Sunday January 14th 2007
TOTTENHAM 2 NEWCASTLE UTD 3
TOTTENHAM: Robinson, Chimbonda, Lee, Dawson, Davenport (Ghaly 88), Lennon, Huddlestone, Tainio (Zokora 79), Malbranque (Keane 75), Defoe, Berbatov.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Gardner.
NEWCASTLE: Given, Ramage, Taylor, Huntington, Pattison, Solano, Butt, Milner, Dyer, Martins, Sibierski.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Edgar, O'Brien, Carroll, Troisi.
TV pundit said prior to the match that Spurs had Newcastle "sussed" by concentrating on the left side of Glenn Roeder's patched up team. "Roeder has gone for two kids on the left side and Spurs know there is a weakness there".
Young Huntington and Pattison have not the experience of the big names at White Hart Lane like Malbranque, Tainio or Defoe, but they showed no fear and full-back Huntington even took time out to appear up the other end of the pitch to score and put the Magpies back in the match.
Glenn Roeder says the turning point of the match was when Shay Given took some stick from Spurs players and Nicky Butt got involved in the aftermath as tempers reached boiling point at they trooped of at half-time. Butt even got involved in an incident with team-mate Steven Taylor as the defender tried to drag him away.
Butt was raging at the interval after was slapped by Pascal Chimbonda, and the incident was played down by the referee who could have sent both off.
The opening half saw Spurs attacking with pace but also looking shaky at the back. They had chances, but the only one they took was at least a yard offside.
Given produced a stunning save to claw away a Defoe header, but the England striker scored in the 14th minute. Spurs switched the ball from right to left and Malbranque crossed for Defoe, who was well offside, and he finished from close range.
The visitors, however, were level within two minutes when James Milner's free-kick found Huntington unmarked at the back post. The left-back's first effort rebounded back to him off Antoine Sibierski, and he then fired through Paul Robinson's legs at the near post.
Referee Steve Bennett has long been regarded as a joke by the Toon Army, and there was always the threat that a Spurs penalty would rob the Mags of any reward. But, thankfully, it didn't come.
However, Spurs restored the lead in the 54th minute when Chimbonda raced down the right and crossed, Teemu Tainio's finish was blocked by Solano but Berbatov steered his volley into the top corner.
But Martin levelled for the visitors with 19 minutes left, exchanging passes with Kieron Dyer before finding the top corner from the edge of the area. It was a stunning goal, as he seemed to be heading into no-man's-land out wide on the left, then produced an effort that the goalkeeper didn't even see.
They were ahead two minutes later when Martins threaded the ball through to Butt, who squeezed his finish in at the far post.
An amazing victory that was carved out of fight and determination. Man-for-man this was going to be the hiding of the season, but the Spurs fans trooped home wondering what the hell had hit them!