Newcastle beats declining Tottenham 2-1, into fourth place in EPL

Newcastle's Callum Wilson, second right, scores his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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LONDON (AP) — First-half goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron sent Newcastle into the Premier League’s top four with a superb 2-1 win at Tottenham on Sunday.

It was arguably the Magpies’ best result under Eddie Howe, with this victory making it four wins in five games for the northeast club, which ultimately holds long-term aspirations of being Champions League regulars.

This statement win consigned Spurs to back-to-back defeats and occurred amid some controversy, with the hosts unhappy no foul was awarded against Wilson, who collided with Hugo Lloris in the buildup to his 31st-minute opener.

Almiron added a second for the visitors nine minutes later and, while Harry Kane pulled one back early in the second half, Newcastle held on to leapfrog Chelsea and Manchester United into fourth in the standings.

Both clubs experienced contrasting midweek results and the hosts’ hopes of bouncing back from defeat at Old Trafford was not helped by the absences of Cristian Romero and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg due to minor injuries.

A frantic start saw Son Heung-min let fly twice in quick succession while the visitors forced two corners in the first 10 minutes, with penalty appeals on Joelinton waved away after he clashed with Emerson Royal.

Spurs should have broken the deadlock not long after when Kane sent Son through, but he hesitated and his weak chip was saved by Nick Pope from close range.

Eric Dier was close to putting through his own net after his overhit back pass to Lloris bounced yards wide of the home goal.

Antonio Conte’s team was able to shake off that scare, with Ryan Sessegnon having an effort deflected wide before Kane was denied by Pope’s left foot after a fine run.

It appeared Spurs were edging closer to the opener when they were undone by Lloris’ error in the 31st minute.

Fabian Schar sent a ball over the top for Wilson to chase and, although Lloris was first to it, the Spurs goalkeeper went down under slight contact from the Newcastle forward.

Wilson carried on while Lloris was on the ground and lobbed both the France international and Dier before he wheeled away to celebrate.

A VAR check came and went, which only added to the frustration of the hosts. Even worse was to follow.

Sean Longstaff headed down an attempted pass by Lloris to Almiron, who embarked on a jinking run that saw him beat Sessegnon and Clement Lenglet before he fired under the Tottenham goalkeeper for his sixth goal of the campaign.

Boos followed from the home supporters at halftime and so did rain and lightning, with the bleak weather matching the mood at Spurs.

Not that the Newcastle fans were bothered, with several topless despite the heavy downpour. They were up in arms in the 51st minute when no penalty was given after Joelinton’s header hit Emerson’s arm.

It could have been 3-0 from the resulting corner but Lloris got down low to deny Schar and the momentum of the fixture quickly swung.

Spurs forced a set piece of their own and Son’s delivery was flicked on by Lenglet to the back post, where Kane stooped to head in his 11th goal of the campaign.

VAR was required to see if Davinson Sanchez had got a touch but, with no conclusive evidence either way, the goal stood.

Ivan Perisic and Lucas Moura were sent on by Conte soon after that 54th-minute effort.

Perisic sent a curler straight down at Pope and Dan Burn impressively blocked a close-range effort from Son as Tottenham fell to a first home defeat since April.