Tottenham acting head coach Ryan Mason has acknowledged part of his role over the next month is to restore a connection with the supporters.

Spurs saw their season hit a new low on Sunday when they were thrashed 6-1 at Newcastle after they trailed by five goals inside 21 minutes.

It saw many away fans leave St James’ Park before half-time and while the squad have since promised to reimburse the travelling support, a toxic atmosphere could occur when Manchester United visit on Thursday night with chairman Daniel Levy set to again bear the brunt of criticism.

Mason, who threw his name into the hat for the managerial job on Wednesday, said: “I think the fans know what I feel for this club.

“They’ve always been great with me. I played for this football club and was fortunate enough to be captain, as well. They know my opinion and how much I want this club to succeed. The players know that as well.

“Ideally when you have a football club doing well on the pitch, the fans are with you. And I want the fans to be with us. But I understand that we need to give them a reason to be with us.

“And, yeah, that’s part of my job absolutely. It’s part of any manager’s job to create a connection and an alignment between players, academies, fans – the whole football club.

“It’s probably the biggest job of any manager and one I’m keen to do. The fans know that I care and want what’s best for this football club.

“Hopefully we can get performances and results which warrant them coming along with us.”

Mason unexpectedly put himself forward as a candidate to be Antonio Conte’s long-term replacement having also performed a caretaker role in 2021.

During his previous stint, which lasted seven matches, the former Tottenham midfielder played with a 4-2-3-1 system which was synonymous with his old manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Conte preferred to use wing-backs during his tenure and last weekend saw Spurs, under then-acting head coach Cristian Stellini, go with a back four for the first time in 15 months.

It ultimately ended in disaster at Newcastle and while Mason hinted it is likely he will revert back to Conte’s trusted 3-4-3 formation for the visit of Manchester United, he insisted doing the basics right is more important than any system.

“The most important thing is a reaction,” Mason added.

“We have to realistic and understand we’ve got injuries in key areas, which probably hasn’t been spoken about enough at times. We’ve got some key players missing in key areas of the pitch.

“The formation is the formation. The most important thing for me is how you approach the game: the aggression, the passion, the desire to run and compete as a team, because we see many different formations and systems be successful over the years.

“Arguably Tottenham’s most successful season (2016-17) came with three at the back. That’s just football.

“The fans buy into and connect with the feeling they get from players. Not so much the system or formation.”

Ralf Rangnick believes Julian Nagelsmann could enjoy a "very exciting story" if he becomes the next Tottenham head coach.

Former Manchester United interim boss Rangnick rates Tottenham as a club with huge potential and believes it could be an ideal next step for former Bayern Munich boss Nagelsmann.

It appeared Nagelsmann was a firm contender for the Chelsea vacancy until he pulled out of the running, seemingly paving the way for Mauricio Pochettino to come in.

Having won plenty of admirers during successful spells with Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig before leading Bayern to the Bundesliga title last season, Nagelsmann has impressive credentials considering he is only 35 years old.

Speaking to German broadcaster Sky Sport about Spurs and Nagelsmann, Rangnick said: "It can be a very, very exciting story. There is room for improvement, a lot of room for improvement, and yet this is not a club where you're expected to finish in the top one, two or three right away."

Rangnick is working as head coach of the Austria national team, but he has significant behind-the-scenes experience in the club game as a sporting director and knows Nagelsmann will need support should he be installed at Tottenham.

For that reason, Rangnick says the north London club must be sure to appoint a sporting director, having recently lost Fabio Paratici who lost an appeal against his 30-month ban from football, which stemmed from his time at Juventus.

Regarding Nagelsmann, Rangnick said: "If Tottenham really want him, then I think it would be important if a sporting director was still there to support him."

Rangnick added: "I think Tottenham is an exciting club in many ways. They probably have one of the most modern, beautiful stadiums in the world at the moment. They have one of the best training centres around, and [chairman] Daniel Levy, who has been leading the club for many, many years."

Tottenham's next manager or head coach will want to sharpen up the team's defending.

 Spurs have conceded 51 goals in the Premier League this season, exceeding their expected goals against (xGA) figure of 41.83 by 9.17.

