Tottenham took the gamble of confirming managerial novice Tim Sherwood as their new head coach on this day in 2013.

Sherwood had no experience at leading a club prior to assuming Spurs first-team duties one week earlier in the wake of Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking.

Yet after one defeat and one win, the Tottenham board had no trouble in supporting Sherwood to lead them further up the Premier League table, with the then 44-year-old appointed on a contract running to the end of the 2014-15 season.

The north London club had been expected to challenge for a top-four finish after a heavy outlay over the summer, yet they sat seventh in the table and were four points adrift of the Champions League places.

Villas-Boas was dismissed a day after a demoralising 5-0 home defeat against Liverpool, while Tottenham had also shipped six goals at Manchester City.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy admitted he was loath to dispense with the services of Villas-Boas, but gave his backing to Sherwood, who played for the club as a midfielder from 1999 until 2003.

Levy told the club’s official website: “We were extremely reluctant to make a change mid-season, but felt we had to do so in the club’s best interests.

“We have a great squad and we owe them a head coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season.

“We are in the fortunate position of having within our club a talented coach in Tim Sherwood. We believe Tim has both the knowledge and the drive to take the squad forward.”

Sherwood oversaw Tottenham finishing sixth in the table in the 2013-14 campaign before parting ways with the club two days later, with Levy saying in a statement: “We agreed an 18-month contract with a break clause at the end of the season and we have now exercised that option.”

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou will keep channelling his focus on problem-solving rather than allowing himself to get frustrated at the club’s growing list of absentees.

Spurs won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest last week, but finished the match with 10 men after Yves Bissouma was shown his second red card of the season.

Bissouma will be suspended for four matches and Destiny Udogie is banned for Saturday’s visit of Everton after he received his fifth caution of the campaign at the City Ground.

It adds to Postecoglou’s problems with Micky van de Ven, James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur already ruled out until January while attackers Ivan Perisic and Manor Solomon have been long-term absentees since September.

Postecoglou said: “I think it is important from my perspective that you don’t deal in the extreme because it is an emotional game. There are enough people who get emotional about these things so it doesn’t need me to add to that.

“My job in all of this is to ultimately find solutions rather than focus too much on the fall-out of any issues we’ve had because I guarantee you once we get all the players back, there will be something else.

“Like I said, it is important for the players and staff that they know through that process my role is to charter a way forward rather than focus on the fall-out from any challenges we may have.”

Bissouma faced criticism for his challenge on Forest midfielder Ryan Yates but Postecoglou has not felt the need to address discipline with him.

“People can say what they want but he has just mistimed a tackle. It is not like he has gone in dirty on anyone,” the Spurs boss added.

“I have always felt the best remedy is that if a guy feels he is missing out, then that kind of helps in that process of not letting it affect their game but also understanding the impact it can have.

“Always I kind of understand that they are all human beings and they will make mistakes, like all of us they are given the opportunity to learn from those mistakes.”

Postecoglou must now decide how best to replace Bissouma and while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has deputised for him at times this season, Oliver Skipp will get minutes in the defensive midfield role over the next week with games to come against Brighton and Bournemouth.

“Obviously we’ve had Pierre there and Biss, even Bentancur when he came back, so there is a fair bit of flexibility on who we use there,” Postecoglou explained.

“But Skippy can play at six and probably will play there.

“We have three games over the next week so he probably will get an opportunity at some point in that position.”

Tottenham have only lost one of their last 20 league meetings with Everton, but Sean Dyche’s team have been galvanised by a 10-point deduction for a breach of financial regulations in November.

The 16th-placed Toffees are one of the Premier League’s in-form clubs with seven wins from their last 10 fixtures.

Postecoglou concluded: “Sean’s done an outstanding job but when you get hit with something like that, it’s often a measure of the playing group and the manager how they respond to adversity and you’ve got to say the response has been first class.”

