Newcastle 0 Tottenham 0
Emmanuel Adebayor claimed a double as Tottenham produced a sumptuous performance to make it 19 points from the last possible 21 on the road to maintain their hopes of finishing in a Champions League qualifying spot.
Newcastle could have few complaints after being comprehensively outplayed. Even Tim Krul, their usually reliable goalkeeper whose career-defining display of 14 saves had secured an improbable victory at White Hart Lane in November, had a night he would rather forget, gifting the opening goal to the visitors.
Tottenham could have been two up before they finally rewarded their dominance by breaking the deadlock midway through the first half. Adebayor saw a close-range effort deflected just wide by Vurnon Anita after Mousa Dembele beat Davide Santon with alarming ease to tee-up his team-mate with a deft cut-back.
Santon was again found wanting soon after when Tottenham again made strides down their right, Krul saving well at his near post to keep out a purposeful drive from Paulinho that was destined for the top corner.
It wasn’t that Newcastle failed to heed the warnings, more the case that they simply couldn’t stem the flow of Spurs attacks, as the visitors went ahead in the 19th minute.
At least the punch-drunk Santon — who failed to appear for the second-half — was spared on this occasion, Nabil Bentaleb shrugging off Moussa Sissoko to surge down the left and centre across the six-yard box where, in his efforts to clear, Krul succeeded only in diverting the ball straight to Adebayor, who had the simple task of volleying into an unguarded net.
Aaron Lennon had penalty claims ignored when he appeared to have his legs taken form him by Mike Williamson as the midfielder made to sweep home a Kyle Walker cross as Tottenham, wisely given Newcastle’s general ineptitude, refused to sit back on their lead.
Becoming more of an influence as the half wore on, Lennon almost doubled the advantage on the half-hour, as he sprinted beyond two challenges to fire in an effort deflected off Mathieu Debuchy which struck the foot of Krul’s right-hand post.
Newcastle weren’t without their chances, though they were largely fleeting, the only notable one spurned by Papiss Cisse, who failed to supply a firm enough touch to Luuk de Jong’s inviting knockdown, allowing Hugo Lloris to make a comfortable save.
If it wasn’t already the case, the contest was effectively settled eight minutes after the restart when Tottenham underlined their dominance with a richly-deserved second goal. Paulinho teed-up Adebayor to fire in a low effort from the edge of the area which was well saved to his right by Krul as Newcastle collectively froze, allowing Paulinho to follow-up and thrash the loose ball into the bottom corner. Game over.
With the automatic-pilot well on for the last 20 minutes, it allowed Lloris an opportunity to prove his worth with fine late saves to deny Debuchy and Cisse a consolation goal as Newcastle drew a blank for the fifth time in six games, in the process losing for the seventh time in the last nine outings.
There remained time for Adebayor to double his personal tally with eight minutes remaining. Substitute Andros Townsend was afforded time and space to fire in an angled drive from inside the box that was well saved by Krul. The rebound fell to Adebayor, whose shot into the ground ballooned up and found the net for a dozen yards.
Newcastle appeared destined for a third consecutive 3-0 defeat, but they couldn’t even manage that. Nacer Chadli stepped up to curl home a sublime fourth from the edge of the area two minutes from the end.
This was Newcastle’s fifth consecutive home defeat, four of those in the Premier League, the first time that has ever happened.
NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Krul 6; Debuchy 5, Williamson 4, S Taylor 4, Santon 4 (Dummett 46, 4); Gouffran 5, Sissoko 4, Anita 5, Sammy Ameobi 4 (Marveaux 71, 4); Cisse 5, de Jong 6 (Ben Arfa 63, 5).
TOTTENHAM (4-3-3): Lloris 8; Walker 7, Kaboul 8, Vertonghen 8, Naughton 8; Paulinho 8, Capoue 7, Bentaleb 7; Dembele 8 (Townsend 64, 7), Adebayor 9 (Soldado 83, 6), Lennon 7 (Chadli 75, 8).
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
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