Ahead of Thursday's game against Rangnick's old club, United, that disparity stood as the biggest negative gap between goals conceded and xGA In the English top flight this season.

The xGA figure reflects the quality of the opposition team's chances and likelihood of scoring from those opportunities.

They sit seventh in the table as a result, having conceded the most goals of all among the Premier League's 14 highest-placed teams.

Barcelona's determination to bring Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou is going to be a major storyline during the next transfer window.

But their pursuit of the 2022 World Cup winner is complicated given the Blaugrana's financial situation.

As a result, Barca's squad are on notice, with expectations that key players may need to be offloaded.



Raphinha is set to be sold by Barcelona in the off-season with three Premier League clubs circling for his signature, according to reports.

The Blaugrana will need to let Raphinha go to free up space for Messi to return given the club's financial issues, claims Fichajes. Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this season.

Raphinha joined from Leeds United last year and his stay could be short. AS claims Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United are all interested in the 26-year-old.



– Milan forward Rafael Leao has declined offers from both Real Madrid and Chelsea, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic is drawing interest from Manchester United , according to Croatian outlet Jutarnji, with the Red Devils uncertain on David de Gea 's future.

Chelsea are tracking Brentford pair David Raya and Ivan Toney, reports Football London.

– Football 365 claims Aston Villa are circling for Emile Smith Rowe,  who is "disappointed" with his lack of game time at Arsenal.

– Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu's planned move to Atletico Madrid is signed and sealed, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Turkish defender's contract will run until 2027.

– Sky Germany's Florian Plettenberg claims Yann Sommer could leave Bayern Munich in the off-season, with new head coach Thomas Tuchel set to restore Manuel Neuer to the side when he returns to full fitness.

Ryan Mason demanded a reaction from Tottenham's players after stepping up to replace Cristian Stellini as acting head coach, ahead of Thursday's visit of Manchester United.

Former Spurs midfielder Mason took charge on Monday, with Stellini removed from his role following a dismal 6-1 defeat at Newcastle United – who led 5-0 within just 21 minutes.

While Tottenham appear highly unlikely to contend for a top-four finish, there are still European spots up for grabs as they prepare to host Erik ten Hag's Red Devils.

Asked what he expected to see from Spurs against United, Mason said: "A reaction, absolutely.

"Obviously Sunday was disappointing for us, and I would hope and expect there's a reaction from not only the players, but everyone in the building and everyone involved in the club.

"I've been in football long enough to know things can turn around very quickly. I believe we can make a positive impact. We have a game on Thursday to try and react and get back to winning ways.

"So the feeling and the thought isn't on the whole situation – it's about how we're going to influence the players and get some positivity back."

United approach Thursday's game in high spirits, having reached the FA Cup final through Sunday's penalty shoot-out win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Possessing a six-point lead over Tottenham with two games in hand, United could effectively end their hosts' ailing top-four hopes with a victory.

Asked how important the game was to United's own bid for Champions League football, Ten Hag said: "Very. You see the table. It is quite clear.

"But our approach will not change. Our approach is we want to win every game.

"I have to make sure that our players are ready for tomorrow. I have to make sure that they have energy and are on the front foot to go into battle."



Tottenham – Harry Kane

Kane has scored 99 Premier League home goals for Tottenham, and is bidding to become the first player to reach a century of goals in both home and away games in the competition.

He has scored five league goals against Manchester United in his career, but only one of those has come at home – in the final game played at White Hart Lane in May 2017.

Manchester United – Marcus Rashford

Having scored 10 goals in his first 10 Premier League appearances following the World Cup break, Rashford has now scored just once in his last five outings in the competition.

Just three of his 15 league goals this term have come away from home, but with the Red Devils harbouring doubts over Bruno Fernandes' fitness, Rashford will be required to step up in north London.


United have won their last three Premier League games by an aggregate score of 5-0. They have not won four successive matches in the competition without conceding since their final season under Alex Ferguson in 2012-13, winning six consecutive games to nil between February and March 2013.

The Red Devils have won 39 Premier League games against Tottenham. No side has beaten a single opponent more often in the competition's history, while they are also unbeaten in seven midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) games in the Premier League this term (W5 D2).

