Tottenham’s hopes of securing a top-four finish disintegrated in humiliating fashion as Newcastle smashed five goals in the first 21 minutes on their way to an extraordinary 6-1 win at St James’ Park.
Spurs, needing a positive result to maintain their Champions League hopes, switched to a back four for the first time since January 2022 but interim head coach Christian Stellini’s tactical plan was left in tatters as Newcastle ran riot to move up to third.
The hosts scored three times in the first nine minutes against the abject visitors, with Jacob Murphy converting a close-range opener after 62 seconds then smashing a stunning third after Joelinton had doubled the lead from Fabian Schar’s ball over the top.
Tottenham’s defence continued to crumble, with Alexander Isak adding a quick-fire double in front of the buoyant home supporters, his second coming on 21 minutes, making it the second-earliest any Premier League side has ever taken a five-goal lead.
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris did not emerge for the second half, with Fraser Forster replacing him, and substitute Callum Wilson restored Newcastle’s five-goal advantage only 65 seconds after coming on following a well-taken consolation goal by Harry Kane.
While Newcastle jump above Manchester United into third, Spurs slip six points off the Champions League places, the humbling defeat coming only a week after their late loss at home to Bournemouth, plunging their season into crisis.