Tottenham Hotspur 3
Even if Jrgen Klinsmann's first visit to Newcastle proves to be his last, it surely will not be forgotten. Six goals, two red cards and the German's missed penalty left the congregation breathless, even if it did little to further either side's European aspirations.
For mere Uefa Cup qualification to have been an issue on Tyneside would have been unthinkable five months ago, when Newcastle were top of the heap. Since then injuries and the failure to replace Andy Cole have taken their toll.
"I don't think the result is great for either of us," admitted the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan. "But sometimes you have to look beyond that and say it was the greatest advert for football I've seen this season. There weren't any people queueing outside, asking for their money back, that's for sure.''
The Magpies went in front after only seven minutes, when delightful footwork by Steve Watson carved open Spurs' right flank for Keith Gillespie to claim his first Premiership goal with a diving header.
Next it was Darren Peacock's turn, breaking his duck in a black and white shirt in the 10th minute with a firm header from Peter Beardsley's corner.
Klinsmann, naturally, was involved in Tottenham's reply midway through the half. Nick Barmby fed off the German's delicate through ball and brushed aside a posse of defenders to hook a shot home.
Within two minutes Tottenham were level. Darren Anderton's corner from the left skidded off the head of Paul Bracewell and Klinsmann, lurking unmarked at the back post, needed no second bidding.
Another two minutes and, astonishingly, Spurs were in front as Anderton found the top corner with a stunning shot on the turn from 25 yards out.
The action continued, unabated, in the second half with the Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek shown the red card in the 55th minute for tripping Barmby as he went round the Czech. The substitute keeper, Mike Hooper, immediately came off the bench, and his first act was to stick out a boot to keep out Klinsmann's penalty.
Galvanised into action by the frantic urgings of more than 35,000 Geordies, Newcastle were soon within inches of an equaliser. Ian Walker beat out Gillespie's effort, however, and when the Tottenham goalkeeper was beaten by Peacock's effort, Colin Calderwood was on the line to clear.
It proved to be the Spurs defender's final contribution, his second yellow card of the evening seeing him follow in Srnicek's footsteps. Now it was an even game once more, and in the 71st minute Beardsley levelled matters with a shot from just inside the box.
Gerry Francis, the Spurs manager, revealed that Teddy Sheringham tried unsuccessfully to dissuade referee Dermot Gallagher from dismissing Srnicek. "The referee, with these stupid laws, has to send a goalkeeper off," Francis said. "Both red cards could have been avoided."
Newcastle United (4-4-2) Srnicek; Hottiger, Howey, Peacock, Beresford; Fox (Hooper, gk, 55), Lee, Bracewell (Allen, h-t), Gillespie; Beardsley, Watson. Substitute not used: Clark.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Austin, Calderwood, Mabbutt, Edinburgh; Barmby, Anderton, Howells, Rosenthal; Klinsmann, Sheringham. Substitutes not used: Nethercott, Campbell, Thorstvedt (gk).
Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).Reuse content