Newcastle United failed to halt their dismal run of Premier League form on Sunday as they were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham at a sparse St James’ Park.
Some supporters boycotted the game in protest at the running of the club and a perceived lack of ambition from the board.
And for those who were in attendance, there was little cause for cheer as goals from Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane eclipsed Jack Colback’s effort to inflict a sixth consecutive defeat on the hosts.
Chadli gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side a half-time lead with a long-range strike 29 minutes in, though Tim Krul might have been able to do more to keep it out.
However, as in the reverse fixture, Newcastle equalised early in the second half – Colback restoring parity 18 seconds after the restart.
If there was any doubt about Krul’s role in Spurs’ first goal, there was nowhere for the goalkeeper to hide with the second, as Eriksen’s 53rd-minute free-kick eluded the Dutchman’s grasp and found the back of the net.
Kane’s 20th league goal of the campaign added to John Carver’s woes, with Newcastle remaining seven points clear of the relegation zone, while Spurs move above Southampton into sixth.
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini returned from suspension and was required to snuff out an early Kane opportunity in a low-key opening 10 minutes on Tyneside.
Ayoze Perez had the first effort on target, side-footing a Yoan Gouffran cross at Michel Vorm, as Spurs initially struggled to convert their possession into clear-cut chances.
However, when Gouffran carelessly lost possession in midfield, Chadli made the most of the time and space afforded to him to fire past Krul and further dampen an already muted atmosphere.
Newcastle demonstrated a stark lack of attacking invention in the first half, but Carver introduced Sammy Ameobi and Gabriel Obertan at the break and the reshuffle paid dividends almost immediately when Colback levelled.
After Perez’s perseverance, Daryl Janmaat saw a shot blocked before Colback steered home the loose ball inside a minute of the second half.
It was only Newcastle’s second Premier League goal in six outings, but Newcastle quickly fell behind again when Krul failed to deal with Eriksen’s curled delivery.
The Dane’s free-kick evaded a host of Spurs players as well as the Newcastle goalkeeper to restore the visitors’ advantage, before Nabil Bentaleb came close to heading home a third – grazing the roof of the net following Chadli’s cross.
Krul atoned for his error by keeping out Kane’s point-blank header, only to be beaten by the England striker’s one-on-one finish in stoppage time to complete a miserable day for the hosts.
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