Newcastle United overcame Tottenham on penalties following a 1-1 draw in Wednesday's controversial friendly in Melbourne, just three days after the end of the Premier League season.

A crowd of 78,419 packed into Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch two of the Premier League's top seven face off in a post-season game which had been criticised on player welfare grounds. 

James Maddison celebrated being named in England's preliminary Euro 2024 squad by firing home Spurs' opener after 32 minutes, before his Three Lions team-mate Kieran Tripper was substituted after just 36 minutes.

Alexander Isak levelled from close range on the stroke of half-time, and the game went straight to spot-kicks after neither team was able to force a second-half winner. 

Bryan Gil was denied by Mark Gillespie from Tottenham's first kick, with the nine subsequent attempts all successful as the Magpies triumphed 5-4.

After the game, Newcastle boss Howe moved to allay fears over Trippier's condition, saying his withdrawal was planned.

"We spoke with Kieran and thought the best thing to do was for him to start the game," Howe said.

"He's still in the early stages of recovery from his calf problem, we didn't want to take risks with him so half an hour was the aim. No injury there."  

Ange Postecoglou, meanwhile, immediately turned his attentions towards the transfer window after failing to oversee a win in his native Australia.

"Last year, it certainly benefited us having a couple in early and having all the whole squad for pre-season," he said. 

"Everyone wants to do business early, everyone is keen to bring players in but the reality of it is it usually takes a little bit of time.

"But the good thing for us is we know what we need to do, we've had the plan in place for quite a while and it's just about now going through that process." 

Eddie Howe was keen to look at the positives after Newcastle United secured seventh place in the Premier League on Sunday.

Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes were among the goalscorers as Newcastle won 4-2 at Brentford to finish their Premier League campaign.

The victory ensured a seventh-place finish, and a Manchester City victory over Manchester United in next Saturday's FA Cup final will confirm Newcastle's place in next season's Europa Conference League.

While this season did not quite live up to the heroics of last term, which saw the Magpies finish in the Champions League spots, Howe still feels it has been a successful campaign.

"It summed up our season," Howe told BBC Sport. "We weren't totally secure at the back, but great credit to the players. They've done their job - now we wait and see.

"We anticipated after losing against Manchester United that our control of the [European] situation had gone. It's never a nice situation, but whatever happens, happens.

"We have issues to solve defensively. If we can do that, next season could be another season of really strong performances. This was a season that could have been better, but a good season overall.

"We're a really united club. I think we're still moving forward, so there's a lot to be positive about."

Eddie Howe says Newcastle United are "determined to finish on a high" when they travel to Brentford on the final day.

The Magpies, who are seventh in the Premier League, travel to the Gtech Community Stadium still in the hunt to secure European football for a second successive season.

Howe's side trail sixth-place Chelsea by three points but, boasting a superior goal difference, can leapfrog the Blues if they beat Brentford and Mauricio Pochettino's men lose at home to Bournemouth.

The Newcastle head coach knows their destiny is not in their hands, but urged his players to be ready to pounce.

"It's a big last day for us, there's no denying that," he told reporters during his pre-match press conference. "We go into game knowing we have to do our part, which is win the game.

"That is no mean feat, it's going to be a tough game, and then we're in the hands of other clubs.

"The players are determined to finish on a high. We could have got more from the last two games and we didn't.

"We have to do everything we can to do our part. What we don't want to do is for the other teams to make a mistake and we're not there to capitalise on it."

Meanwhile 16th-place Brentford, who can climb to 15th by bettering Everton's result at title-chasing Arsenal, are set to finish in the bottom six - their lowest final position in the Premier League. 

Although Thomas Frank admits his sights are set on achieving bigger and better with the Bees, the head coach insists it has been a fruitful campaign with the club's top-flight status assured for another year at least.

"This season has been a good success," he said. "Every year you are in the Premier League is a success if you are a club of our stature. I just hate saying that because we want so much more.

"We want to be an asset to the league, we want to dream big and we want to do something special. But I am an optimistic person, I am positive, and I believe so much in this club. 

"The culture is good. There's a good atmosphere. We are pulling in the same direction, we are aligned."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brentford - Bryan Mbeumo

Mbeumo has been directly involved in more goals than any other Brentford player in the Premier League this season with 15 (nine goals, six assists).

That is despite the winger playing just 24 of the Bees' 37 matches during the campaign.

