Son Heung-min reignites Tottenham’s best form as Newcastle’s injury crisis finally catches up with them

Tottenham 4-1 Newcastle: Ange Postecoglou’s team ended a run of five games without victory

Sonia Twigg
at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Sunday 10 December 2023 22:05 GMT
<p>Son led Spurs to a comfortable victory over Newcastle</p>

Son led Spurs to a comfortable victory over Newcastle

Tottenham’s five-match run without victory came to an end with a clinical performance in a dominant win over a ragged and injury-plagued Newcastle.

Spurs supporters’ agonising wait to celebrate was finally over after a winless November, goals from Destiny Udogie, Son Heung-min and two from Richarlison embodied a controlled game and a deserved three points.

Richarlison might have previously struggled for consistency at Tottenham, with just five goals in his last 48 matches, but was on target twice to see Spurs secure a much-needed victory.

It did not look the same Newcastle who tested Paris Saint Germain and were disappointed to have left France with only a point, nor the one who beat Manchester United at the start of the month but, more problematically, it was. The Magpies’ injury crisis has not allowed for any significant deviation from the starting XI who have played the last four games, and the last two matches have shown it is just too much for the severely injury-depleted squad.

Kieran Trippier was all but dead on his feet during the last 10 minutes of Newcastle’s loss at Everton on Thursday, and just three days later the 33-year-old had to contend with Son. Unfortunately for the England international, he was again at least partially at fault for the first two goals.

Spurs were utterly dominant in midfield, and despite Newcastle having the better of the chances, as soon as the hosts went ahead through Udogie in the 26th minute, the result was never in doubt.

Tottenham had not created anything substantial barring a header from Cristian Romero that Miguel Almiron was on hand to hook clear, before they found a way through the lines just before the half-hour mark.

Destiny Udogie opened the scoring of Tottenham

The returning Son caused problems all evening in north London and, having been forced down the line by Trippier, managed to cross the ball for Udogie to tap home.

Manager Ange Postecoglou was full of praise for the number seven: “I thought Sonny set the tone early on, when we got the ball he was really positive with it and that’s what you need from leadership and I thought the rest of the lads fed off that and we were a lot more threatening in their front third than we have been and I thought the goals were deserved again and we could have had a couple more again.”

The goal sparked Tottenham and their fans into life, it had been an unusually quiet start to the match, where all the fans’ involvement had been contained to outrage over the odd free kick going against them.

The home side almost had a second less than four minutes later when the ball from Brennan Johnson almost fell to the feet of Pape Matar Sarr, but less than five yards out he missed the target.

Newcastle’s threat was still evident, and a clever move between Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Miguel Almiron almost ended in an equaliser, but the latter’s shot lacked power and was saved.

Another moment of skill and Tottenham had a second, this time poked into the back of the net by Richarlison, Trippier had tried to head the ball clear, and then was unable to deal with Son, who pulled it back for the Brazilian to slot into the back of the net.

Richarlison’s two goals show how important he can be for Spurs going forward

Johnson tried his luck to add to the tally inside the first half, but his low drive just shaved past the post, as Newcastle looked like they have played a few too many matches in quick succession, Richarlison also had a golden chance on the stroke of half time to add to his and Spurs’ tally, but his wide sprawling dive completely missed the ball.

Newcastle looked like they had been given a new lease of life after the half-time break, but were unable to make it count and instead, Richarlison put the game to bed with a great third strike on the hour mark. He took a great touch to bring the ball down before slotting home following a long ball from Pedro Porro.

They almost had a fourth, just two minutes later which would have capped off the clinical performance, but agonisingly Johnson’s curled effort bounced off the crossbar, and Son had one that flashed across the face of the goal.

Son Heung-min capped off a fine evening with a well-taken penalty

Son did manage to add his name to the scoresheet with an 85th-minute penalty, tucked into the corner of the net past the diving Martin Dubravka to cap off the match and draw level with Ian Wright on 113 Premier League goals. The home side were denied a clean sheet however, when Joelinton pulled one back in the second minute of stoppage time after Newcastle won the ball, with Wilson feeding in the Brazilian who scored.

Newcastle will be hoping for more players to return from injury as this match started a run of five matches in just 13 days, including AC Milan and Chelsea.

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