What the papers say

The Metro reports Tottenham have maintained their interest in Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, with a view to a January approach. Citing Sky Sports, the paper says Tottenham’s interest has carried over from the summer, but Chelsea would be seeking big money for the 23-year-old following an impressive start to the season. Gallagher only has 18 months left on his contract, so the Blues would expect to sell him at some point in the next year unless he pens a new deal.

Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio is on the radar at Arsenal, according to The Sun. However, the paper says the Gunners are unlikely to make a move in the January window unless they are forced to act due to a serious injury cropping up.

The paper also says another of Tottenham’s interests, Tosin Adarabioyo, has informed Fulham of his intention to depart the club at the end of the season. The Cottagers have offered the 26-year-old defender a new deal, but he is expected to turn the offer down and become a free agent.

And The Sun reports West Ham and Everton are both circling for 20-year-old Peterborough defender Ronnie Edwards.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kalvin Phillips: ESPN reports Juventus have entered talks with Manchester City over a loan deal for the England midfielder.

Borja Mayoral: Brentford, Crystal Palace and Fulham are all monitoring the Getafe striker, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes.

What the papers say

Suitors of Brentford’s in-demand striker Ivan Toney have reportedly been warned they will need to pay at least £100,000,000 for his services. The Sun, citing Talksport, says the Bees would want a nine-figure fee for the 27-year-old. Arsenal and Chelsea are both believed to be considering a move for Toney, who returns from a betting ban next month.

The Manchester Evening News reports Preston are interested in a loan move for Manchester United midfielder Dan Gore. Despite the 19-year-old only making one appearance for the first team, North End bosses are interested in bringing him in to help the club chase a play-off place.

Tottenham are monitoring Genoa centre-back Radu Dragusin, according to The Telegraph. The 21-year-old is expected to cost £26m, should he move in the January transfer window.

And the paper also says Newcastle have opened talks with 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley over signing a long-term deal once he turns 18.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Sergio Reguilon: Bild reports the Tottenham defender – on loan at Manchester United – is wanted by Borussia Dortmund.

Mauro Icardi: Real Madrid are set to make a move for the Galatasaray striker, according to Marca.

Brighton and Liverpool both saw their long scoring streaks ended on Sunday, leaving Tottenham to chase the Premier League’s records.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the trio compare to the best of the Premier League era.

Brighton’s wings finally clipped

The Seagulls’ 2-0 defeat to Arsenal ended a 32-game scoring run and a Premier League record 20 consecutively in which they had both scored and conceded.

The latter sequence covered every fixture this season and the final four of last term, since their clean sheet in May’s 3-0 win over the Gunners.

The last time they had failed to score was way back in February, a 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham, with that 32-game stretch marking the fourth-longest in the Premier League.

Arsenal themselves hold the record, 55 games from May 2001 to November 2002 which covered the last game of 2000-01, the entirety of their 2001-02 title-winning season and the first 16 games of the following campaign’s second-placed finish, before losing 2-0 to Manchester United who went on to win the league.

United had a scoring run of 36 games from December 2007 to November 2008, matched by Liverpool between March 2019 and February 2020 for a distant second place behind Arsenal, with Brighton next up under impressive manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Brighton scored 66 goals in those 32 games, winning 15 and drawing eight with nine losses.

Spurs left standing

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Manchester United in Sunday’s late game to halt their own scoring run at 26 games.

Since another 0-0 in April against Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp’s side had scored 63 goals across 18 wins, seven draws and one defeat before their 34 shots proved insufficient to break down a stubborn United side at Anfield.

That leaves Spurs as the only side whose current scoring streak stretches to double figures, and at 29 games after beating Nottingham Forest 2-0 it ranks joint-fifth in Premier League history.

Manchester City also had a run of 29 between December 2018 and September 2019, before a shock 2-0 home defeat to Wolves, with Spurs losing 1-0 to the same opponents before embarking on their current run.

Beginning in March in Antonio Conte’s penultimate match in charge and continuing through the chaotic end to last season, under the caretaker stewardship of first Cristian Stellini and then Ryan Mason, Spurs have kicked on under new boss Ange Postecoglou this term.

