tally from 2017/18 (41 goals and 4 assists).

Kane has also scored 84 goals in 120 away games in the Premier League for Spurs, the most goals any player has scored away from home for a single club in the competition, overtaking Wayne Rooney’s 82 for Manchester United.

Analysis: Praise for Newcastle, worry for Spurs

Newcastle's Miguel Almiron duels for the ball with Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele
Miguel Almiron duels for the ball with Tanguy Ndombele

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness: “Newcastle never gave up. They were a completely different team to two weeks ago at Brighton. The supporters and manager will be heartened by that performance today.

“Spurs have given up 15 points from winning positions. That’s not a Jose trait. That’s worrying. If you want to be a top team you can’t give up leads the way they do.”

Sky Sports features editor Peter Smith: “It was a spirited, ambitious performance from Newcastle – and a fantastic response to that huge setback against Brighton before the international break.

“But from Spurs’ point of view, what a missed opportunity. They were big favourites to win today and, when Kane hit the post with them 2-1 up, they looked on course to move into the Champions League places. But another late Newcastle equaliser has cost Spurs again.

“That’s 15 points dropped from winning positions by Spurs this season. Only Southampton and Brighton have dropped more. A let-off for their rivals Chelsea, who remain fourth despite their shock loss to West Brom yesterday.”

Opta stats

  • Tottenham Hotspur have dropped four points from winning positions against Newcastle this season, their most in a season against a single side since also dropping four versus Arsenal and West Brom in 2015-16.
  • Tottenham have failed to win six Premier League games this season in which they led at half-time, the most of any side.
  • Tottenham have dropped 11 points due to goals conceded in the final 10 minutes of games this season, the most of any Premier League side.

What’s next?

Sunday 11th April 11:00am

Kick off 12:00pm

Sunday 11th April 4:00pm

Kick off 4:30pm

Newcastle are back on Sky Sports next Sunday when they host Burnley in the Premier League; kick-off 12pm. Tottenham will also play on April 11 when they welcome Jose Mourinho’s former side, Manchester United, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 4.30pm.

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