Newcastle dish out capital punishment at Spurs

By Lee Ryder on Mar 30, 08 04:46 PM

Newcastle United put in a wonderful display in the capital today as they pulled off an emphatic win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Nicky Butt’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Darren Bent’s opener with second half goals from Geremi, Michael Owen and Oba Martins making it a terrific day for the black and whites.

KK stuck with the team that had beaten Fulham last weekend with Owen, Mark Viudka and Martins all starting the game up front in an adventurous formation away from home – and it paid off in real style.

And Newcastle made a positive start to the game with a forward run by Habib Beye on four minutes causing havoc in the home side’s penalty area.

Abdoulaye Faye picked out his fellow countryman wide on the right with the Senegal international making an overlapping run and after bustling his way into the box a half clearance was intercepted by Beye before the defender rifled a left-footed effort off the underside of the bar.

Spurs eventually cleared but seconds later Martins sprinted through to fire in an effort low down at Robinson.

In a bright start from Newcastle, Robinson had to be switched on to claim a long range effort from Jose Enrique with the England keeper struggling to deal with the bright sunlight.

But he dealt superbly with United’s next chance on nine minutes as Joey Barton made a fine run before prodding an effort at Robinson.

Two minutes later and Spurs were incensed by Steve Bennett’s decision not to award a penalty when Faye appeared to bundle over Robbie Keane.

Instead the Kent official awarded a corner and former Toon man Jonathan Woodgate was unlucky not to score after Harper made a great save low down from his close pal.

On 16 minutes a jinking run from Robbie Keane saw the Eire star find a way through but his wayward shot didn’t trouble Harper.

But despite all of Newcastle’s early pressure Spurs snatched the lead with 25 minutes played.

A right footed cross from Steed Malbranque on the left was swept into the box and Darren Bent rose highest to send a looping header over Harper and make it 1-0.

Two minutes before the half hour mark a fizzing shot from Berbatov flashed just over the bar with Spurs looking to add to their lead.

Newcastle’s next chance didn’t arrive until three minutes before the interval but Owen’s low shot from outside the penalty area went wide.

On the stroke of half-time though United did hit the target.

Nicky Butt scored for the second season running at White Hart Lane via a curled effort from outside the box.

Enrique’s initial cross was headed clear by Woodgate with Geremi then feeding the former Man U star to equalise and set up his third goal in the last two games as Newcastle went in all square at the break.

In the second half it took United four minutes to threaten Spurs with a scuffed shot from Joey Barton clipping the base of the post.

Two minutes later Martins won a free-kick on the edge of the box to hand Newcastle a superb chance.

And Geremi certainly took it as he steered the ball home from the edge of the box to grab his first goal for the club and put Newcastle 2-1 up.

On the hour mark Geremi attempted another long range strike but this time it flew over the bar.

Viduka forced his former Leeds team-mate Robinson into a fine save on 63 minutes when he palmed away his curling shot after he’d latched on to Geremi’s deflected pass.

And from the corner Martins’ downward header was kept out by the Spurs keeper.

But it was 3-1 with 65 minutes on the clock as Martins played in Viduka before the Aussie found Owen who clipped the ball into the net and beyond Robinson to give Newcastle a two-goal cushion.

With 17 minutes left Owen could have sealed it when he latched on to Geremi’s pass from the right but prodded the effort wide of the target.

KK made a change with 78 minutes gone as Alan Smith replaced Viduka.

Newcastle made it 4-1 though with eight minutes remaining as Martins raced through to put the lid on things after a great run after he’d latched on to Barton’s pass.

SPURS: Robinson, Hutton, Woodgate, Dawson, O’Hara, Huddlestone, Zokora (Tainio 69), Bent, Keane (Taarabt 59), Berbatov, Malbranque (Lennon 59)

Subs: Cerny, Chimbonda

UNITED: Harper, Beye, Taylor, Faye, Enrique, Geremi, Barton, Butt, Martins, Owen (Carroll 84), Viduka (Smith 78).
Crowd: 36,067

Subs: Forster, Duff, Edgar

Ref: Steve Bennett (Orpington)


hairball said:

Fantastic. It finally looks like King Kev has turned things around. The only way is up from now. Howay The Lads!

Sandy Love said:

I would've been delighted with a draw. Never dreamed we'd get a win. Theres only one Kevin Keegan :D

Michael Becker said:

After a miserable week, in which I broke up with my girlfriend, and having been at work all day today on my birthday, thank you boys.

pedi said:

Well Done lads...
Must admit I feared the worst after going behind but was proved wrong in emphatic style!!
The thrashing of a london team on their own patch will help shut the mocking big smoke press up. Still want to go to spurs Zoggy?
Great result.