They have scored 59 goals in the 29 games, with a record of 14 wins, six draws and nine defeats.

Scoring against Everton, Brighton and Bournemouth in their remaining fixtures of 2023 would take them alongside Albion’s 32 in the Premier League list, with the chance to chase down second-placed Liverpool and Man Utd  by February’s return fixture with the Seagulls.

After Spurs, the longest current streak belongs to Bournemouth, who had scored in eight straight games prior to Saturday’s fixture against Luton. They also found the net before that match was abandoned.

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has called on his side to show their resilience and step up to cover for absentees in the coming weeks.

Midfielder Yves Bissouma is facing a four-match suspension following his second dismissal of the season in Spurs’ 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Dejan Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home the opener in first-half stoppage-time before turning goalscorer to move Tottenham closer to the Champions League places.

Bissouma’s was the fourth sending off of the season for Tottenham and discipline remains a concern for Australian Postecoglou, who is also without Destiny Udogie for the clash with Everton.

Postecoglou told Sky Sports Premier League: “We lose him (Bissouma), we lose Destiny Udogie (also suspended) but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be that type of season for us. It’s building resilience in the group.

“We’ve got plenty of reason to make excuses, we haven’t, we’ve gone through a rough trot, we’ve still got some tough games coming up.

“I think when you get through these periods and you’re steadfast in what you’re trying to do, I think you come out stronger provided you maintain belief.

“It’s (discipline) been a little bit of an issue. It’s a fine line with those things.

“The players are aware of that, they don’t want to miss games. I think today was more of a desperation tackle than something nasty.

I’m working with fantastic footballers. That makes a big difference. I’ve been pleased with the progress and I just think there’s so much more to come.”

Steve Cooper urged Forest to keep their heads held high.

They came close in the latter stages to getting something out of the game as Harry Toffolo saw an effort superbly clawed off the line before Neco Williams struck the post.

Cooper said: “You’ve got to keep believing in the players. If the players are not believing in themselves and not as confident as they can be, they’re not going to commit to the decision making and the risks that we need them to take.

“There’s always pressure and you have to deal with that if you want to excel – and survive in our case – at this level. That will continue. We’ll stand up and be counted.”

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou was delighted with his side’s composure as they made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October with a 2-0 Premier League victory at Nottingham Forest.

Dejan Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home the opener in first-half stoppage-time before turning goalscorer when he capitalised on a poor clearance from Matt Turner to double the advantage at the City Ground.

Tottenham then had to see out the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Yves Bissouma’s dismissal for a high lunge on Ryan Yates but they held on despite Neco Williams hitting the post late on.

Postecoglou told Sky Sports Premier League: “It’s a tough game here, you have to earn whatever you get. They’re obviously pretty desperate for points and the crowd get behind them.

“Every time they get a throw-in, you feel like you’ve conceded a goal and they’re launching it in the box. We had to deal with a lot of things we don’t normally have to deal with. Just great character.

“We had some adversity obviously to go down to 10 men. Some of our football was good as well, so a bit of everything.

“For the most part we stayed pretty calm and composed, the back four, Ben Davies and Romero were excellent, Vic was good when we needed him.

“We always had an outlet, we always looked dangerous, which meant we just didn’t camp ourselves in there. So really pleased.”

However, Postecoglou remained concerned about Tottenham’s lack of discipline as Bissouma was sent off for the second time this season and his 70th-minute dismissal was Tottenham’s fourth red card of the season.

Postecoglou added: “I haven’t seen it but I’m assuming they slowed it down and saw it. It’s been a little bit of an issue. It’s a fine line with those things.

“The players are aware of that, they don’t want to miss games. I think today was more of a desperation tackle than something nasty.

“We’ve had to deal with that a few times this year and you can’t go on doing it like that because eventually we’ll pay a price for it, and we did against Chelsea.

“It’s something we talk about constantly but it’s a fine line between their commitment to what we’re trying to do and not overstepping the mark.”

