THOUSANDS of fans stayed away from St James’s Park today as Newcastle United suffered a SIXTH successive Premier League defeat.
There were protests outside the ground before kick off at the direction of the club under owner Mike Ashley.
A crowd, estimated to be just over 40,000, saw Tottenham Hotspur win 3-1 thanks to goals from Nacer Chadli, Christian Erikson and Harry Kane.
Jack Colback netted for 14th-placed United, whose position is now looking slightly more precarious going into the last five Premier League games.
The official attendance, including ALL tickets sold for the game, was given as 47,427.
Ashley, for one, was not at the match.
Chadli gave Tottenham the lead in the 30th minute with a 25-yard strike after Yoan Gouffran lost possession.
Head coach John Carver made two changes at the break – Sammy Ameobi and Gabriel Obertan replaced Gouffran and Mehdi Abeid – and Jack Colback equalised 20 seconds after the restart with a neat finish after Daryl Janmaat had a shot blocked.
But Erikson’s inswinging free-kick from the left beat everyone in the box – including United goalkeeper Tim Krul – in the 53rd minute.
Carver threw on Adam Armstrong for the last 15 minutes, but his team couldn’t force an equaliser.
And Kane netted a third in injury time.
The result leaves Newcastle just seven points above the relegation zone.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Anita (Armstrong, 75); Abeid (Obertan, 46), R Taylor, Colback; Gouffran (Ameobi, 46), Perez, Cabella. Subs not used: Woodman, Sterry, Kemen, Riviere.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Vorm, Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose (Davies, 82); Bentaleb, Paulinho (Mason, 88), Chadli (Dembele, 78), Eriksen, Lamela; Kane. Subs not used: Friedel, Yedlin, Townsend, Soldado.
Goals: Chadli 30, Colback 46, Erikson 53, Kane 90
Bookings: Colback 41, Paulinho 42, Lamela 45, Vertonghen 62, Cabella 63, Bentaleb 88
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicester)