Tottenham Hotspur 2 Newcastle United 3

Last updated : 14 January 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Nicky Butt made up for a half-time tunnel bust-up to claim three points for an under-strength Newcastle United side who twice came from behind to defeat Tottenham 3-2 at White Hart Lane.

His 73rd minute finish condemned Spurs to their second home defeat in a row - and their second reverse against Glenn Roeder's men in the space of three weeks.

But an action-packed game was marred by the altercation involving the midfielder and Spurs right-back Pascal Chimbonda.

The incident was sparked at the end of the 45 minutes when Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov tried to prevent Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given taking a goal-kick.

The Irishman ran to referee Steve Bennett to protest as the whistle blew but Chimbonda and Butt decided to get involved.

They confronted each other and the Frenchman appeared to slap the former England international in the face before pushing ensued. The fracas continued down the tunnel and both players were booked.

The football had been first-class up until that point in a first half which the home side dominated.

Their summer signing from Fulham, Steed Malbranque, stole the show from midfield by launching countless attacks.

It was the Frenchman who set up the game's opening goal on 14 minutes for Jermain Defoe's 12th of the season.

Malbranque had moments earlier seen his own goal-bound volley saved by Given, but he then got clear on the left to slide the ball across goal for Defoe to tap home.

It came as a shock when Newcastle levelled the scoring just two minutes later through 19-year-old Paul Huntington's first ever goal.

A James Milner free-kick from the right was well battled for by Antoine Sibierski and the young defender made no mistake when it fell to him at the back-post by slamming the ball between Paul Robinson's legs.

It gave a Newcastle side blighted by no less than 13 injuries to key players renewed confidence.

However, Spurs were back in the lead just nine minutes after the break through Berbatov's 11th of the season.

Teemu Tainio's effort was blocked by Nolberto Solano, but the Bulgarian caught the ball on the volley as it bounced up and his shot nestled into the corner beyond Given.

It therefore took great character for Newcastle's inexperienced side to then come back for a second time and win the game.

Their equaliser on 72 minutes was a masterpiece out of the blue from top-scorer Obafemi Martins, who hit a screamer into the roof of the net from 20 yards.

It left Spurs stunned and they had hardly got their breath back when Martins once again turned the screw to slip in Butt who finished well.

The travelling supporters suffered a scare when Defoe hit the bar five minutes from time but they held on for a precious win.