Forest boss Steve Cooper bemoaned the error that led to Tottenham’s second goal that left his side with a mountain to climb.

Under pressure from Heung-min Son, Turner’s attempted clearance went straight to Kulusevski, who rifled into the net to make it 2-0.

Cooper said: “The result is obviously the most important and will always write the narrative and we accept that.

“I think we sort of played the game we thought was the right one to play in terms of playing on a fairly closed pitch and not trying to give Spurs too much space to play in because we could see how dangerous they can be.

“Obviously the goal, we’ve come off the plan, we haven’t doubled up, we’ve let him come inside.

“It’s the one time they’ve put a real free cross in and we’ve not marked in the box. And that’s the level and that’s the bit that we’re not doing very well in terms of when we’re given moments in and around the opponent’s box, we’re not making it count.

“Then obviously we’ve come out and we started the second half well and then the second goal is not something you can do at any level, never mind in the Premier League.

“So that killed the momentum but I’ve got no complaints with the general performance.”

Tottenham moved level with Manchester City for the Champions League places after goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski earned them a 2-0 over Nottingham Forest despite the second-half dismissal of Yves Bissouma.

After a relatively even opening 45 minutes, the visitors went ahead when Kulusevski picked out Richarlison to head home before turning goalscorer to double the advantage.

Bissouma 70th-minute dismissal for a high lunge on Ryan Yates made for a nervy final 20 minutes, but Guglielmo Vicario was relatively unscathed as Tottenham made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October.

Son Heung-min broke through early down the inside left channel, but saw his close-range effort well blocked by Matt Turner in the Forest goal.

Tottenham dominated the early stages, however, their patient build-up play failed to open up the Forest backline and was the home side who created a great chance to open the scoring with 18 minutes on the clock.

A quick break out of defence saw Morgan Gibbs-White feed an inch-perfect ball down the right to Anthony Elanga, but Vicario was quickly off his line to save.

The Forest counter-attack was a danger to Tottenham and another inviting ball forward just failed to pick out Yates as the visitors were given another warning.

Brennan Johnson came close to breaking the deadlock against his former club when his flicked effort midway through the half was clawed away by Turner, with Ben Davies heading the resulting corner harmlessly over.

Pedro Porro headed wide from Son’s cross, but it was Spurs who broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time.

A quick break down the right saw Kulusevski cut back inside on his left foot and his delightful cross was headed home from close range by Richarlison.

After a somewhat cagey opening to the second half, Forest thought they had drawn level in the 57th minute when Elanga turned home Neco Williams’ cross, but VAR intervention ruled the goal offside.

Son forced another save from Turner before Tottenham doubled their lead when a poor clearance from the Forest goalkeeper under pressure from Son went straight to Kulusevski and he made him pay when lashing into the net with his right foot.

Forest’s hopes of a comeback were then given a boost with 20 minutes remaining after Yves Bissouma was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Yates following another VAR decision.

Tottenham reacted by withdrawing Richarlison for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to strengthen the midfield.

Williams saw an effort deflected wide before Harry Toffolo saw his header from the resulting corner somehow kept out by Vicario and Williams struck the post deep into stoppage time, but they could find no way through.

Tottenham manager Robert Vilahamn has pledged to maintain his attacking approach in the wake of consecutive heavy defeats in the Women’s Super League.

Vilahamn’s side were thrashed 7-0 by Manchester City and 4-0 by Manchester United and now face high-flying Arsenal in the north London derby, just three days after losing on penalties to the same opponents in the Continental Tyres League Cup.

Tottenham have failed to win any of their last 11 games against the Gunners, who are behind WSL leaders Chelsea on goal difference only after beating the Blues 4-1 last week.

“It’s always tricky when you want to be a team that dictates the game and want to show that we have the ball, when you play against one of the top teams in the world,” Vilahamn said ahead of a game which will be staged at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“But when we come to our stadium we want to make sure we try to do it. I’m not going to go there and just try to have a low block and hope that we can counter-attack.

“The main thing is for me to show the fans who come that this team is all about playing the way we want to do it.”

