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Premier League

  • 16 October 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 46420

Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham: Late Shola Ameobi thunderbolt denies Spurs victory as Magpies maintain unbeaten record

Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham: Late Shola Ameobi thunderbolt denies Spurs victory as Magpies maintain unbeaten record

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Jermain Defoe looked to have won all three points for Redknapp's men after coming off the bench and scoring with almost his first touch, but Pardew's own super-sub rescued a point

Newcastle United maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they twice came from a goal down against Tottenham to rescue a point at St James’ Park.

Alan Pardew named the same starting XI that picked up all three points at Molineux before the international break, with Leon Best partnering the in-form Demba Ba upfront.

Meanwhile, Tottenham made just one change to the team which beat north London rivals Arsenal 2-1, with Jake Livermore replacing Jermain Defoe, after Emmanuel Adebayor had declared himself fit prior to the game. Ledley King was making his 300th start for Spurs, and it was also the first time he had played in five consecutive Premier League games for three and a half years.

The game lacked any clear-cut opportunities early on, with both sides cancelling each other out. Newcastle’s biggest threat was coming via the set pieces of Ryan Taylor, with the presence of Best and Ba a constant threat.

Just before the half-hour mark, King’s participation in the game was over, as the Tottenham captain pulled up holding his groin. The Spurs physio led the defender down the tunnel - not the way he would have been hoping to celebrate his 31st birthday. Luka Modric was then handed the armband in his absence.

Just five minutes before half-time the visitors were handed a gilt edged opportunity to take the lead. As Adebayor looked to drive into the area, he was tripped by Steven Taylor. Referee Lee Probert took a second to assess the challenge before pointing to the spot. The Newcastle man was perhaps lucky to escape without a caution.

Rafael van der Vaart stepped up to take the penalty, sending his fellow countryman Tim Krul the wrong way to give his side the lead, notching his third Premier League goal of the season.

The Newcastle team left the field of play to a chorus of boos, as the home fans voiced their displeasure towards referee Probert.

Both teams emerged from the tunnel for the second half unchanged, and it did not take the home side long to restore parity. For the first time in the game Jonas Gutierrez released the shackles and drove at the Tottenham defence. After reaching the by-line he floated a ball into the six-yard box, where he found the unmarked Ba, who was handed the simple task of drawing his side level.

The game began to open up much more following the equaliser, and both sides had good chances to take the lead, with Gabriel Obertan and Adebayor both dragging their respective efforts wide of the mark.

Newcastle almost pressed the self-destruct button shortly after, as Ryan Taylor stopped playing, claiming the ball had gone out of play. Assistant referee Adam Watts waved play on, and Modric pulled the ball back for Van der Vaart, who shot harmlessly into the arms of Krul from 10 yards out.

Jermain Defoe was introduced shortly after the hour mark in place of Van der Vaart, and it did not take the England international long to make an impact. Less than five minutes after coming on, he received a ball from Scott Parker on the edge of the 18-yard box. His first two touches created a yard for a shot, and his third was a sublime left-footed drive into the bottom corner, leaving Krul helpless.

Newcastle made a double substitution in response, with Shola Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa replacing Best and goal-scorer Ba.

Cheick Tiote’s 20-yard effort had Brad Friedel at full-stretch to tip it over the bar, and the American was called into action again shortly after, producing a fine save from Ryan Taylor’s free kick.

As Newcastle pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Gareth Bale’s pace was proving a constant threat on the break, as Tottenham looked for the goal which would take them above Newcastle on goal difference.

But it was Newcastle who had the last word. Super-sub Shola Ameobi created room for a shot on the edge of the area, and from an acute angle he lashed his effort past the despairing dive of Friedel into the bottom corner.

Both sides had chances late on to nick all three points, but Fabricio Coloccini shot wide and Krul superbly denied Defoe.

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