Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2: Magpies snatch late draw
Shola Ameobi scored a dramatic late equaliser as Newcastle came from behind to draw with Tottenham
Newcastle extended their unbeaten start to the season as an entertaining encounter with Tottenham ended all-square.
Harry Redknapp’s men looked like they were going to win at St James’ Park for the first time in seven years, after Rafael van der Vaart and Jermaine Defoe twice put them ahead.
But the home side refused to give up without a fight and Demba Ba netted his fifth goal in three games before substitute Shola Ameobi fired in an exquisite equaliser.
The Magpies could have snatched all three points in the dying moments but Fabricio Coloccini fired wide with the goal at his mercy.
Neither side could establish a foothold in an even opening to the game, with Newcastle just shading it.
The first real chance fell to the home side in the 23rd minute but in-form striker Ba could only send a weak header into the arms of Brad Friedel.
The visitors took the lead from the spot after 39 minutes against the run of the play. Emmanuel Adebayor was brought down in the box by Steven Taylor, and Dutchman Van der Vaart sent fellow countryman Tim Krul the wrong way.
The Magpies started the second half strongly and equalised just two minutes into it.
Jonas Gutierrez beat two men with a mazy left-wing run before former West Ham forward Ba ghosted in at the far post and guided the ball past Friedel.
On 51 minutes, Adebayor shot just wide of Krul’s far post, after Luka ModriÄ‡’s brilliant run and flicked pass.
It was now an end-to-end encounter and on 56 minutes, winger Gabriel Obertan flashed a shot wide of the right-hand post.
Back came the visitors and just a minute later, ModriÄ‡ made a menacing run down the right flank.
The ball looked to have crossed the line, but play continued and the Croatian’s cross found Van der Vaart, whose disappointing effort went straight at the goalkeeper.
The influential Dutch midfielder was replaced by Defoe on 63 minutes and Redknapp’s tactical masterstroke paid dividends as they re-took the lead four minutes later.
Defoe needed just three touches to expertly turn past Ryan Taylor and put a left-foot effort into the corner of the net.
Newcastle were throwing caution to the wind and with just ten minutes left, Cheick Tioté’s side-footed effort forced Friedel to palm over.
And just a minute later, former Aston Villa man Friedel was forced into action again as he turned away Ryan Taylor’s free-kick effort.
Spurs should have made the game safe with six minutes to play but Adebayor got the ball stuck under his feet ““ with Defoe in space to his left.
They were made to pay for that on 86 minutes when the Magpies dramatically equalised.
Ex-Magpies midfielder Parker’s scuffed clearance only succeeded in picking out Tioté. The Ivorian released the ball to Yohan Cabaye, whose pass picked out substitute Ameobi. Out of nothing, Ameobi produced a beautiful left-foot strike into the far corner, past the despairing dive of Tottenham’s American goalkeeper.
The game was to and fro with full time approaching and with just two minutes to go, the visitors wasted a golden opportunity to go back to London with all three points.
England striker Defoe’s first effort was blocked brilliantly by home skipper Taylor and the former West Ham man’s follow-up effort was parried away.
There was still time for one last chance with five minutes of added on time, and it fell to the home side.
From Ryan Taylor’s teasing free-kick, a sprawling Coloccini had two chances to score the winner, but he blasted wide.
If Alan Pardew’s men can replicate this kind of performance all-season long, then they could well bring European football to the North East next season.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said:
“It was exciting from the moment we kicked off in the second half. We created enough pressure to warrant a draw and maybe win it.
“We’re on a sound financial footing at the moment and have created a team that is going to have a go.
“You don’t want to settle for a draw at home, you want to try and win these games. To be fair, so did Tottenham, and it made for a great game.
“We are feeling confident and played very well today against one of the top teams in the division.”
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said:
“When you’re leading with five to six minutes to go you’re looking for three points and I thought there was only one winner at that point.
“Once they made it 2-2 it looked they were the team to win it. When you come here, it’s tough. They’re in good form and Alan Pardew has done a fantastic job with them.”
Newcastle: Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson (Davide Santon, 77), Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Cheik Tioté, Yohan Cabaye, JonÃ¡s Gutiérrez, Gabriel Obertan, Demba Ba (Hatem Ben Arfa, 71), Leon Best (Shola Ameobi, 71).
Tottenham: Brad Friedel, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Ledley King (Sébastien Bassong, 30), Kyle Walker, Younes Kaboul, Jake Livermore, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart (Jermain Defoe, 64), Emmanuel Adebayor (Roman Pavlyuchenko, 90).