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall likened facing the same opposition in quick succession to a “longer half-time break where you can actually work on things on the training ground” and is focused on ending the year on a high.

“The next game is our most important game and that means 100 per cent of our preparation and focus goes into this game,” he said.

“We are really determined and motivated and trying to end this year on as high a level as possible and hopefully after that can go to a well-deserved Christmas break.”

Ange Postecoglou has written a list and checked it twice, but is still patiently waiting to discover if Father Christmas has deemed his work naughty or nice this year.

While all Tottenham and Celtic supporters’ would put the Australian in the latter category for 2023, the fanbases of Arsenal or Rangers may have differing opinions.

Yet regardless of what side of the list Postecoglou ends up on, he knows his wish for Christmas will be difficult to achieve.

With eight players already out injured and Pape Sarr, Yves Bissouma and captain Son Heung-min set to be absent for at least some of January due to international commitments, the Spurs boss would dearly love to get new signings through the door at the beginning of next month.

“I wrote my letter to Santa. Like my kids, now I’ve just got to see whether I’ve been naughty or nice and see what I get mate,” Postecoglou joked when asked about progress on additions ahead of Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

In a more serious tone, he continued: “Obviously with where we’re at injury-wise, the players we’re going to miss, we’ve got some significant games in January and signing somebody late in January could mean they haven’t been able to make an impact in those other games.


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“We’re pushing hard but you need all parties to agree to that.

“Other clubs, particularly if it’s players they want, will be wanting to hold on them for as long as possible for their own reasons through January.

“It is a challenge, I get that, but everyone at the club is working hard to get the best outcomes for us and we’ll see how it goes.”

Spurs boss Postecoglou has made clear his desire to sign a new centre-back in January and a versatile attacking player is also top of the club’s wishlist.

Ange Postecoglou has warned Tottenham defender Cristian Romero that his tackles will be under the spotlight for the rest of the season.

Romero only returned from a three-match ban for his red card against Chelsea earlier this month but faced criticism on Sunday for a poor challenge on Callum Wilson towards the end of Spurs’ 4-1 win over Newcastle.

VAR did review the incident, which stayed as a caution, but if Romero had been sent off, he would have faced a four-match suspension and that would have further depleted a Tottenham team already without eight first-team players for Friday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

Postecoglou said: “It’s fair to say the spotlight will be on him for the rest of the year.

“Any challenge he does, whether it’s something that’s pretty clear like the Chelsea game or last week, which I thought was as much clumsy as anything else.

“He knows that, he understands that. He’s just got to make the adjustments that he needs to do during the game, but I don’t think it’s a subject for long chats.

“It’s pretty evident the impact he has on us when he’s playing and when he’s not and we much prefer to have him out there.”

Spurs failed to win any of the matches which Romero missed through suspension and his ban coincided with fellow defender Micky van de Ven being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Van de Ven will not play again until January and, while Postecoglou is pleased with the partnership struck up between Romero and Ben Davies, a left-back by trade, he is keen to bring in another centre-back in January.

“As a team I thought we were a lot more organised with our press (against Newcastle),” Postecoglou added.

“Romero makes a big difference to that but I thought Ben Davies was outstanding as well last week. He’s getting a run of games now but we’ve always got to be mindful he is not a centre-back.

“We’ve been very fortunate that Ben’s been able to fill in for us there. He’s really good at taking in information, he really understands the game, not just his own role but how we want to play and that’s helped him.

“Having Romeo next to him helps in that sense and Vic (Guglielmo Vicario) because he’s taken a bit of a leadership role back there as well.

“Ultimately, we still need to sign another centre-back because at the moment we are a little bit on tenterhooks because if something happens again we are short and we are already short.”

Postecoglou revealed Giovani Lo Celso would miss the clash at Forest with a niggle picked up in training this week.

Destiny Udogie has signed a new long-term contract with Tottenham, the Premier League club have announced.

The Italian left-back, who has made a huge impression in the first part of the current season, has committed himself to Spurs until 2030.

