Soccer

Newcastle vs Tottenham result: Spurs suffer familiar fate as Joe Willock secures late draw for struggling hosts

Joe Willock celebrates his late equaliser for Newcastle against Tottenham

Substitute Joe Willock boosted Newcastle United’s Premier League survival hopes by slamming home a late equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Harry Kane had Spurs on track for a place in the top four, the striker’s quickfire first-half brace cancelling out Joelinton’s opener and pulling the visitors ahead at St James’ Park.

But Steve Bruce’s struggling side produced a gritty display as the game wore on, a performance that was rewarded when – seconds after Kane hit the post to miss out on his 30th goal of the season – Arsenal loanee Willock struck an 85th-minute equaliser off the crossbar and into the Spurs net.

Bruce’s starting line-up raised eyebrows as Matt Ritchie was included among five changes for the first time since his training ground bust-up with the head coach, while there was a seat on the bench for Allan Saint-Maximin following his recovery from a groin injury, although not for leading scorer Callum Wilson.

In a lively start, Sean Longstaff and Joelinton both forced keeper Hugo Lloris into action in quick succession, while at the other end, Lucas Moura whistled a free-kick across Martin Dubravka’s goal and Kane drilled a second into the defensive wall.

Read more:

  • Brave Carl Frampton bows out with brilliant legacy after cruel defeat by Jamel Herring
  • Danger man Diogo Jota is the key to Liverpool’s top-four hopes
  • England Euro 2020 squad: Who’s on the bus, who’s in contention, who could miss out?

Dubravka had to stand tall to beat away Kane’s eighth-minute effort from a tight angle after the striker had skipped past defender Emil Krafth, but Dwight Gayle saw a header from Jacob Murphy’s cross inadvertently deflected behind by Japhet Tanganga.

The Magpies should have taken a 19th-minute lead when Gayle met Jonjo Shelvey’s cross unopposed only to see Lloris claw away his header and then recover in time to block his follow-up.

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our privacy notice

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our privacy notice

They did go ahead with 28 minutes gone when Ritchie picked up possession down the left and fed Longstaff, whose pass was perfectly-weighted for Joelinton to score his first league goal since 27 November.

It was then that Kane stepped up to restore order, stabbing home from close range after Krafth had diverted the ball into his path as he tried to cut out Giovani Lo Celso’s driven cross on the half-hour, and then beating Dubravka with a flourish after being played through deftly by Tanguy Ndombele four minutes later.

Read more: Player ratings as Willock saves Newcastle after Kane’s double

The Magpies spent much of the second half on the front foot, although without troubling the visitors, with Spurs attempting to respond on the counter.

Miguel Almiron cleared Tanganga’s 67th-minute header off the line after Dubravka had failed to get a meaningful punch to Lo Celso’s corner. Joelinton passed up a glorious opportunity to equalise with 20 minutes remaining when he controlled Krafth’s cross at the far post, but sent his shot wide, prompting Bruce to introduce Saint-Maximin. Willock followed as the Magpies’ boss looked for fresh impetus, a move which saw midfielder Shelvey move to the heart of the back three, but Kane was only denied his hat-trick by the upright with five minutes remaining.

However, Willock chose the perfect moment to score his second Newcastle goal – his first since his debut – when he fired home off the underside of the crossbar after Lloris had palmed away Almiron’s point-blank header.

PA

Source: Read Full Article