Premier League - Spurs beat toothless Toon
Tue, 28 Dec 16:50:00 2010
Ten-man Tottenham beat Newcastle 2-0 to move ahead of Chelsea and into the top four of the Premier League.
Trademark goals from Aaron Lennon and a sweeping counter attack finished off brilliantly by Gareth Bale saw Spurs claim all three points against Alan Pardew's side.
But they had to do it with 10 men for the second time in three days after Younes Kaboul was sent off in the 65th minute for headbutting Cheik Tiote.
The win also signalled Tottenham's first clean sheet in the Premier League since their 0-0 draw with Manchester City on the opening day of the season.
Although Spurs looked comfortable throughout, with the suspension of captain Kevin Nolan proving a significant loss to the visitors, they started slowly as Newcastle nullified the threat Spurs possess in attack.
Infact, it was Andy Carroll who had the first major opportunity of the game, evading his marker Michael Dawson to head Gutierrez's cross from the left just over, with Heurelho Gomes stranded in the Spurs goal.
But Newcastle, for all their creativity in midfield, lack the full-backs to deal with Bale, who was in full flow for much of the game. Danny Simpson was unable to get anywhere near the Welshman at times.
Bale's searing run midway through the first half tore through the Newcastle midfield and was eventually foiled by the combined efforts of Fabricio Colloccini and Alan Smith. But the signs of what were to come were ominous.
Wilson Palacios and Tiote locked horns in a tough physical battle throughout the first half, with a yellow card apiece the result. Harry Redknapp opted to relieve Palacios of his duties at half time, and sent on Jermaine Jenas in his place.
Spurs looked to have had taken the lead on the stroke of half time when Roman Pavlyuchenko rose to head Hutton's cross towards goal.
But Tim Krul leaped to his left to palm the ball on to the inside of the post, before turning to see the it bounce along his goal line and skim the opposite post before rolling to safety.
It should have been a wake-up call to Pardew's side, but they failed to get Carroll involved enough, while Joey Barton was not at his best either.
Spurs took a deserved lead through Lennon in the 57th minute after the superb Luka Modric picked him out. Lennon had support but went alone, striking the ball sweet and low across the face of Krul's goal and into the far corner.
There was a hint that the ball may have taken a slight deflection off Perch but it was trademark finish from Lennon nonetheless.
Five minutes later Spurs were reduced to 10 men - just as they had been two days earlier at Villa Park.
Tiote, who was lucky to still be on the field after a foul on Modric was waived on moments earlier, caught Kaboul. The Frenchman reacted by thrusting his head at Tiote and was sent down the tunnel.
Rather than sit on their lead, Redknapp's side responded positively and were rewarded nine minutes from time when Bale produced another strike for the family scrapbook.
Dawson won the ball on the edge of his box, fed it to Modric, who in turn who found Bale to launch an incisive Spurs counter attack.
The Welshman terrorised Taylor just as he had Maicon at the San Siro in October, before planting a left-footed shot inside the far post.
Bale's strike sealed a deserved win for Spurs and they will have enjoyed moving ahead of London rivals Chelsea.
For Newcastle, it's three points in nine since Chris Hughton's departure and more pressure for new manager Pardew.Michael Da Silva / Eurosport