Al Jardine said:

Were you watching, Jimmy Greaves?

Pity to hear Woodgate chose Spurs over us because he thought they were going places. Shame.

Peter Harper said:

This was a wonderful performance reminiscent of the old days with KK.
Everyone played well but I must single out Viduka who led the line superbly and of course Nicky Butt who had his best game in a black and white shirt.
It's a long time since I've been so excited about our performance during a game-The King is back!!!


We have wonderful fans, wonderful owner, wonderful trainer, wonderful players. Thank you thank you thank you all. Its been so many years that i felt so excited watching my team playing like that.When Sam left i voted so many times for king kev's return that now i feel that it was really worth it and i believe only good days are to come . FROM AGHIOS NIKOLAOS CRETE GREECE YIANNIS MAZIS . NEWCASTLE UNITED FOREVER

STEVE said:

BEING truthful,i have slated most of the newcastle players this season before today,none more so than barton....BUT, i have to say,ALL OF THEM played fantastic today,well done the lads,the mackems who i know text me saying they gave us the 3 points in exchange for a cheaper nzogbia.....i merely pointed out that this was down to one man.......KEVIN KEEGAN.

Bill said:

Yippee! Where did this performance come from?!! It would seem we could have scored several more but for superb saves by Robinson and rank bad luck. But who cares! We are nearly in the comfort zone and with Reading next Saturday and a similar attitude we could be twelve points clear of Bolton. Great to see MA singing his heart out at the end of the game!
KK's three pronged attack force is at last providing the results we all desperately want/needed.
Howay the Toon.

malik said:

simple answer ...martins..owen...viduka...spurs couldnt handle them..what a trio

Ryder's reply: Indeed I can't get enough of gung ho style football even if it does mean conceding the odd goal or losing the odd match

damo said:

Congratulations and thanks to all the players and staff. Superb. You've certainly all had your knockers lately - but matterless - you stuck your collective chest out this glorious afternoon and proved that you can't keep a good pro down for long!

The best thing was, on another day, it could easily have been 7 or 8 goals flying in at the right end - I have never been so glad to have a sore and hoarse throat (and apologies to my shocked pets who thought I was suffering several seizures as the goal haul mounted). I won't single anyone out - you were all magnificent. But I'd have loved to have seen the look on Big Bad Sam's face during that cavalier second half display. It would probably have been as ugly as the 'football' he had us playing there for a while.

So then, that's yet another 'double' over the Spurs - is it too much to think we can now look for the 'treble' - and pip them for the eleventh placed Prem finish??

Not based on this performance it's not.

Mark Blades said:

Get In There !!!!!! well done lads great great performance, i couldnt believe what i was seeing, i cant wait till we expect to see things like that, Great to hear the toon fans singing KEEGAN IS BACK !! rather than the opposing fans taunting King Kev.. thanks lads, im a happy camper in little New Zealand this morning Yehaaaa !

Adam said:

Forget the long ball Big Sam is gone. Amazing result, simply brilliant...I am still trying to come to terms with it all! Who would have thought such a dominate performance would come about?? In London, Away and against a team with enough firepower to invade Iraq...we come out on top 4-1. Fantastic! I have been hosing Butt all season, but he proved me wrong...COME ON NUFC!!

medan said:

Wonderfull team performance thanks a lot guys. Long time ago I wrote in this blog saying that we have a team at minmum good enough to be midtable and with slight possibility of European spot,our biggest problem was coahing that destroyed confidefence in our players. KK I salute you and sorry for doubting your ability to motivate the players, restore confidence and playing attractive football. It is almost like a miracle how suddenly the team looks like they can beat any body. The biggest turn around though is as result of KK removing the predictable 4-4-2 attack with 2 wingers that was not effective and introducing Martins and Viduka in a 3 pronged attack, playing like the top teams. Bring on Reading and lets keep winning.


just the tonic we needed, i'm 100% more optimistic about keegan & next season now. Southern press can stick that in their pipes and smoke it.

"capital punishment", tremendous lee.

bonnielad said:

a great result stemming from a massive team one shirking his duty butt played his socks off as did beye,enrique,owen not to forget geremi,i have bagged him in the past but he seems to have made up his mind to be the steadying influence.barton is again showing the kind of football we have been looking for and oba looks like he has a licence to terrify oppositions with his speed and tenacity all the lads need a big pat on the back good on ya you have all ...all made the toon happy

Charles said:

Great performance from the team. Team spirits high up in the sky even after a goal down and I swear that if Bent didnt head in one before us, the score line wouldn't have been like this.