The 21-year-old joined Tottenham from Udinese in a £15million deal in 2022 but spent last season back on loan with the Serie A club.

He returned to London in the summer and has thrived under new manager Ange Postecoglou, starting 14 of the club’s 16 Premier League games this term.

He also made his Italy debut this autumn and scored his first Spurs goal in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle on Sunday.

Udogie told the club’s website: “I’m happy because I think to be here at this club is a big joy for me, so I’m really happy for this opportunity and it’s a pleasure.

“From the first day I came in, I’ve felt at home.

“There’s just been one objective – to show my best and help the team.

“I’m happy how it’s going but obviously we can do more and I will keep working to do more.”

Eddie Howe has vowed to turnaround Newcastle’s poor away form after defeat at Tottenham, but backed his injury-hit team to bounce back in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with AC Milan.

Howe was able to welcome back Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson into his matchday squad on Sunday, although remained without 10 first-teamers for the 4-1 loss in north London.

It made it five defeats in eight away Premier League matches this season, but there is little time for Newcastle to lick their wounds with a must-win clash against AC Milan in midweek.

Magpies chief Howe acknowledged: “It is up to us to find the answers to that. Yeah, I can’t defend it, I can’t defend it so I won’t.

“We will have to (lift ourselves for Wednesday).

“Football is a game decided on big moments and we haven’t been right in those big moments in the last two matches.

“Previous to that, we have been and I think our away form will turn because we’re a very good team, but we need to continue with our good home form because it’s the bedrock of what we’ve been doing. We don’t want anything to affect that.”

Howe has played the same 10 outfield players in each of the last five matches and defended his decision to name an unchanged team after Thursday’s loss at Everton.

He was able to introduce Longstaff (foot) and Wilson (thigh) for the final 30 minutes of the defeat to Tottenham and admitted he is hopeful of getting more players back in the coming weeks.


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“If I make changes, I want to make changes that benefit the team. Everyone I picked wanted to play, felt able to play and had no issues, but of course I understand the backlog and fatigue that can build,” Howe added.

“We can’t afford any more injuries to the players we have fit. We need more players back so hopefully that will be the case over the next few weeks.”

England forward Wilson did survive a poor challenge by Spurs defender Cristian Romero on the 80-minute mark, but Howe side-stepped talk of whether it could have been a red card.

Howe admitted: “I only saw it live. I don’t want to see players sent off, unless it is dangerous.

“It looked high and looked reckless and I am very pleased Callum seemed to not be affected by it.”

While Newcastle were left to reflect on back-to-back defeats, Tottenham toasted a first victory in six matches.

There could be more disruption on the horizon though with managerless Swansea expected to step up their pursuit of Ange Postecoglou’s number two Chris Davies this week.

But Postecoglou insisted: “Ah mate, I have not thought about that, not for an instance. I doubt Chris has as well.

“We will deal with that when the time comes. This is the Premier League and if you’re not in it 100 per cent, if you slip a little bit, you will pay a price and our focus has firmly been on a strong performance and getting a result.”

Richarlison fired Tottenham to a first win since October 27 with a brace to inspire a 4-1 victory over Newcastle.

Spurs were Premier League leaders at the beginning of November, but had endured a barren run since after a succession of injuries and failed to win any of their last five matches despite taking the lead in each fixture.

It was a different story this time with Ange Postecoglou’s team selection paying dividends with the recalled Richarlison scoring twice after Destiny Udogie had broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.

Son Heung-min set up two of those goals after being moved back to the left wing and grabbed his 10th goal of the campaign with five minutes left from the penalty spot before Joelinton hit a stoppage-time consolation for Eddie Howe’s side.

Richarlison had one shot blocked and another deflected wide inside five minutes before Newcastle almost took the lead in the ninth minute.

Not long after Bruno Guimaraes had rifled over from 22 yards, Anthony Gordon broke the hosts’ offside trap, but Spurs defender Ben Davies got the faintest of touches to his cross and it was enough to put off Alexander Isak at the back post.

