A rather unbelievable result at St.James Park on the final day of the season saw already relegated Newcastle United thrash Champions League bound Spurs 5-1. The Magpies played a quarter of the game with 10 men after Mitrovic saw red for his rash challenge on Kyle Walker, but amazingly enough, scored three further unanswered goals to run out 5-1 winners. It was anything but a bottom three performance as fans were left ruing what could have been had their team played consistently like this from the beginning of the season. Instead they will have another season in the Championship, with Mike Ashley and the board’s handling of the club coming under further scrutiny.
Mitrovic’s red card v Tottenham
It was a terrible performance from Spurs, who needed just a point to secure second place and finish above Arsenal for the first time in 21 years. Instead the Lilywhites fell apart and Arsenal, who thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 thanks to Giroud’s hat trick, again stayed ahead of their great North London rivals. In a season that’s been described as a great success by Spurs fans and a major failure by Arsenal’s, the latter have still managed to upstage their bitter foes.
At the start of the game, few would have expected Newcastle to win, much less win 5-1. Indeed, many punters staking money using the Asian Handicap option, would have been happy to give Newcastle a leg up at kick off, confident that Spurs would be too strong for the already relegated Magpies.
Instead Spurs looked out of sorts, and probably had their mind on the upcoming European Championships. Some of the fans simply expected their team to turn up on the field and brush aside the Magpies with ease, but this was another example that in the competitive league that the Premiership is, you can ill afford to take things for granted. The punishment for Spurs wasn’t too harsh- they’ve already secured an automatic Champions League spot next season, but Mauricio Pochettino will remind his young charges that NO league game is a walk in the park.
The 52,183 strong crowd at St.James Park made their fondness for Rafa Benitez known and the former Liverpool and Real Madrid gaffer has said that he might even manage the club in the Championship. Newcastle have a fantastic, loyal fanbase and are very likely to top the Championship attendance charts despite playing the likes of Burton Albion instead of Manchester United and Chelsea.
Newcastle were the only team to do the double over Spurs in the 2015/16 league, but they were ALSO the only team who failed to beat bottom of the table Aston Villa. That’s Newcastle for you, and the fans have the right to be upset- they went unbeaten in six towards the end, but their poor performance at the start of the season and the inability to take full points against Norwich and Villa sealed their fate.
Newcastle 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Goal scorers: Wijnaldum 19, Mitrovic 39, Lamela 60, Wijnaldum penalty 73, Aarons 85, Janmaat 86