Newcastle United - Anthony Gordon

Gordon has had a hand in two goals (one goal, one assist) in Newcastle's last two away games, taking his overall tally of direct goal involvements for the season to 21 (11 goals, 10 assists).

With Alexander Isak also boasting 21 involvements (20 goals, one assist), it marks the first time two Magpies players have reached that mark in a Premier League campaign since 1996-97, when Alan Shearer (25 goals, seven assists) and Les Ferdinand (16 goals, eight assists) achieved the feat.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEWCASTLE UNITED

Newcastle have prevailed in each of the last four meetings between the sides, and are unbeaten in all five Premier League encounters.

Brentford have only faced Crystal Palace (six) more in the competition without ever winning than against the Magpies (five).

Newcastle have lost their final league game in just one of the last nine seasons (winning seven, drawing one), with that sole defeat coming against champions Liverpool in 2019-20.

The Magpies are also unbeaten on each of the last six occasions they have finished a league season in London (winning five, drawing one).

You must go back to a 3-2 reverse at Tottenham on the final day of the 1972-73 campaign for their last such defeat.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Brentford - 37%
Newcastle United - 34.9%
Draw - 28.1%

Erik ten Hag says Lisandro Martinez could make his first Manchester United appearance since March when the Red Devils host Newcastle United on Wednesday.

Having made just 11 appearances during an injury-hit season, the Argentina international is set to return from a calf problem that has kept him sidelined since his most recent outing in the draw at Brentford six weeks ago. 

Although, the game comes too soon for fellow defender Raphael Varane, who announced he will leave the club at the end of the season, but Ten Hag hopes the France international can feature again before he departs Old Trafford.

The Dutchman said of Martinez: "I think he will return [against Newcastle]. He had some [training] sessions and, if everything is okay, he will be involved.

"We are definitely planning [for Varane to play] for the last games. Not tomorrow, but we hope for Sunday and then, of course, for the last game [against Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25]."

With two games remaining, the Red Devils are in eighth place and three points adrift of Newcastle in sixth, while the Magpies boast a far superior goal difference.

And Ten Hag underlined the necessity to achieve a positive result to keep his side’s European qualification hopes via league position alive.  

"It's a very important game," he said. "We have to do everything to get the win; we have to fight hard for it."

Meanwhile, Newcastle will take a huge stride towards securing European football for a second successive season with a win at Old Trafford.

And Eddie Howe, who revealed the Magpies are waiting on the fitness of Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson, is eager to ensure his players arrive there in the best shape possible. 

"It is a massive fixture. We are under no illusions of the magnitude of this game," he said.

"We must make sure our players go to Manchester United in really good spirits, confident and prepared.

"We find ourselves in this position, and it is where we deserve to be. We will be hoping to finish off these two games strongly. Our motivation is to qualify for Europe."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes

In Fernandes’ absence, the Red Devils have lost both of their last two Premier League games.

Since the Portugal international made his debut in the competition, they have won 40 per cent of their league games and averaged 1.3 points-per-game when he has not started; compared to a 53 per cent win rate and 1.8 points-per-game when he has been in their starting XI.

Newcastle United – Sean Longstaff

Following his strike against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend, Longstaff has scored in successive Premier League appearances for the first time, with 60 per cent of his goals in the competition coming this season (six out of 10).

Newcastle have never lost a Premier League match in which the midfielder has found the net (winning six, drawing three).

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Man United have lost just one of their 28 Premier League home games against Newcastle (winning 18, drawing nine), going down 1-0 in December 2013.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have only lost their final home league game in one of the last 16 seasons (winning 11, drawing four), suffering a 2-0 defeat against Cardiff City in 2018-19.

They are also unbeaten in their last 14 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) home games in the Premier League (winning 11, drawing three). Liverpool were the last visiting side to win at Old Trafford in midweek in the competition, courtesy of their 4-2 triumph in May 2021.

Having already beaten the Red Devils twice in all competitions this season, Newcastle are aiming to become the first team to beat the Red Devils three times in a single season since Chelsea in 2012-13.

The Blues were also the last side to beat them twice away from home in the same campaign (2004-05).