However, the visitors have conceded 29 away goals in the Premier League this season, only ever shipping more on the road in a single campaign last term (35), and their injury problems may inspire hope of a new manager bounce for Spurs.


Tottenham 42.0 per cent

Manchester United 30.1 per cent

Draw 27.9 per cent

Ryan Mason wants to bring back "energy and positivity" to Tottenham after taking over as the club's interim boss for a second time.

The former midfielder has been placed in charge of Spurs following the dismissal of initial caretaker boss Cristian Stellini, who was sacked following a 6-1 loss to Newcastle United.

Mason previously was in charge of Tottenham on a temporary basis in 2021 following Jose Mourinho's exit, and led them in their EFL Cup final loss to Manchester City.

Ahead of his first game at the helm again versus top-four rivals Manchester United, the ex-England international is looking for a response after being handed the reins again.

"My immediate focus is Thursday," he said. "The most important thing is a reaction. Sunday was obviously very disappointing for us.

"I would hope and expect there is a reaction from the players, from everyone. Another important thing is getting energy and positivity back into the group and the fans as well.

"We have to be realistic. With three training sessions before two games, it is hard to change a big deal, but I would hope before the end of season people would see my stamp on the group."

On returning to the top seat in the dugout for a second time, Mason gave assurances he feels up to the task at hand, adding: "It came about relatively easily from my point of view."

"Naturally I feel comfortable, and it is just part of being involved in football. From a personal perspective, we handled it well two years ago.

"Obviously a lot of things have happened [since then] but ultimately I feel ready."

Tottenham lie sixth in the Premier League with just six games to go, and face a battle to ensure their European qualification for next season.

They are six points behind fourth-place United, who have games in hand on them, though Spurs in turn have a match to spare compared with fifth-place Aston Villa.

Bruno Fernandes has "a question mark" over his fitness, Erik ten Hag said ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Tottenham.

The midfielder was forced off during United's FA Cup semi-final win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday with an ankle injury and was later pictured in a protective boot.

With Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane already sidelined in a blow to United's defence, the loss of Fernandes would hurt Ten Hag's side going forward.

But on the eve of the trip to Spurs, the manager could not confirm whether Fernandes would be available.

But the Dutchman is not ready to reveal whether the midfielder will sit out their crucial encounter with Spurs or if he could yet be available to feature.

"There are some unavailable," he said. "Martinez, Varane. We have to see how Bruno Fernandes is. We don't know yet. He is a question mark.

"It's more often that players [wear the boot], that we protect them. But [the ankle] has to settle down. We all have seen he played the full game [90 minutes before extra time].

"It happened in the first half. [The game is] Thursday, so tomorrow is quick, but we have to see what is possible."

The win on penalties at Wembley was an effective tonic for an ailing United side after they had lost emphatically at Sevilla to crash out of the Europa League three days earlier.

David de Gea and Harry Maguire both committed costly errors leading to goals in that game, but Ten Hag has continued to talk up their character as the pair recover.

"They are resilient," he said. "They are able to do it. It's not easy, but they can do it. You can have a bad setback but show your character to bounce back.

"I am the Manchester United manager. I have to make sure our players are ready tomorrow against a good opponent, good team, good players. I have to focus [and make sure] they have energy."

Now, United will face a Tottenham team reeling from a 6-1 rout at the hands of top-four rivals Newcastle United last time out.

Harry Kane, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, scored the only Spurs goal.

"It's quite clear, his impact on the game for Spurs," Ten Hag said of Kane. "We have a plan for that. You have to defend as a team. He's a clever player, he can have a big impact on the game."

Newcastle United are reportedly planning a £150million injection of talent in the upcoming transfer window, with Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney and Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby high on their list.

Tierney, 25, is a Scotland international with 37 senior caps to his name, but despite making 22 Premier League appearances this season, he has only been handed five starts.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is keen to shift Dan Burn back into a central defensive spot where he is most comfortable, and views Tierney as capable of assuming a more integral role than he currently possesses at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Leverkusen's 23-year-old winger Diaby is the priority in the front third, having contributed 14 goals and 10 assists during his 41 matches in all competitions.



According to The Sun, Howe has been told he will have £150m to spend, and he believes £30m is a fair price for Tierney as his potential new starting left-back.