We bounce back from behind and made Spurs' attacking like little kindergarden players. Spurs never got more than a few chances while we got some unlucky ones along with the goals that we throughly deserved.

Owen again showing good captain skills along with Butt. Owen going more defending role, passes and repossess for the two strikers waiting up front. Viduka heads up the ball as usual and showed a little more passing than he'd ever done here and Martins paces down, making the counter attack. Typical three way attack and an effective one too.

After yesterday's performance, it convince me enough to tell Zog he can go if he doesnt feel like staying put here, no point arguing over a player who wasnt going to commit to the club. He can enjoy the lights of London all he want; so long as he contribute to the war chest...

Barton have been magnificent as with Butt in midfield. Enrique needing a little more training in his crossing skills while Beye needs more training in reading the game.

Geremi have been two sided for me. He played well over the game but his weakness is certain; he waits too long with the ball under his feet before making a decision. On top of that, slow and immobile for most of the time. Overall, Geremi makes good passes and crosses but slow and can never take a corner even if he's life depended on it. No disrespect to him but definitely more room for improvement.

So now we've got a good heart of midfield, a strike force and dare I say it, a decent defense as well. What do we lack of now? A good left winger. It is understandable that 4-3-3 works is because our left side have been inconsistent the whole season. MU beats us a lot because C.Ronaldo plays more rights than lefts. The 4-3-3 formation is not a classic but it works because the players are gelling the formation. To me, the formation is actually 4-2-1-1-1, with the strikers changing the formation to 4-2-1-2 or 2-4-2-1, but that really couldnt be written down, right?

KK justified his position, now he need to prove that he can make good signing as well. Maybe he'd consider Reyes as a new left winger, or probably best to buy Bentley off Blackburn. Whatever he buys, remember that our midfield needs a lot of work so concentrate more on wingers and centrals.

Phil said:

Wonderful team spirit! Kevin Keegan's positive approach will now bear fruit. The entire team seemed to be enjoying themselves out there, and supported each other so well. Without buying a single player, Kevin is getting the best of his squad, having taken some time to assess. The rapport between fans/owner/ and players at the end of the game was heartwarming to see. There will be great times ahead! Well done to every single player out there - FANTASTIC!

JImmy said:

Well cant really add much more to whats been said above, but well done lads. what a performance, didnt see the game could only listen on fivelive but for the first time in as long time stayed up to watch MOTD2 last night. We looked very dangerous upfront, i think the three strikers can take on any defence on there day and its fair to say yesterday was there day. Reading on sat which if we go by this performance should be a win and for the first time i think we can honestly look up and aim for west ham. There stuttering and we still have them to play. I am not worried about the lads getting complacent because i know KK will not stand for it. Looking forward to next season and a damn good KK reign.... COME ON THE TOON!!!!!

harpo said:

Did I give you stick last week fot getting carried away?

Forgive me, I apologise. Hold on tight we're in for a helluva ride.

dick said:

woodgate was pulled around like a rag doll should have kept his mouth shut

Ricky in Norway said:

Watched the game live on TV over here and couldn't believe what I was seeing. It wasn't so much the score line more the manner in which it was achieved, excellent flowing football when in possession, and true grit and determination when not. Very professional and controlled, I really didn't think this team had it in them. Let us all just hope we can maintain this standard and build on it in the close season.

Jonathan said:

Poor, Poor Tottenham Hotspur... Poor, Poor Tottenham Hotspur... Poor, Poor Tottenham Hotspur... and the Toon go marching On!! On!!! On!!!

Well it was a great day wasn't it and best I felt coming out of a 90 minutes as a Newcastle fan for a long long time.

Many of our former managers have spoken against us in astonishingly bitter attacks but it is finally being proven that having Keegan back is the best thing to happen to this club for a long long time.

We're playing much improved football and dominating posession across the whole park. With reading at home next and games against lower or middtable opposition we really can achieve the near impossible and finish top table. This would be a wonderful finish to what has basically been a waste of a season.

Olle Sweden said:

Well done Kev and the gang.
YouÂŜve all reached the turning point and now itÂŜs full speed ahead with the goal to surprise the world next season.
Viduka, Owen and Martins what a trio!

My 87 year old mother in law sitting in the same room as me, both(!?!?) watching the game, could hardly beleive her ears and eyes over my reactions and behavior during the game and after.
Did I behave well?? Honestly I dont know.

Backing NUFC since 1950.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links