Although, Eddie Howe has never won a Premier League match away in Manchester against United or City in 14 attempts (drawing two, losing 12). Only Steve Bruce has managed more away games in Manchester in the competition without success (26).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Manchester United: 42.9%
Newcastle United: 29.3%
Draw: 27.8%

Newcastle signed off from St James’ Park this season with a 100 per cent record of scoring in every home game this season - the first time they have achieved that feat in the Premier League era. 

However, the Magpies could only muster a 1-1 draw against Brighton on Saturday, leaving their hopes of securing a top-six finish hanging in the balance.

Newcastle remain unbeaten at home in the Premier League since the start of February (W4 D4), with this point being the ninth they have rescued from a losing position at home in that time - the second most of any team over that period (behind only Tottenham on 12).

Eddie’s Howe's side gave everything to score a second goal but were unable to convert their chances. 

Sixth spot looks like the highest they can finish as they try to keep Chelsea and Manchester United at bay in the race for European qualification, as Tottenham need just one point from their final two games to guarantee fifth and still have faint hopes of catching fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Eddie Howe told BBC Sport after the match: "If you're not going to win the game, the draw for us is really important. 

"I think it could be a valuable point for us. It was a tough game, we knew it would be, as Brighton are always difficult opponents.

"I don't think we hit the heights we needed to win it but, if anyone was going to, I thought it would be us.

"It was a poor goal [to concede] from us. We did start well and were progressive. Out of nothing, they take the lead. I'm just disappointed with our product around the box and there probably weren't enough clear-cut chances.

"Without a doubt the scene, the environment created by the supporters [has contributed to good home record]. 

"Even when Brighton scored they got right behind the team but we just couldn't find that winning goal. This season the crowd have taken it to another level. They have made this place a really difficult place to play."

Brighton put up a valiant effort in what was a cauldron of noise, but the Seagulls were unable to make their attacks count. 

Since beating Sheffield United 5-0 in February, Brighton have struggled in front of goal, scoring just six goals, and never more than once in each of the 11 games that have followed. 

On this occasion, Brighton led through Joel Veltman but Sean Longstaff reacted quickly to turn in an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

With top scorer Joao Pedro out for the last games of the season through injury, Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso were the main attacking Brighton threats, though neither could beat Martin Dubravka.

"My conclusion is it was a fair result," said De Zerbi, who is targeting a top-10 finish. "We could have won the game or lost the game.

"We suffered too much, especially in the second half, especially when the substitutions for us are two young players.

"I am very proud for the performance, and we would like to finish the season in the first 10 places. All the problems we [have had] this season, it is a great result.

"It is important the point, especially in this stadium. I think St James' Park is the best stadium in the Premier League. I have twice been in this stadium and both times it was an incredible atmosphere.

"It is important now that we have two home games, and we want to make our fans happy."

Newcastle have matches against Manchester United and Brentford next week.

Brighton will also face United, concluding their campaign against Erik ten Hag’s men after they play Chelsea on Wednesday.

Eddie Howe has highlighted Newcastle’s home form as a high point this season as they prepare to welcome Brighton to St James’ Park.

The Magpies moved to sixth in the table after a thumping 4-1 win over Burnley last weekend and have now lost just one of their last seven matches.

At home, Newcastle are unbeaten in their last seven outings, scoring four or more goals in four of those matches.

Asked how he was feeling ahead of their final home match of the season, Howe was full of praise for his team.

He said: "We have loved playing at home this season. I have been really pleased with how we have performed at home.

"We have a good feel, a good energy, and we've been very aggressive in our play. We are thankful for the support we have received from the fans - the crowd have embraced our style. It's been a good partnership between the crowd and the players."

Brighton ended a run of six without a win with their 1-0 win over Aston Villa last Sunday, though that dip in form cost them a place in Europe next season.

While disappointed by that outcome, Roberto De Zerbi wants to use that as motivation for his team to finish the season strongly.

"I think we have to be happy or sad depending on the attitude we showed. I think we have worked well, and we give our best, and then we have to accept the result," De Zerbi said.

"When the new season starts you might have new and different players. You close the last season and start another season. For sure, we start the motivation [now]."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Newcastle United – Anthony Gordon

Gordon has been involved in more home goals than any other Newcastle player in the Premier League this season (16 – nine goals, seven assists). It’s the most by a player at St James’ Park in a single top-flight campaign since Alan Shearer in 2003-04 (18 – 15 goals, three assists).

