Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Late Joe Willock goal earns Newcastle point

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Tottenham's Harry Kane scores against Newcastle
Harry Kane has scored 84 away Premier League goals for Spurs – the most away goals any player has scored for a single club in the competition

Newcastle earned a vital point in their fight for Premier League survival thanks to a late equaliser against Tottenham from on-loan Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock at St James’ Park.

The 21-year-old reacted quickest, after Miguel Almiron’s effort was cleared off the line, to fire into the roof of the net and deny Spurs a place in the top four for the first time since 2 January.

In an entertaining game Newcastle took the lead when Joelinton slotted home a lovely threaded pass from Sean Longstaff after Spurs were guilty of overplaying at the back.

Jose Mourinho’s side responded within 90 seconds as the hosts, and in particular Emil Krafth, failed to clear in the area, and an alert Kane prodded home for his 18th goal of the campaign.

The visitors were leading four minutes later when Kane, fed by a brilliant reverse pass from Tanguy Ndombele, clinically fired across Martin Dubravka from the right-hand corner of the penalty area.

The 27-year-old almost got a third, moments before Willock’s goal, but his effort cannoned into the base of the post and behind.

Newcastle – who have now only won two of their past 19 Premier League games – remain 17th, but move three points clear of Fulham who occupy the final relegation spot. The Cottagers would climb out of the bottom three on goal difference if they beat Aston Villa at 16:30 BST.

Tottenham, who conceded a 97th-minute equaliser against Newcastle earlier in the season, move up to fifth – above Liverpool and West Ham – but remain two points behind Chelsea who are in the final Champions League spot.

Joelinton stands up for Bruce

In their final game before the international break Newcastle were well below par in a 3-0 defeat at Brighton, and Bruce would have have spent much of the two weeks wondering about his future, with 95% of fans in a local newspaper pollexternal-link calling for him to be sacked.

However, the former Birmingham and Hull boss will be happy with the desire and application shown by his side.

They made five changes from that defeat – with Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy and Longstaff all making their first starts since January – and started positively with Joelinton having an effort saved from distance, before Hugo Lloris made a brilliant double save to deny Dwight Gayle.

They pressed high throughout the first period, and got their rewards when sloppy Tottenham passing and a weak Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg tackle saw the ball break free for Longstaff who stayed calm to find Joelinton, who passed into the bottom corner for just his second league goal of the season.

Newcastle were suspect defensively throughout, and Bruce will be fuming with the soft nature of the first goal, where Krafth should have just cleared for a corner rather than trying to play in his own six-yard box.

They had chances to equalise earlier with Joelinton firing wide with a volley, but the striker, who now has four league goals since his £40m transfer in July 2019, did well to nod down for the equaliser with Willock adjusting his feet well to fire into the roof of the net.

The point could prove crucial with West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and Manchester City still to play in their final eight games.

Kane proves his worth

Speculation about Kane’s long-term future at Tottenham was rife during the international break, with reports suggesting he is becoming disillusioned at the fact he is yet to win a trophy at Spurs, and those rumours only intensified when he was mentioned as a possible replacement for the departing Sergio Aguero at Manchester City.

Kane, however, has done his talking on the pitch. He scored in both appearances for England, and was once again in deadly form as he moved level with former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe in eighth place on the all-time Premier League goalscoring charts with 162.

He was in the right place at the right time for the first goal, as he capitalised on a woeful piece of Newcastle defending to equal his goalscoring exploits last season.

If his first was slightly fortunate, then his second was absolutely clinical. He timed his run to perfection and drilled superbly across Dubravka to bring up his 45-goal involvement this season in all competitions – with 29 goals and 16 assists – matching his best tally in 2017-18.

Pre-game, Spurs boss Mourinho said Chelsea’s defeat on Saturday “didn’t change our perspective” but he will know that this was a missed opportunity in what could be a defining month in his reign in north London.

Tepid exits from the FA Cup and Europa League have again led to speculation about his long-term future, and Mourinho – whose side have now lost 15 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season – will know upcoming games against Manchester United, Everton and the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on 25 April are likely to influence whether he is in charge next campaign.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Newcastle

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Dubravka
  • 23MurphySubstituted forManquilloat 83′minutes
  • 17KrafthSubstituted forWillockat 79′minutes
  • 6Lascelles
  • 3DummettBooked at 65mins
  • 11Ritchie
  • 24AlmirónBooked at 85mins
  • 8ShelveyBooked at 71mins
  • 36S Longstaff
  • 9Joelinton
  • 12GayleSubstituted forSaint-Maximinat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Clark
  • 4M Longstaff
  • 10Saint-Maximin
  • 15Lewis
  • 16Hendrick
  • 19Manquillo
  • 26Darlow
  • 28Willock
  • 57Anderson

Tottenham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Lloris
  • 25TangangaBooked at 63mins
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 14Rodon
  • 3Reguilón
  • 18Lo CelsoBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBaleat 88′minutes
  • 28Ndombele
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forLamelaat 64′minutes
  • 45Alves MoraisSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 45′minutes
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 8Winks
  • 9Bale
  • 11Lamela
  • 12Hart
  • 15Dier
  • 17Sissoko
  • 20Alli
  • 53Scarlett

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