EPL

Alexander Isak stars as Newcastle put four past Tottenham

By Sports Desk April 13, 2024

Alexander Isak smashed his way through the 20-goal barrier as Newcastle boosted their European hopes by denting those of Tottenham.

The Magpies’ £63million record signing produced two sumptuous finishes either side of Anthony Gordon’s strike to take his tally for the campaign to 21 before Fabian Schar’s thunderous late header secured a 4-0 win at St James’ Park.

It was their third victory in four Premier League outings and ended fourth-placed Spurs’ three-match unbeaten run, and while it might not have been as spectacular as last season’s 6-1 rout in the corresponding fixture, it was equally emphatic.

Head coach Eddie Howe once again set up his team to suck in the visitors and then hit them on the break, and the plan worked to perfection on an day defender Micky van de Ven in particular will want to forget quickly.

With both sets of players wearing black armbands in memory of former Newcastle boss and Tottenham defender Joe Kinnear, who died last weekend, Gordon caused early problems and Elliot Anderson had a third-minute header blocked at source as Spurs found themselves under pressure.

However, they soon settled and turned the Magpies with seven minutes gone when Rodrigo Bentancur put Brennan Johnson in behind Dan Burn, although Timo Werner was unable to adjust quickly enough to volley his cross towards goal.

The visitors looked menacing and Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka was relieved to see Werner shoot straight at team-mate Son Heung-min after the South Korea international had picked out the striker with a fine pass before continuing his run.

Dubravka enjoyed another escape with 18 minutes gone when Werner side-footed wastefully across goal from James Maddison’s inviting cut-back.

But it was the hosts who took the lead on the half-hour later when Gordon robbed Destiny Udogie and slid the ball into Isak, who sat Van de Ven down before firing firmly past keeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Newcastle’s joy was doubled within two minutes when full-back Pedro Porro tried to play Burn’s header back to Vicario and Gordon intercepted before rounding the hapless Van de Ven as he went to ground once again and beating the keeper.

Van de Ven did intervene to prevent Isak from converting Anderson’s 35th-minute through-ball and then again as he went for goal two minutes later, and Vicario managed to pluck the ball off the Sweden international’s toe as he controlled Harvey Barnes’ fine cross with the Londoners in tatters at the back.

Maddison forced Dubravka into a 42nd-minute save from distance at the end of a sustained period of pressure, but Isak glanced a Gordon corner wide with Howe’s men refusing to sit on their laurels.

Werner tested Dubravka significantly further within six minutes of the restart, but Newcastle increased their lead seconds later when Isak ran away from Van de Ven to collect Bruno Guimaraes’ inch-perfect ball over the top and drill a shot past Vicario.

Vicario parried an Anderson shot at his near post and Maddison blazed high over at the other end with the Magpies managing their lead in relative comfort despite seeing little of the ball, and they finished with a flourish when Schar powered Gordon’s 87th-minute corner home to make it 4-0.

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