LONDON,- Tottenham Hotspur secured a first Premier League win since October as Brazilian striker Richarlison also returned to form with two goals in a 4-1 drubbing of a jaded-looking Newcastle United on Sunday.
Ange Postecoglou’s side earned the dubious distinction of being the first Premier League team to lead 1-0 in five successive games without winning any of them in midweek as they went down at home to West Ham United.
But this time, after Destiny Udogie tapped in his first goal for the club from captain Son Heung-min’s cutback after 26 minutes, they never looked back.
Richarlison was also fed by the outstanding Son to make it 2-0 before halftime and struck again on the hour as Tottenham began to run riot against a Newcastle side perhaps distracted by next week’s vital Champions League clash with AC Milan.
Son capped a tireless display by converting an 85th-minute penalty after being brought down by keeper Martin Dubravka.
Joelinton scored a late consolation for Newcastle but it could not take the gloss off Tottenham’s win which left them in fifth place with 30 points from 16 games, seven behind leaders Liverpool in what is shaping up to be a compelling title race.
A sixth league defeat of the season following this week’s 3-0 defeat by Everton, leaves Eddie Howe’s Newcastle in seventh place with 26 points.
Tottenham’s record-breaking start after 10 games hit the buffers in a calamitous 4-1 defeat by Chelsea a month ago that not only cost them three points but also left them with a long list of injuries and suspensions.
But Postecoglou believes they are coming out the other side.
“I didn’t give the players much latitude for excuses (in the recent bad run), but in retrospect, the reality of it is that we were decimated after the Chelsea game,” the Australian said.
“It’s no coincidence that we’ve got a few players back and we look stronger. Sonny set the tone today I thought, he was really positive every time he got the ball and the other players fed off that energy.”
It felt like Groundhog Day when Tottenham led 1-0 and it was tempting to think Newcastle had the hosts right where they wanted them as Tottenham had collected only one point from their last five games, in all of which they had struck early.
But Postecoglou’s side displayed the conviction he accused them of lacking on Thursday against West Ham as they turned the screws on a listless Newcastle side.
Even before Son skipped past Kieran Trippier to set up Udogie, Tottenham should have been ahead with Cristian Romero’s header being cleared off the line.
Crucially, unlike in the previous five games, Tottenham doubled their money before halftime with Richarlison, who recently underwent pelvic surgery, cashing in from more Son wizardry to slot his first goal since September.
Newcastle were off the pace although Bruno Guimaraes did go close with a long-range strike early on and Miguel Almiron also should have done better with a decent opportunity.
But when Pedro Porro’s flighted diagonal pass picked out Richarlison who took a touch before rolling a shot past Dubravka, any Tottenham anxiety evaporated.
Tottenham really began to enjoy themselves with another superb move down the right ending with Brennan Johnson crashing a shot against the inside of the post — the second time in the match the young midfielder was denied by the woodwork.
Son was then brought down by Dubravka and got up to net his spot kick to reach double figures for the season.
A defensive lapse denied Tottenham a clean sheet but it hardly dampened the party mood inside the stadium.