Diaby has a number of fans, including Newcastle's Premier League competitors Arsenal, and is expected to cost in the neighbourhood of £62m (€70m).

Newcastle are also reported to have interest in Diaby's Leverkusen team-mate Mitchel Bakker, a 23-year-old left-back who could be an alternative to Tierney.



Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United are all planning bids for 27-year-old Fulham defensive midfielder Joao Palhinha, per Football Insider.

– The Daily Star is reporting Liverpool and 27-year-old Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips have mutual interest in a transfer, and he is believed to be available for £35m.

– According to The Telegraph, 29-year-old Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku will be given the opportunity to revive his career at Stamford Bridge under expected new boss Mauricio Pochettino.

– Sport is reporting Barcelona are hoping to land 30-year-old Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha on a free transfer, while his current club have offered a new £200,000 per week contract in an effort to make him stay.

Tottenham's players have offered to refund fans who made the trip to St James' Park to see their side lose 6-1 to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Spurs' hopes of qualifying for the Champions League took a blow as they were swept aside by top-four rivals Newcastle.

Newcastle were 5-0 up after just 21 minutes, the second-earliest a side has done so in Premier League history, after Manchester City against Watford in September 2019.

The fallout to the defeat saw acting head coach Cristian Stellini dismissed on Monday, with Ryan Mason appointed until the end of the season.

On Tuesday, Spurs released a statement from the squad, with the players electing to reimburse their away supporters.

"As a squad, we understand your frustration, your anger. It wasn't good enough," the statement read.

"We know words aren't enough in situations like this but, believe us, a defeat like this hurts. We appreciate your support, home and away, and with this in mind we would like to reimburse fans with the cost of their match tickets from St James' Park.

"We know this does not change what happened on Sunday and we will give everything to put things right against Manchester United on Thursday when, again, your support will mean everything to us. Together – and only together – can we move things forward."

Spurs are six points behind fourth-placed United ahead of Thursday's game, having played two matches more.

Manchester United are reportedly keeping a close eye on Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar as a possible transfer target following the expected change of ownership in coming months.

Neymar, 31, is one of the biggest names in the sport, boasting over 100 goals for both former club Barcelona and with Paris Saint-Germain, as well as 77 goals in 124 international caps for Brazil – tying Pele for the country's international goals record.

While his resume as an all-time great is secured, Neymar is battling injuries yet again this season, with a serious ankle injury in February marking a premature end to his campaign.

After becoming the most expensive transfer in world football history back in 2017, Neymar holds all the cards for when, and if he will leave Paris, but he has fans in England if he decides to chase a new challenge.



According to Foot Mercato, United have been keeping an eye on Neymar's situation "for several months", having enquired about him around the January window, but they will not be able to progress in any negotiations until a sale of the club is finalised.

The report states that the belief is multiple significant stars would be brought in to Old Trafford in the event of a sale, and that Neymar would be near the top of that list.

Meanwhile, The Mirror adds Chelsea also have interest in the Brazilian talent, but ultimately the final decision will be made by Neymar, with his contract including a player option to extend through 2026.



– The Guardian is reporting Crystal Palace are prepared to offer 30-year-old winger Wilfried Zaha a new contract worth £200,000 to fend off interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

– According to journalist Ekrem Konur, Premier League sides Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal are all fans of 20-year-old Brentford left-back Aaron Hickey.

Eintracht Frankfurt's top priority in the upcoming transfer window is 17-year-old Paris Saint-Germain centre-back El Chadaille Bitshiabu, who is valued at €15million, per Foot Mercato.

– Football Insider is reporting 26-year-old forward Allan Saint-Maximin could leave Newcastle United after the season if he does not receive assurances about his playing time, and Milan are said to be keen to snap him up.

Tottenham have dismissed Cristian Stellini from his role as acting head coach, replacing the Italian with Ryan Mason in the aftermath of Sunday's humiliating 6-1 defeat to Newcastle United.

Stellini took charge on an interim basis following Antonio Conte's exit last month, but the former assistant has been unable to inspire a turnaround in Spurs' ailing bid to secure Champions League qualification.

Tottenham found themselves 5-0 down within 21 minutes of an extraordinary meeting with top-four rivals Newcastle on Sunday, the second-earliest a side have ever gone five goals down in a Premier League match.

