Newcastle 1-3 Spurs: What has Christian Eriksen done more than any other Premier League player this season?
Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for Harry Kane after the England international striker hit his 30th goal of the season in all competitions to seal Spurs' 3-1 win at Newcastle. For the hosts it was a grim day all round; defeat their sixth consecutive reversal amid swathes of empty seats at St. James' Park as part of a supporters boycott in protest against the running of the club and owner Mike Ashley.
Goals from Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane handed Spurs a win which took them above Southampton and into sixth, level on points with Liverpool who have a game in hand. For Newcastle, defeat came despite Jack Colback's equaliser just after half time. They continue to sit in 14th but are just seven points above the dropzone and in free-fall under John Carver.
The visitors started the game the better side, pressing from the front and looking to force Newcastle into mistakes in their own half. Just before the half-hour mark, their hard work was rewarded when Chadli gave Spurs the lead, powering in a wonderfully-hit long-range strike 29 minutes in. Tim Krul may feel he could have done more to keep it out. The goal meant Spurs in 1-0 up at the break, and on the balance of play it seemed they'd go on from there and assert themselves.
But Spurs are nothing if not predictably unreliable in such games and, as in the reverse fixture, Newcastle equalised early in the second half - Colback restoring parity 18 seconds after the restart. Colback was one of Newcastle's better performers on the day and indeed had another good chance to score later in the half, but he fluffed his lines.
Newcastle grew in confidence after the equaliser, with the fans who didn't stay away as part of the boycott roaring them on. But Christian Eriksen's 53rd-minute free-kick gave Spurs the lead minutes after Colback's effort, a floated effort that looked like a cross sailing into the net past a helpless Krul.
Late on, Kane's 20th league goal of the campaign added to John Carver's woes, leaving Pochettino purring. "I want to congratulate him, he deserves this moment because he works a lot," Pochettino commented post-match. "He's happy in the changing room and his team-mates are happy for him. I think he has big potential, he's young and this is his first full season with the first team. We need to push him to try to improve his level.
- Harry Kane scored his 30th goal in all competitions this season, more than any other Premier League player.
- Kane is the first Tottenham player to hit 30 since Gary Lineker in 1991-92.
- Kane is only the fourth Tottenham player to hit 20+ goals in a PL season after Bale, Klinsmann & Sheringham.
- Newcastle have lost their last six league games, matching their worst ever Premier League run of defeats, set last spring.
- Nacer Chadli has scored in both of his appearances at St James’ Park in the Premier League.
- Chadli has been involved in 14 goals in 30 appearances this season (nine goals, five assists). He had one goal and three assists in 24 games last season.
- The two quickest goals in the Premier League this season after the second half restart have been scored by Newcastle against Spurs (8 seconds for Ameobi's at WHL, 18 for Colback today).
- Christian Eriksen scored his third direct free-kick of the season, more than any other player in the Premier League this campaign.
- Three of the Dane’s last four Premier League goals have come via direct free-kicks.