Postecoglou’s side regrouped after as Cristian Romero’s header was cleared off the line, while Son and Brennan Johnson fizzed dangerous balls across the face of goal shortly before the breakthrough.

Udogie passed out to Son on the left wing and the Spurs captain worked a yard of space to cross in for the defender to slot home from close range for his first goal for the club.

It was nothing new Tottenham taking the lead, having done so in 10 matches in a row now, but getting the second goal had been more difficult of late.

Newcastle threatened through Joelinton before the second goal arrived for Spurs in the 38th minute and it was all about Richarlison.

He won possession back on the halfway line before Tottenham moved the ball quickly out to Son, who again got the better of former team-mate Kieran Trippier to tee up the Tottenham number nine to sweep home.

It was only Richarlison’s sixth goal since his £60million transfer from Everton last year, but crucially gave Postecoglou’s team a two-goal cushion and it could have been 3-0 moments later.

Pape Sarr robbed Joelinton of possession and passed into Johnson, who fizzed an effort from 22 yards that skimmed the outside of the far post.

Newcastle came out with improved intent after the break, but their spirit was broken on the hour mark.

Pedro Porro was the architect with a wonderful crossfield pass into Richarlison, who got enough of a touch to bring the ball into his path and slide under Martin Dubravka for his second goal.

The shackles were firmly off now and Johnson side-footed against the inside of the post before Son flashed a volley across goal, which sparked a change by Howe with Callum Wilson introduced.

There was still time for more from Postecoglou’s men when Son was sent through and despite a heavy touch, he got beyond Dubravka and won a spot-kick which he converted.

Newcastle had the final say on proceedings when Joelinton slotted home in the first minute of stoppage time after Wilson’s assist, but Spurs returned to winning ways in style.

Eddie Howe says Newcastle need Bruno Guimaraes to be at his best for his team to tick.

The 26-year-old Brazil international has hit top form in recent weeks after battling his way through a persistent ankle injury which hampered him for several months, and at times prevented him from reaching the heights of his first few months in England.

However, he was one of the Magpies’ star performers in their Premier League victories over Chelsea and Manchester United either side of a 1-1 Champions League draw at Paris St Germain in which he also excelled, and his return to that level could hardly have been better timed for head coach Howe as he contends with an ongoing selection crisis.

He said: “You need your top players to play really well when you’re in a situation like this that we’re in at the moment, and I think Bruno has certainly done that.

“I thought Manchester United and Chelsea, were up there with his best performances, and the first half against PSG.

“I think he was very, very good with the ball, very creative, managed to get himself connected with the players in front of him. But also off the ball, I thought he was really good, physically excellent, pressed really well.

“He’s such an important person to that part of the game for us that it is hard work for him physically, but he’s able to repeat those physical exertions that we need him to, so I think his game’s in a very good place.

“It has to be for us to perform well because he’s at the fulcrum of everything really.”

Guimaraes arrived at St James’ Park in a £35million switch from French side Lyon in January 2022 and, having been eased into the team, he endeared himself to his manager, team-mates and the club’s fans alike with a series of high-quality individual displays which inspired those around him amid a remarkable drive to safety.

However, he left Fulham in January on crutches and wearing a protective boot after damaging his ankle, and despite a swift recovery initially, it was a problem which recurred repeatedly over several months and his form suffered as a result.

Asked how debilitating that injury was, Howe said: “I don’t know, only Bruno could answer that, really.

“I was aware in certain games he might twist his ankle again and be sore for a period of time, but then he’d always come back from that and be able to sort of run it off.

“I don’t recall him missing many training sessions from it, so I think he’s handled that really well.”

Guimaraes will hope to continue in his rich vein at Tottenham on Sunday, with the Magpies looking to bounce back from Thursday night’s 3-0 defeat at Everton, and Howe is looking for even more from him.

He said: “We want to see him influencing games, deciding games with his quality and if we can continually feed him with the ball, then he’s got the qualities to open up any defence.”

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