The result represents Spurs' first five-goal Premier League defeat since a 5-0 loss to Liverpool in December 2013, leaving them six points adrift of the third-placed Magpies having played a game more.

With Stellini overseeing just one victory in four games since Conte's exit, chairman Daniel Levy has opted to make his second coaching change in under a month.

In an update posted on the club's website, Levy wrote: "Sunday's performance against Newcastle was wholly unacceptable. It was devastating to see. 

"We can look at many reasons why it happened, and whilst myself, the board, the coaches and players must all take collective responsibility, ultimately the responsibility is mine.

"Cristian will leave his current role along with his coaching staff. Cristian stepped in at a difficult point in our season and I want to thank him for the professional manner in which he and his coaching staff have conducted themselves during such a challenging time. We wish him and his staff well.

"Ryan Mason will take over head coach duties with immediate effect. Ryan knows the club and the players well. We shall update further on his coaching staff in due course.

"I met with the player committee today – the squad is determined to pull together to ensure the strongest possible finish to the season. 

"We are all clear we need to deliver performances which earn your amazing support."

Mason previously led Spurs on an interim basis following Jose Mourinho's exit in 2021, overseeing a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the EFL Cup final.

His second stint in charge will begin against Manchester United on Thursday, with the Red Devils entering that game six points clear of Spurs with two games in hand.

Joe Willock was compared to Ronaldinho and Luka Modric after a sparkling performance in Newcastle United's rout of Tottenham that included one of the assists of the season.

Newcastle team-mate Bruno Guimaraes has dubbed the midfielder "Willockinho", and he more than lived up to that nickname on Sunday.

Willock, who coach Eddie Howe is backing for an England call-up, produced perhaps the moment of the match in a 6-1 win, his sensational outside-of-the-boot pass sending Alexander Isak away for the fourth of five goals in the first 21 minutes.

That was Willock's fifth assist in the Premier League this season to go with three goals as one of the key men in a Newcastle team closing on Champions League qualification.

Only Kieran Trippier (five) and Guimaraes (four) created more than Willock's three chances against Spurs, and the Brazil international was suitably impressed.

Guimaraes told reporters: "Willockinho, with his new hair today... he looked like Ronaldinho and played like him, too. 

"An amazing through ball for [Isak's] goal. What a pass. Only Modric can play a pass like that. It was amazing."

Newcastle climbed back up to third with the win, now six points ahead of their fifth-placed opponents and still with a game in hand.

Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion are perhaps better placed to challenge Newcastle than Tottenham, though, and Guimaraes knows the job is not yet done.

"Of course we are thinking about the Champions League, but let's take it step by step," he said.

"We can do it, of course, but there's still seven games to go. We started this way – now let's finish the season this way."

Danny Rose watched in awe as his old club Tottenham were humbled 6-1 by Newcastle United and said being at the game made him "fall in love with football again".

Former England defender Rose, who spent most of his career at Spurs but in 2020 enjoyed a short loan at Newcastle, has been a free agent since leaving Watford last September.

The left-back subsequently kept his distance from football, even going as far as avoiding watching the World Cup in Qatar earlier this season.

But appearing as a pundit during Sky Sports' coverage on Sunday, the 32-year-old revealed how watching Newcastle's comprehensive victory over Spurs helped reignite his passion.

It may not be the most popular opinion with Tottenham supporters, who saw their team humiliated on Tyneside, but Rose's comments were heartfelt and not said with any relish for Spurs' downfall.

"I haven't watched a lot of football this season, but watching those 90 minutes have made me fall in love with football again. So thank you," Rose said.

"Obviously, it's no secret that I've been away from football. I've deliberately not watched any football - I didn't watch the World Cup.

"It was only until the other night – I watched [Manchester] City in the Champions League. Watching it and listening to the music is when I started to think: 'OK, I miss it.'

"I haven't been in a stadium for a long time. I love football – a lot of it's to do with the atmosphere – but just seeing how [Newcastle have] played football and that feeling after three points, it's just reignited some feelings within myself."

Newcastle, who were beaten 3-0 by Aston Villa in their previous outing, bolstered their top-four status by moving six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, against whom they led 5-0 after just 21 minutes.