Brighton – Simon Adingra

With top-scorer Joao Pedro out through injury, Brighton will be looking to Adingra to make something happen. Despite not getting on the scoresheet against Aston Villa last time out, the winger had the joint-most shots (four, all on target), while having the most touches in the opposition box.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEWCASTLE UNITED WIN

Having failed to either win or score in their first four Premier League home games against Brighton (D2 L2), Newcastle have won 2-1 and 4-1 respectively in their last two against the Seagulls at St James’ Park.

Newcastle have scored in all 18 of their Premier League home games so far this season. They last scored in 100 per cent of their home league games in a single campaign in 1982-83, while they last did so in the top-flight in 1958-59.

However, Brighton are looking to complete the league double over Newcastle for the third time, previously doing so in 2020-21 (Premier League) and 1978-79 (second tier).

The Seagulls won 1-0 against Aston Villa last time out, ending a six-game winless run in the Premier League. However, they’ve not won back-to-back league games since a run of three in September.

Newcastle have scored at least four goals in nine different Premier League games this season – only in 1895-96 in the second tier (10) have they done so in more league games in a single campaign.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Newcastle United – 45.1%

Draw – 27.6%

Brighton – 27.3%

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has defended Sheffield United, acknowledging it has been a bad season, but dismissing that the Blades do not have a positive future.

A midweek defeat to Manchester United means the Blades can be relegated back to the Championship should they lose to Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Blades are 10 points from safety with four games left, but even a point would not realistically be enough given they have a goal difference of -59, 41 worse than Nottingham Forest’s -18.

To make matters worse, the Blades will start their next season in the Championship with a two-point deduction for financial discrepancies.

"We're not saying everything is great," said Wilder.

"What we are saying is there is a load of optimism about the future of the football club.

"It's a poor season, not a poor football club. We've been in far worse positions than this as a football club, certainly over my time as a supporter, player and manager.

"So, we'll come again if the inevitable happens on the weekend. We'll try our best, as we did, like we did on Wednesday night at Old Trafford, to get a result for our club and our supporters – who yet again were magnificent."

Newcastle, meanwhile, are in the hunt for European football, and Eddie Howe wants a response following the 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in midweek.

Howe said: "We must learn and absorb all the lessons from Wednesday. Every game is so difficult, it is up to us to go into the game with the right mentality and let our players express themselves in the right way. We have to finish the season strongly, we are under no illusions on how important these fixtures are."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Newcastle United – Alexander Isak

Isak has scored in each of his last six Premier League home games, with only Andrew Cole (eight in 1993-94) and Alan Shearer (15 in 1996-97) netting in more consecutively for Newcastle in the competition.

Sheffield United – Ben Brereton Diaz

Brereton Diaz scored in Sheff Utd’s 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford – his fifth Premier League goal of the season since he joined on loan from Villarreal in January. With Oli McBurnie set to miss the rest of the season, Diaz will be the Blades’ biggest attacking threat.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEWCASTLE UNITED WIN

Newcastle are overwhelming favourites, and it is no surprise given Howe have lost just one of their last 25 Premier League games kicking off at 3pm on Saturday (W16 D8), going down 1-0 at Luton Town earlier this season. 

The Magpies have scored in all 17 of their Premier League home games this season, with their 43 goals in total their most at St James’ Park in a top-flight campaign since 1996-97 (54).

Newcastle have lost none of their eight Premier League home games against promoted sides under Howe (W3 D5), with their last such defeat coming against Leeds United under Steve Bruce in January 2021. They also beat Sheffield United 8-0 in the reverse fixture at Bramall Lane – the most goals they have ever scored against an opponent in a single Premier League campaign is 10, doing so against the Blades’ rivals Sheffield Wednesday in 1999-00.

The Blades have lost three of their four Premier League away games against Newcastle, failing to score in each defeat. The exception was a 1-0 victory under Neil Warnock in November 2006.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Newcastle United – 71.6%

Sheffield United – 9.7%

Draw – 18.7%

Eddie Howe acknowledged he cannot control speculation over Bruno Guimaraes' future, though the Newcastle United boss wants it to end swiftly.

Reports emerged this week that Manchester City, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in the Brazil international, who has been crucial to Newcastle's rise under Howe, having been signed from Lyon in January 2022.

According to the rumours, Newcastle value their star player at a minimum of £80million.

And ahead of Newcastle's meeting with Premier League strugglers Sheffield United, Howe conceded the club cannot control the speculation.

