Subs Mitrovic, Perez ensure Newcastle avoid Dier straits at Spurs
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 13, 2015
Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle United
- Visiting keeper Elliot makes two saves from in-form Lamela at 0-0
- Dier near-post glancing header from corner gives Spurs half-time lead
- Mitrovic equalises with first touch after coming on for Magpies
- Perez snatches last-gasp winner to delight of Toon Army
- Newcastle out of relegation zone, Tottenham still in touch with top four
Travelling Toon turnaround Tottenham
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez came off the Newcastle United bench to take Newcastle United out of the bottom three with a win that ended Tottenham’s 14-match unbeaten Premier League run.
Eric Dier’s set-piece header had given the hosts a half-time lead, but inspired substitutions from Steve McClaren allowed the Magpies to climb from the relegation zone and stopped Spurs from claiming a spot in the Premier League top four.
Spurs strong in first-half
Tottenham tactics early on saw them seek to catch the Magpies on the hop with early balls over the top. Toby Alderweireld tried to feed Dele Alli on the diagonal, but the England youngster’s touch let him down.
Runs from Spurs’ supporting cast beyond main striker Harry Kane were common and Erik Lamela saw two attempts superbly saved by visiting keeper Rob Elliot, after Christian Eriksen’s long-range effort flashed wide.
Newcastle understudy Elliot produced a top-drawer, full-stretch stop to thwart Argentina international Lamela’s curling strike across goal when Danny Rose and Tom Carroll combined down the left.
The second save moments later was more instinctive, as the visiting defence dithered when clearing their lines. Elliot tippped Lamela’s latest effort over, but was beaten by the resultant Eriksen corner when Dier got across the near post to nod in six minutes before half-time.
Losing his marker, Tottenham’s other England international midfielder glanced goalwards as the travelling Toon Army watched in agony as Elliot got a hand to the header, but couldn’t keep it out. Vurnon Anita on the line was unable to clear.
McClaren’s Magpies rally with Mitrovic to the rescue
It could’ve been worse for Newcastle, whose only attack of note saw Papiss Cisse head tamely wide, as Rose dragged across goal and wide when another Eriksen shot was blocked and broke to the Spurs left back.
Cisse dragged a second sight of the home goal wide for the Magpies after half-time, while Kane drew a flying, plunging save from Elliot at other end with a 25-yarder.
Two further Eriksen efforts were weld held by the away goalie and, less than two minutes after coming on, Serbian striker Mitrovic then brought Newcastle level.
Fabricio Coloccini headed a right-wing corner back across goal and, although Hugo Lloris got down to low to thwart Chancel Mbemba’s diving header, Mitrovic pounced on the rebound which he poked home from a yard out.
Perez poaches last-gasp winner
Impact sub Mitrovic then nodded over to Ayoze, who sent the travelling Toon Amry and controversial owner Mike Ashley into raptures by finishing from a tight angle to pinch all three points at the death.
Spurs’ unbeaten run that stretched back to the second game of the campaign was left in tatters by McClaren, who buys himself further breathing space, thanks to Spanish sensation Perez.
The Magpies built upon their Tyneside exploits that humbled Liverpool last time out. Newcastle will next face a nervy relegation six-pointer with Aston Villa at St James’ Park hereafter.
Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, can still feel confident about maintaining Tottenham’s challenge for a Champions League place, with Spurs (now 11/10 with Coral for a top four finish) facing festive fixtures that pair them with promoted sides Norwich City and Watford. They follow an encounter against the head coach’s former club Southampton.
Check out Coral’s Premier League page for full coverage of all the top-flight festive football.