"That's the reaction we wanted and an incredible start," Newcastle boss Eddie Howe told Sky Sports. "The quality of our finishing was incredible. They weren't stick-on goals. We were lethal in front of goal.

"Everything about our first half an hour was where we want to be. Since I walked through the door here, the players have responded so well. I can't thank them enough."

Newcastle full-back Kieran Trippier urged his team-mates to embrace the prospect of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

"We let the supporters down last week, and it was about responding well. I thought we did that," said the Magpies captain.

"We got some goals early in the game. We showed throughout the season we want to be on the front foot.

"We shouldn't be scared to say we want to play Champions League football. The games are running out. This stadium would be bouncing with Champions League football."

Cristian Stellini declared himself responsible as Tottenham's hopes of a top-four Premier League finish were left hanging by a thread after a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Newcastle United.

Spurs found themselves 5-0 down after 21 minutes during a stunning start at St James' Park, with Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak scoring two apiece and Joelinton also netting for the rampant hosts.

Only once in Premier League history had a team gone 5-0 up at an earlier stage of a game, with Manchester City doing so inside 18 minutes in an 8-0 win over Watford in 2019.

Though Harry Kane pulled one back after the break, Callum Wilson tapped in a sixth as Newcastle moved six points clear of Spurs in the race for a top-four finish – still with a game in hand.

The latest humiliation to befall Tottenham came after Stellini ditched their usual 3-4-3 system in order to field a four-man backline, a choice he accepts backfired.

"It went so badly because we were not prepared enough to play an important match. We have a good squad, I think, but today no one showed how good they are," interim coach Stellini told Sky Sports.

"It was my responsibility to decide the system we play, and we decided to defend differently because we had many injuries – Ben Davies and [Clement] Lenglet could maybe only play 15 minutes.

"It is my responsibility to take this type of decision. I took it and it was wrong. We spoke in the week about it being possible to change system, but obviously we didn't show this.

"We were not prepared to play this type of tough game. To be prepared means to suffer, control the space, to fight, to win duels. We were not well prepared."

Stellini reverted to a three-man defence after Newcastle's fifth goal, replacing young midfielder Pape Sarr with Davinson Sanchez, and he feels that change enabled Spurs to show some fight.

"I have to take responsibility on this, because after we changed system, the game was gone, but we played better, we scored and tried to fight," he said.

"It's very difficult to understand why the first 25 minutes were so bad."

On Sarr's 23rd-minute withdrawal, Stellini added: "It was not his mistake or his problem. We knew that the first 20 minutes here would be difficult for everyone. Just don't concede a goal. After the first shot, we conceded the first goal.

"I am the coach, and I am above them [the players]. I have to protect them, and they deserve my protection. Today, I have to take this responsibility."

Hugo Lloris made a grovelling apology to Tottenham fans after admitting sorry Spurs showed "a lack of pride" in their humiliating defeat at Newcastle United.

Tottenham were 5-0 behind after only 21 minutes at St James' Park and at that point might have settled for a 6-1 defeat, which is how the game ended.

Hopeless defending and a lack of will from the visiting players saw them picked apart by hosts who moved third in the Premier League.

Tottenham's grip on fifth place is increasingly tenuous, with their season rapidly unravelling.

They were beaten at home by Bournemouth in their previous game and have tough assignments coming up against Manchester United on Thursday and Liverpool on Sunday.

At this rate of decline, they risk missing out on European football next season, and Lloris admitted their efforts at Newcastle had been abject, describing the showing as "a bit of a mess".

"It's very embarrassing, and the first thing is probably we should apologise to the fans who travelled and to the fans who watched the game," Lloris told Sky Sports.

"Obviously we didn't show a great face today. I think we could not match the performance of the Newcastle players. We were late in all the aspects of the game, and we completely missed the first part of the game.

"Obviously the second half is another story, but it's really painful today. It's not even about talking of tactics; it's just we couldn't fight.

"I think Newcastle just had a great performance. They were very aggressive, very offensive every time they got the ball. They were looking forward, and probably it's difficult right now to assess and analyse the performance.

"But the first thing is it was probably a lack of pride. To concede four goals in 20 minutes... On the pitch, it was something strange, like we could not react. We could not bounce back into the performance, but also Newcastle deserve a lot of credit.