"Having that was well planned and structured by the club, in a sense that there’s a sort of finish point," he said.

"We don't want constant speculation, it's not healthy for the player or for us.

"It goes without saying we want to keep him, I want to build our team around him. His form has been very good and he seems very happy and settled.

"He'll be thinking about a very busy summer ahead, where hopefully we can take the team, with him a big part of it. But we aren't in control of that so let's see."

Eddie Howe admitted Newcastle United's performance in the 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Wednesday was "way off" the one that saw them thump Tottenham in their previous game.

Howe's men hammered Spurs 4-0 in their last match, but they never got close to matching the attacking verve from that outing and a Jean-Philippe Mateta double condemned the Magpies to defeat at Selhurst Park.

Newcastle didn't even manage a shot on target until the 87th minute, accumulating just 0.42 xG (expected goals) as the likes of Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon struggled to make an impact.

Only against Manchester City in August (one) have Newcastle recorded fewer shots on target in a Premier League game this season than their two against Palace, and Howe was critical of his team's display in the loss, one that all but ends their hopes of finishing in the top four.

"[It is a] bad day for us," Howe told Newcastle's club media.

"I thought we were disappointing today, especially in the first 60 minutes. We were way off our levels against Tottenham and our best levels.

"I thought technically we didn't deliver a good performance, and out of possession I don't think it was a particularly good performance either."

Newcastle were unlocked twice for Mateta to score by a Palace side who themselves only generated 0.88 xG.

Howe was left frustrated by the manner in which his side conceded, adding: "I think we'll be disappointed with our performance technically today, and that's probably epitomised by the two goals where we're disappointed with how we've given them the ball in those situations and then how we defended.

"I think the goals sum up aspects of our performance where there was some good, lots of moments that could have led to opportunities, but we were slow to shoot around the box," he said.

The defeat, combined with Manchester United's 4-2 win over Sheffield United, means Newcastle drop to seventh, while eighth-placed West Ham are two points behind with a game in hand.

Newcastle have now lost eight of their last 11 Premier League away games, while they have lost on four occasions in London in the league this term, only doing so more times in a Premier League season in 2000-01 and 2005-06 (both five).

It's been a disappointing season for Howe and his side, especially compared to the heroics of last term when Newcastle finished in the top four, and the Magpies boss knows there's work to be done to get back to those levels.

"It's a day that we have to take our punishment, deal with it, and then try and improve," Howe continued. "It's frustrating because we know we're capable of much better."

Crystal Palace made it three straight Premier League wins as a Jean-Philippe Mateta double earned them a 2-0 win over Newcastle United at Selhurst Park.

Palace had not scored in their last four Premier League matches against Newcastle before Wednesday's game, and it looked like the Magpies could stifle them again.

But after the hosts failed to break the deadlock in a Palace-dominated first half, a neat one-two with Jordan Ayew allowed Mateta to lash the Eagles in front before he added another late on to make sure of the three points.

Oliver Glasner's impressive start as Palace head coach continues with the Eagles' safety from relegation now mathematically confirmed in 14th, while Eddie Howe's side drop below Manchester United into seventh place.

Eberechi Eze nearly put Palace ahead after 12 minutes when he jinked onto his right foot and fired just wide, while Mateta nodded narrowly over as the hosts edged the opening exchanges.

Ayew sent an ambitious long-range effort past the post, while Palace shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears when Eze took a tumble in the box.

Neither side could find the opener in the first half, but the hosts made their threat pay 10 minutes after the restart as Mateta latched onto Ayew's neat first-time pass before firing into the back of the net.

Mateta nodded straight at Martin Dubravka, while Will Hughes curled just over with Newcastle forced to cling on for long periods of the second half.

Palace survived a scare of their own when Hughes' tug on Sean Longstaff in the Eagles' box went unpunished, before Mateta made the points safe with two minutes left when he drilled through the legs of Dubravka to secure the hosts' survival.

Mateta on fire

Mateta's goalscoring record since arriving at Palace from Mainz has not always been impressive, but he is certainly in the groove at the moment in front of goal.

The forward has now scored eight Premier League goals in nine games under Glasner, who only arrived in February. That is more than he managed under both Roy Hodgson (five in 35 games) and Patrick Vieira (six in 44).

