But not this time. Eddie Howe’s side were deservedly beaten 5-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon.
Newcastle were awful – from start to finish.
United had conceded eight goals in their previous 11 Premier League games, yet they conceded four in an awful 35-minute spell after the break.
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For all the progress made under Howe, the manner of this defeat, which followed a training camp in Dubai, will trouble the club’s head coach, who had insisted ahead of the fixture that the team’s still in a relegation battle. Too many players had off-days.
Howe had made three changes after assessing the club’s international contingent.
Bruno Guimaraes – who had played for Brazil against Bolivia at altitude in midweek – dropped down to the bench along with Sweden’s Emil Krafth, while Miguel Almiron, back from Paraguay duty, missed out completely.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey returned to the starting XI after fully recovering from injury and illness respectively. Javier Manquillo also came into the team, which had suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats away from home before the international break.
Tottenham dominated the opening exchanges. It was one-way traffic, and United just couldn’t get hold of the ball.
Harry Kane shot wide in the 15th minute, and, for all their possession, the home side didn’t trouble Martin Dubravka until the 29th minute, when Heung-Min Son forced a save with a low shot from distance.
With the ball, Newcastle were unconvincing for much of the first 45 minutes. They lacked conviction in possession, and Tottenham kept coming back at them as Guimaraes warmed up opposite United’s 3,000-strong travelling support.
Those fans were soon celebrating. Fabiam Schar squeezed the ball through a gap in the wall to net through a free-kick from just outside the box. The defender, in talks over a new deal at the club, ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the away end.
Newcastle’s lead lasted just four minutes. Ben Davies levelled before the break with a close-range header, and there were scuffles before the break following a Rodrigo Bentancur challenge on Saint-Maximin. Joelinton and Dan Burn leapt to his defence.
Things got worse, much worse, after the break. Kane took the all in the middle and ran to the right before delivering a deep cross which was helped into Matt Doherty’s path by Son. Doherty, unchallenged, stooped to head home.
United were all over the place, and Son, unmarked, made it 3-1 in the 54th minute following a cross from the right from Dejan Kulusevksi, and Emerson Royal scored another close-range goal for Tottenham 10 minutes later after Howe sent on Guimaraes and Jacob Murphy.
The game was all but over, and Wood, out of sorts following his exploits for New Zealand during the international break, made way for club captain Jamaal Lascelles.
There was a switch to a back five, and substitute Steven Bergwijn netted a fifth for Tottenham after a quick break through the middle.
Howe and his players went to applaud the away end at the final whistle.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Manquillo (Murphy, 59), Schar, Burn, Targett; Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton (Guimaraes, 59), Fraser, Wood (Lascelles, 70), Saint-Maximin.