"They started the game at 100 miles per hour, and they were very dynamic and knew exactly what to do with the ball and without the ball, and we were a bit late everywhere on the field in all the aspects of the game."

Tottenham are operating under the leadership of interim coach Cristian Stellini, who took over from Antonio Conte last month. They also lost sporting director Fabio Paratici in the week leading up to this game, so there is a lack of experienced stewardship for a team who have blatantly lost their way.

"We can try to find excuses and try to analyse the performance," Lloris said, "but the first thing is I think we miss the fight.

"In football, if you go out on the pitch without the desire to show aggressiveness to win duels, to win the battles, it makes things very hard. You have to be very good with the ball technically and tactically, and it was a bit of a mess on the field.

"We cannot hide ourselves behind the club problems. We are players, we are professional, and every time we go on the field, we try to deliver the best, but today there was too much slack in all the aspects.

"Now there are two other games, very difficult, in the week [ahead], and we have to bounce back as a team."

Lloris was substituted at half-time due to a thigh muscle problem.

"I felt something on the long kick, and it doesn't sound good," he said.

Newcastle United boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification and left Tottenham's own chances reeling as Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak both scored twice in a 6-1 rout of their top-four rivals.

Murphy struck either side of Joelinton beating Hugo Lloris as Eddie Howe's team enjoyed a dream start, racing into a 3-0 lead within nine minutes at a jubilant St James' Park.

Their lead stood at 5-0 after 21 minutes as Spurs imploded, Isak netting twice to kill any hopes of a fightback from the visitors – who withdrew captain Lloris at half-time.

While Harry Kane pulled one back after the break, Callum Wilson restored Newcastle's five-goal cushion as they moved six points clear of Tottenham, with a game in hand still to come.

Newcastle needed just 63 seconds to go ahead, Murphy finishing high into the roof of the net after Lloris pushed Joelinton's tame effort straight into his path.

Tottenham showed no signs of being shocked into life by that goal, Joelinton beating their offside trap to round Lloris and finish into an empty net four minutes later.

Spurs' start went from bad to worse as they found themselves 3-0 down within nine minutes, Murphy leaving Lloris stranded as he rifled into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards out.

Kane shot wide as Spurs sought a response, but Isak killed the contest with his quickfire double, side-footing home when sent clear by Joe Willock, then finishing low across goal two minutes later.

Sean Longstaff almost added a sixth shortly before the interval, when Cristian Stellini hooked the error-prone Lloris in favour of Fraser Forster.

Kane denied Nick Pope a clean sheet with a neat left-footed finish, but Spurs' punishment was not done as substitute Wilson tapped home one minute after entering the fray.

What does it mean? Spurs hit new low as Magpies soar

Stellini called on Tottenham to do the business in the biggest week of their season ahead of this game, but their capitulation to a top-four rival may end up being the enduring image of his stint as interim boss.

Never before had Spurs conceded five goals in the first half of a Premier League game, but Newcastle required just 21 minutes to bring up that tally as the visitors collapsed.

Only once before in the Premier League has a team taken an earlier five-goal lead, with Manchester City doing so in 18 minutes when they routed Watford 8-0 in September 2019.  

Newcastle share the load

Newcastle's attackers were everywhere as they swarmed Spurs in the opening exchanges – causing Stellini to hook Pape Sarr and introduce another centre-back after the fifth goal.

While Isak led the line energetically and showcased his finishing ability with two goals in as many minutes, it was very much a collective effort.

Newcastle have now had three different players score 10 or more goals in a single Premier League season for the first time (Isak, Wilson and Miguel Almiron).

Supporting cast on song

It was a great day for Newcastle's unsung heroes, with Murphy registering two goal involvements in a single game for just the second time for the Magpies – previously doing so in an EFL Cup tie against Morecambe.

Joelinton, meanwhile, reached nine goal contributions for the campaign in all competitions (seven goals, two assists), matching his previous season-high tally from 2020-21.

What's next?

Newcastle visit relegation-threatened Everton in their next Premier League game on Thursday, when Tottenham will attempt to respond to their latest humiliation at home to Manchester United.

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