This is by far Mateta’s best scoring run in an Eagles shirt, and his all-round performance was impressive too, leading Palace to victory.

Newcastle never get going

Having hammered top-four chasing Tottenham 4-0 last time out, Newcastle looked a shell of that team in South London, failing to test Dean Henderson between the Palace sticks until the 86th minute.

Any slender hopes of repeating last season's heroics of finishing in the Champions League spots are surely over after their fourth defeat in six Premier League games in London this season.

Newcastle star man Alexander Isak was barely involved, recording only one shot and accumulating just 0.06 xG (expected goals) as Palace successfully kept the Sweden international quiet.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has warned Newcastle they would have to start again if they sold star striker Alexander Isak this summer.

The 24-year-old Sweden international, the Magpies’ £63million record signing, has been linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham in recent weeks amid the perception that the Saudi-backed club may have to trade to comply with profit and sustainability rules.

Isak enhanced his blossoming reputation further with a superb double in a 4-0 Premier League victory over Champions League-chasing Spurs at St James’ Park on Saturday to take his tally for an injury-interrupted season to 21.

Asked about the need to retain his services, head coach Howe said: “We are trying to build a team, we are trying to grow everything, really, upwards and to do that as quickly as possible and as efficiently as you can, you need to keep your best players, otherwise you enter a different period where you go into transition and you have to start again.

“Your top players, the elite ones, are so difficult to recruit, they’re so difficult to find, so when we get them, we’ve got to try to keep them.”

Isak left Micky van de Ven sitting on his backside to open the scoring on the half-hour and when Anthony Gordon did the same two minutes later, the visitors were in trouble.

Isak’s equally accomplished 51st-minute finish put the result beyond doubt and Fabian Schar added the flourish at the death with a thumping header on a day when the Magpies’ game-plan worked to perfection.

For long periods, they were content to allow Spurs possession – they had just a 27 per cent share – and back themselves both to deny them clear-cut chances and to hit them on the break, and Howe could not have asked his players to execute his instructions any more comprehensively.

Asked how good Isak could be, Howe said: “For me, he’s so exciting to work with, he’s got so many facets to his game we can explore and try to make better.

“First and foremost, he has the undeniable quality that he wants to score, he needs to score – that’s a great characteristic for any striker to have.

“But he also plays for the team, he doesn’t play for himself, which is rare. You can see him linking play and doing things that the team needs, not just what he needs. I thought it was a great performance from him today.”

It proved a testing day for Ange Postecoglou’s men, who were trounced 6-1 in the corresponding fixture last season before his arrival, although the Australian played down the significance of that result.

Postecoglou said: “I think there are other explanations beyond that as to why we didn’t perform. Some of it is down to the opposition, some of it is just down to us.

“We didn’t really get a control of the game, like we have been, and we paid a price for that.”

Alexander Isak smashed his way through the 20-goal barrier as Newcastle boosted their European hopes by denting those of Tottenham.

The Magpies’ £63million record signing produced two sumptuous finishes either side of Anthony Gordon’s strike to take his tally for the campaign to 21 before Fabian Schar’s thunderous late header secured a 4-0 win at St James’ Park.

It was their third victory in four Premier League outings and ended fourth-placed Spurs’ three-match unbeaten run, and while it might not have been as spectacular as last season’s 6-1 rout in the corresponding fixture, it was equally emphatic.

Head coach Eddie Howe once again set up his team to suck in the visitors and then hit them on the break, and the plan worked to perfection on an day defender Micky van de Ven in particular will want to forget quickly.

With both sets of players wearing black armbands in memory of former Newcastle boss and Tottenham defender Joe Kinnear, who died last weekend, Gordon caused early problems and Elliot Anderson had a third-minute header blocked at source as Spurs found themselves under pressure.

However, they soon settled and turned the Magpies with seven minutes gone when Rodrigo Bentancur put Brennan Johnson in behind Dan Burn, although Timo Werner was unable to adjust quickly enough to volley his cross towards goal.

The visitors looked menacing and Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka was relieved to see Werner shoot straight at team-mate Son Heung-min after the South Korea international had picked out the striker with a fine pass before continuing his run.

Dubravka enjoyed another escape with 18 minutes gone when Werner side-footed wastefully across goal from James Maddison’s inviting cut-back.

