Newcastle United obliterated Premier League top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur with a five-goal salvo in the opening 21 minutes on the way to a 6-1 rout at a rocking St James’ Park on Sunday.

A game billed as a crucial six-pointer in the race to secure Champions League qualification was effectively all over before the clock had reached 10 minutes as fifth-placed Tottenham collapsed like a pack of cards.

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Jacob Murphy got the scoreboard ticking in the second minute after Hugo Lloris spilled a Joelinton shot and four minutes later Joelinton rounded Lloris to slot in his side’s second goal.

Murphy then belted in Newcastle’s third from long range after Tottenham conceded possession and there was a sense of disbelief in the stadium as Alexander Isak produced two clinical finishes in the space of two minutes to make it 5-0.

It was the second-earliest a team had taken a five-goal lead in Premier League history after Manchester City scored five in the opening 18 minutes against Watford in 2019.

Tottenham’s fans high in the Leazes Stand had no stomach for any more humiliation with many heading for the exits and the long journey back home long before half-time.

The only question left was whether Newcastle would claim their biggest Premier League victory and whether Tottenham could avoid their heaviest top-flight defeat.

Tottenham improved after the break, although it was hard not to, with Harry Kane slotting in a consolation goal four minutes into the second half but Callum Wilson scored Newcastle’s sixth one minute after coming off the bench.

It was the perfect response by Newcastle to last week’s 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa and took them a big step closer to a return to the Champions League for the first time for 20 years.

Newcastle moved above Manchester United into third place with 59 points, six more than fifth-placed Tottenham who have also played a game more and whose hopes of a top-four finish now look to be all but over.

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Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Football Match Report – April 23, 2023