Tottenham’s bid to qualify for the Champions League suffered a hammer blow as they conceded five times in the first 21 minutes of a humiliating 6-1 defeat at top-four rivals Newcastle on Sunday.

Cristian Stellini’s side were buried by an avalanche of goals from Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak, who both netted twice, and strikes from Joelinton and Callum Wilson.

Harry Kane’s reply was no consolation for woeful Tottenham, who look certain to miss out on a place in the Premier League’s top four after a second successive loss.

The north Londoners are six points behind third-placed Newcastle and fourth-placed Manchester United, having played two more games than United and one more than Newcastle.

Fifth-placed Tottenham host United on Thursday and a defeat against Erik ten Hag’s team would surely end their faint hopes of salvaging their troubled campaign.

“It was my responsibility to decide how we play. We decided to do it differently because of the injuries, but it was wrong,”

“It’s very difficult to understand why the first 25 minutes were so bad. We were not prepared to play this type of tough game. To suffer, control the space and win duels.”

Interim boss Stellini said of switching to a back four.

There is a bleak future ahead for Tottenham, who have no permanent manager lined up for next season and no director of football after Fabio Paratici’s resignation on Friday.

Paratici stepped down after failing in his appeal against a 30-month worldwide FIFA ban for his involvement in allegations of false accounting at his former club Juventus.

Tottenham’s heaviest defeat of the season was a new low for a club already in turmoil after Antonio Conte’s departure by “mutual consent” in March after just 16 months in charge.

Conte had exposed the rifts behind the scenes at Tottenham when he called the players “selfish” and criticised the club’s culture in an explosive rant after their draw at lowly Southampton.

Tottenham haven’t won a major trophy since 2008 and their latest setback could increase the chances of England striker Harry Kane asking to leave in the close season.

Fans are also unhappy with chairman Daniel Levy, who has gone through a host of unsuccessful managers since sacking the popular Mauricio Pochettino in 2019.

Sorry Spurs

Tottenham captain Lloris apologised to supporters, admitting the performance was “embarrassing”, and accused his team-mates of lacking “pride”.

In contrast to Tottenham’s struggles, Newcastle are riding the crest of a wave that should carry them into the Champions League for the first time since 2003, when they were eliminated in the qualifying rounds.

Revived by the financial muscle of their Saudi-backed ownership group and boss Eddie Howe’s astute leadership, Newcastle reached their first cup final since 1999 earlier this season when they lost to Manchester United in the League Cup showpiece.

“You don’t expect that. The quality of our finishing was incredible,”

“Since I walked through the door here the players have responded so well. I can’t thank them enough.”

Howe said.

Newcastle took just 61 seconds to put Tottenham to the sword as Murphy fired into the roof of the net from close range.

They doubled their lead after six minutes when Joelinton rounded Lloris to slot into the empty net.

The rampant Magpies scored a stunning third goal in the ninth minute as Murphy unleashed a 25-yard drive that swerved past Lloris.

Howe’s men were the first team to score three goals within the opening nine minutes of a Premier League match since Manchester City against Burnley in 2010.

By the time Isak scored Newcastle’s fourth and fifth goals, Tottenham’s shell-shocked fans were already heading for the exits.

It was the second fastest 5-0 lead in Premier League history after Manchester City, who took 18 minutes to do it against Watford in 2019.

Kane reduced the deficit in the 49th minute before Wilson stabbed home in the 67th minute to complete Tottenham’s misery.

In Sunday’s other game, West Ham boosted their bid to avoid relegation with a 4-0 victory at Bournemouth thanks to goals from Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta, Declan Rice and Pablo Fornals.

Source: AFP

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