But it was the hosts who took the lead on the half-hour later when Gordon robbed Destiny Udogie and slid the ball into Isak, who sat Van de Ven down before firing firmly past keeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Newcastle’s joy was doubled within two minutes when full-back Pedro Porro tried to play Burn’s header back to Vicario and Gordon intercepted before rounding the hapless Van de Ven as he went to ground once again and beating the keeper.

Van de Ven did intervene to prevent Isak from converting Anderson’s 35th-minute through-ball and then again as he went for goal two minutes later, and Vicario managed to pluck the ball off the Sweden international’s toe as he controlled Harvey Barnes’ fine cross with the Londoners in tatters at the back.

Maddison forced Dubravka into a 42nd-minute save from distance at the end of a sustained period of pressure, but Isak glanced a Gordon corner wide with Howe’s men refusing to sit on their laurels.

Werner tested Dubravka significantly further within six minutes of the restart, but Newcastle increased their lead seconds later when Isak ran away from Van de Ven to collect Bruno Guimaraes’ inch-perfect ball over the top and drill a shot past Vicario.

Vicario parried an Anderson shot at his near post and Maddison blazed high over at the other end with the Magpies managing their lead in relative comfort despite seeing little of the ball, and they finished with a flourish when Schar powered Gordon’s 87th-minute corner home to make it 4-0.

Ange Postecoglou has no interest in following the lead of Newcastle and other clubs, which includes his own, of allowing the TV cameras inside the Tottenham dressing room to film a documentary.

Spurs return to St James’ Park on Saturday for the first time since their 6-1 thrashing last April, which features in a recent docuseries about the north-east club.

Episode three of the four-part series focuses on a match which proved the nadir of a sorry season for Tottenham and subsequently resulted in the appointment of Postecoglou in June.

This documentary about Newcastle is the latest in a collection of sports series by Amazon Prime, which includes Spurs’ 2019-20 campaign where then-manager Jose Mourinho predictably proved a TV star, but the current coach in the hotseat has no such burning desire.

“Nah, unless you want a cure for insomnia, mate. Put it on late at night and dream yourself away,” Postecoglou replied when asked if he would feature in a behind-the-lens documentary.

“I’ve probably watched… I watched Sunderland ‘Til I Die, it was good.

“(Not Tottenham) because I just think it becomes a bit manufactured. I’d be very surprised if you get a real sort of glance.

“Look, who am I to say? I’m no movie critic. Maybe people like them, but not for me. I love documentaries, but nah.”

The Newcastle documentary is not the only footage Postecoglou has no interest in viewing.

He has also declined to watch back Tottenham’s five-goal humbling away to Eddie Howe’s team last season, which resulted in Spurs dismissing Cristian Stellini after he had stepped up on an interim basis to replace Antonio Conte, who left a month earlier.

Postecoglou added: “I might have watched individual players in that game but I wouldn’t have watched the game as a reference point because it’s totally different.

“It’s a different set of circumstances, different manager. I’m really reticent to judge and try to figure out what someone else thinks because I’m not in their shoes on a daily basis.

“I have never used those kind of things and also, irrespective of what has happened in the past, I have more than likely been brought in to do something differently.

“I watched all the players individually through the whole season to do my research on the players I was inheriting, but there wasn’t a lot for me to be gained from watching matches and trying to get some reference points as to how that’s going to affect what I am going to do.”

Spurs travel to Newcastle in pole position to claim Champions League football after they leapfrogged Aston Villa last weekend to take control of the battle for fourth.

Postecoglou has often cited the Magpies as an example of why qualifying for Europe’s elite competition is not a guarantee of long-term success, but was happy to talk up the potential of the Tottenham squad on Friday.

“That’s the exciting thing for me with this group – we’ve got a real core and there’s still so much growth in them,” he explained.

“Invariably, it’s their first season in the Premier League or they’re young in age and they’ve adapted so well at a big club where there are expectations.

“It’s not like they’re going to fly under the radar by doing two or three years before moving to a big club. They’re under the spotlight straightaway.

“I have been pleased with that, with the way the guys have accepted the challenge of playing for the club and challenging them to play in a certain way – and it’s going to expose them in many respects – but they’ve not shied away from that.”

Ange Postecoglou feels Newcastle should serve as a cautionary tale for Tottenham about what can happen if a club do not have the squad depth to cope with Champions League football.

Spurs travel to St James’ Park on Saturday in pole position to return to Europe’s elite competition after they moved ahead of Aston Villa in the race for fourth last weekend.

It was a different story last season, with Newcastle able to clinch Champions League qualification and they finished 11 points ahead of Tottenham, but it has failed to translate into a period of dominance for Eddie Howe’s Saudi-backed club.

The challenge of competing on four fronts has contributed towards injuries decimating the eighth-placed Magpies, which has often led to Postecoglou citing them as an example over why a top-four finish should not be seen as a guarantee for progression in the long run.

Postecoglou reflected: “Certainly there is a cautionary tale there that getting into Champions League also means greater demands.

“Demands on players, demands on the squad and you have to be geared up for it or else it can affect all parts of your season.

“It has been tough on Newcastle this year because the progress last year was fantastic, the reward for that was Champions League and this year for whatever reason it has made it a really challenging season on all fronts for them.”

This is Tottenham’s first return to St James’ Park since last season’s 6-1 hammering, which proved to be the nadir of a sorry campaign.

Postecoglou did not feel any need to watch that fixture back but he did reflect on the importance of the 4-1 victory over Newcastle in December.

Spurs entered that match with a lengthy list of absentees and after they had lost four of their past five matches.

“I think it was important in context of the results,” Postecoglou acknowledged.

“You don’t want to go through too long a spell where you’re not picking up wins because obviously that affects the course of your season.

“I thought our performances prior to that were still pretty strong, we obviously weren’t getting over the line for one reason or another.

“I thought on that day we played really well. We were really aggressive and I thought our front-third play was probably the area that we got most joy out of on the day. It was a pleasing result, especially at home.

“From the results point of view it was important, but from a performance point of view no more so than any other game.”

Spurs will remain without Richarlison (knee) for the lunchtime kick-off, but the Brazil forward is expected to be fit for the derby meeting with Arsenal later this month.

Eddie Howe admits Newcastle could not afford to allow “gentle giant” Joelinton to leave on a free transfer after they finally persuaded him to sign a new contract.

The 27-year-old Brazil international put pen to paper on a long-term deal on Thursday to end fears that he could leave the Magpies for nothing next summer despite becoming one of their most important players.

Ultimately, the two parties managed to reach agreement over a man whose value on and off the pitch had increased substantially during his time on Tyneside, although head coach Howe knows the financial implications of doing so may impact on his summer business as the club attempts to comply with profit and sustainability limits.

Howe said: “Of course something like this will have ramifications. You’re potentially lifting wages and that has an impact on your Financial Fair Play sheet.

“But the alternative is that Joe leaves on a free transfer, which for a player of his quality, would be really bad business from us.

“I think what has happened has alleviated that problem. But of course it maybe gives you problems elsewhere that you need to fix.”

Whatever the financial fall-out from tying up Joelinton’s future, the football reasons for doing so are obvious.

Under head coach Howe, a man who had been branded a flop following his then club record £40million switch from Hoffenheim as a striker during the summer of 2019, has established himself as a midfielder destroyer who played a key role in last season’s top-four Premier League finish.

He is currently working his way back from thigh tendon surgery – he may or may not play again before the end of the current campaign – and his absence has been particularly telling.

Securing the popular Brazilian at a time when interest in Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak is mounting sends a message, Howe believes, that the club’s ambition remains intact.

He said: “It helps with the perception of our ambition and that we’re still desperate to grow and improve. For me, to do that you have to try to keep your best players, you have to try to create something that everyone wants to be part of.”

Howe thrust Joelinton into a midfield role after defender Ciaran Clark’s dismissal just nine minutes into a 1-1 draw with Norwich in his third game at the helm in November 2021, and he has not looked back since, building himself a reputation as a snarling enforcer, something far removed from his off-field character.

Howe said: “For the size and stature that he is and how aggressive he is on the pitch, he is a soft, gentle giant off it.”

Joelinton will be a frustrated bystander once again as the Magpies entertain Tottenham on Saturday hoping for a repeat of the corresponding fixture in April last year when they raced into a 5-0 lead after just 21 minutes before running out 6-1 winners.

Asked if he had been able to relax during that game, Howe, who has doubts over Lewis Hall and Joe Willock, said with a smile: “Let me tell you, I didn’t feel like that, not even for a second. Not when you’ve got Harry Kane on the other team.

“He then scores and you start looking at how long is left.”

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