Newcastle into top-four with win at Tottenham
Newcastle United put an early shock into Tottenham Hotspur and held on for a 2-1 win in North London on Sunday, putting the Premier League on increased notice that Eddie Howe’s plan is ahead of schedule.
Callum Wilson scored off a Hugo Lloris error and Miguel Almiron continued his red-hot form to help the Magpies build a 2-0 away lead, with Harry Kane bringing Spurs back within one after halftime.
Newcastle moves to 21 points through 12 matches, a fourth-place spot (though Chelsea has the same points with a match-in-hand).
Tottenham has two more points but does not take advantage of the points dropped by North London derby rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
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What we learned from Tottenham vs Newcastle
Kieran Trippier is the ideal right back: Who knows how long this can last -- he’s 32 but still runs like a 25-year-old -- but right now Kieran Trippier looks the perfect mix of adventure, grit, and wisdom in one right back. Eddie Howe’s general leads from the right side. Right now, he looks the top option for start for England at the World Cup following the injury to Reece James. The ex-Spurs back also highlights everything the club is missing on its right flank, but we’ll leave that for the Tottenham fans to lament.
Antonio Conte adapts, but too late: He’s one of the greatest tacticians and motivators to ever do it, but Antonio Conte’s been so slow to adapt his system to better suit Spurs current predicament. Down Dejan Kulusevski and RIcharlison, getting the ball to Harry Kane and Heung-min Son has been no small ask. Some would say that even a healthy Spurs would struggle with this thanks to a missing ball progressor. Regardless, Lucas Moura’s entry for the final 24 minutes was probably needed earlier and joined Ivan Perisic’s final half-hour as showing Conte what he was missing on Sunday.
Newcastle’s in the discussion: There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of season to be played but there’s very little in the first three months of the season that shows Newcastle cannot be a serious part of the top seven fight and perhaps even compete for a cup. The club is doing it without Jonjo Shelvey having a kick this season until the final moments of this match and with Allan Saint-Maximin missing for some time. And we know there’s a segment of Newcastle fans just happy to see their Premier League status appear safe in October for the first time in years. With Villa, Saints, and Chelsea the final three fixtures before the World Cup, Newcastle should enter the winter break in the mix.
Stars of the show
Eddie Howe reaction: On top-four, big spending talk
“The problem is if you associate with money it takes away credit from the players,” Howe said, via the BBC. “A lot of them were here anyway. Credit the players for the performance, don’t look at how the team were put together.
“There is a long way to go. Very tight divison. We’re enjoying the moment but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. We’ll try to win. I’m sure people will talk us up but I don’t want to put any external pressure on my players.”
Antonio Conte reaction: This will take time
Conte’s built more than a few contenders and cautions that Spurs have more building to do before the team can reach its potential:
“If we played one game every six or seven days, we could fight for something important,” Conte said, via the BBC. “To play every three days we have to continue to build our path and have patience. If someone thinks we can invent the win and do a miracle, we need to continue to work. ... If someone doesn’t want to listen it’s not my problem. Fingers crossed we don’t have many injuries. Many injuries can affect our season.
“When you start this type of process, I can tell the line to follow. We have to finish this period of games and then in January we’ll see where we are, which improvement we need. Together with the club. The club knows very well. I was very clear in the summer. If we want to play in the Premier League and Champions League you need to improve the squad. When you play, play, play, injuries happen. When three to five players are out it becomes a problem for a team like Tottenham.”
Newcastle hosts Aston Villa at 10am ET Saturday, while Spurs have a big Champions League match at home to Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday before tangling with Bournemouth on the South Coast at 10am ET Saturday.
Callum Wilson goal video: Lloris strays, is punished
Miguel Almiron goal video: MLS export stays hot
Harry Kane goal video: Tottenham hero stoops to score
How to watch Tottenham vs Newcastle live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 11:30am ET, SundayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Harry Kane’s been red-hot but was saved in-tight by David De Gea right before Man United took a 2-0 lead at midweek. Spurs have struggled to get the ball in dangerous places but he’s done a lot with it. That said, he’s gone 90 minutes in almost every game across all competitions and it remains to be seen whether he’s wearing down a bit.
Newcastle looks strong at the back when Sven Botman and Nick Pope, while fullback Kieran Trippier -- the old Spurs mainstay -- has been a magnificent leader and crosser. If MIguel Almiron’s career-best form can last and Allan Saint-Maximin returns to health in-form, the Magpies could find themselves as good as they’ve been in a decade.
Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Dejan Kulusevski (thigh), Richarlison (calf).
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Matt Ritchie (calf), Emil Krafth (knee), Alexander Isak (thigh), Karl Darlow (foot), Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh).