White Hart Lane
Barclays Premier League
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At White Hart Lane
Tottenham Hotspur 5 (Assou-Ekotto 4; Saha 6, 20; Kranjcar 34; Adebayor 64)
Newcastle United 0
Newcastle United crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season away at Tottenham, as they went down 5-0 at White Hart Lane.
Most of the damage was done in the first half - particularly the early stages - as a rampant Spurs side killed the game off before it had barely begun.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto broke the deadlock, before a Louis Saha brace put the hosts firmly in control. Niko Kranjcar made it four with the interval approaching, and Emmanuel Adebayor volleyed in a classy fifth midway through the second period.
The Magpies' chances were few and far between, with only a couple of Demba Ba efforts and a close range Dan Gosling shot being worthy of any note, as it was an evening to forget in North London.
Spurs were ahead inside four minutes. A neat, flowing move saw Emmanuel Adebayor cut in from the right touchline, exchange passes with Gareth Bale and drive into the are.
The front man fired right across the face of goal and it looked as though the chance had gone begging, but left-back Assou-Ekotto raced onto the loose ball to slot home into the open net.
And less than two minutes later the hosts had doubled their advantage. That man Adebyaor once again got plenty of joy down the right, and his delivery into the centre was inch-perfect for the unmarked Saha to sidefoot home his first goal for his new club.
Tottenham were showing no signs of letting up and Newcastle were struggling to make any impression in the opposition's half. In the 16th minute Kranjcar shot over the top from 20 yards after the visitors failed to properly deal with a Bale cross.
A rare United chance presented itself on 19 minutes when Ba rose highest to meet a deep Papiss Cisse cross from the right. But, under pressure, the Senegal striker could only nod wide.
However, Spurs went straight up the other end and bagged goal number three, with Saha getting his second of the evening. Luka Modric knocked the ball in from the left and Adebayor touched into the path of Saha, who made no mistake with a low finish past the helpless Tim Krul.
Newcastle were inches away from pulling a goal back in the 25th minute. Ba was scythed down right on the edge of the area by Scott Parker - earning the England midfielder a yellow card - and the big striker picked himself up to drill the resulting free-kick agonisingly the wrong side of the upright.
It looked as though the Magpies had stemmed Tottenham's tide, but on 34 minutes the home side stepped up another gear and made it four. Saha fed Adebayor inside the area, and although his shot was brilliantly saved by Krul, midfielder Kranjcar was on hand to slam home the rebound.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini curled an ambitious effort well over from distance as Newcastle attempted to gain some sort of momentum, while Ba had their first attempt on target with six minutes of the half remaining - firing a strike straight at Spurs keeper Brad Friedel.
United boss Alan Pardew made a switch at the break, introducing young full-back Shane Ferguson for Gabriel Obertan in a bid to make his side a much more solid proposition, and it worked in the opening exchanges, with the Northern Ireland international looking promising in an advanced role.
But the Magpies' second half resistance only last until the 64th minute, when Adebayor - who had set up all four of Tottenham's previous goals - finally got himself on the scoresheet.
A deep cross from the left was nodded back into the danger area by Saha, and Adebayor provided an acrobatic volley to give Krul no chance as it nestled in the far corner.
If things weren't bad enough for Newcastle, the goal prompted a double change for the hosts - with the dangerous duo of Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe replacing Bale and Saha.
The visitors made a change of their own, introducing Gosling for Cisse, and the midfielder had a glorious chance for a consolation goal in the 78th minute but fluffed his lines from a few yards out.
Danny Guthrie's ball in from the left was met by Ba, whose flicked header was brilliantly parried by Friedel at point-blank range. The rebound fell to Gosling, but he could only hook the bouncing loose ball over the top from eight yards.
Spurs hit straight back and Adebayor was a whisker away from adding to their tally with a turn and shot inside the box, before Modric stung Krul's palms from range.
But that was it, as United suffered only their second Premier League defeat of 2012, and were left to reflect on a first half performance where they were quite simply overran.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Brad Friedel; Kyle Walker, Michael Dawson, Ledley King (c) (Ryan Nelsen 75), Benoit Assou-Ekotto; Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Gareth Bale (Aaron Lennon 67); Emmanuel Adebayor, Louis Saha (Jermain Defoe 67)
Subs not used: Carlo Cudicini, Bongani Khumalo, Danny Rose, Jake Livermore
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Gabriel Obertan (Shane Ferguson 46), Danny Guthrie (Peter Lovenkrands 86), James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse (Dan Gosling 68)
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Mehdi Abeid, Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)