Newcastle United produced their biggest result of an already impressive season with a deserved 2-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur to move into the Premier League’s top four on Sunday.
First-half goals by Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron — both aided by mistakes from Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris — put Newcastle in control after Tottenham had started brightly. Wilson chipped the opener into an unguarded net after 31 minutes and Almiron scored from a tight angle in the 40th. Harry Kane’s 10th league goal of the season early in the second half suggested third-placed Tottenham could mount a comeback but they huffed and puffed without much quality as Newcastle held firm to claim the three points.
Newcastle’s fans celebrated noisily as Eddie Howe’s side, who have lost only once in their opening 12 matches, moved into the Champions League places with 21 points.
Tottenham’s best start to a top-flight season since the 1963-64 campaign has now had a harsh reality check with back-to-back defeats. They stay third with 23 points from 12 games.
Danks leads Villa out of the darkness with 4-0 Brentford thrashing
Caretaker boss Aaron Danks got off to a flying start with Aston Villa when they put their poor start to the Premier League season behind them with a rip-roaring 4-0 win over Brentford in his first game in charge on Saturday. Danks, who replaced Steven Gerrard following his sacking on Thursday in the wake of a 3-0 defeat to Fulham, saw his side score three times in the opening 14 minutes as they blew away Brentford, along with the memory of their slow start.
“I thought the boys, from the opening five minutes, they played with intensity and sustained that. I am really, really pleased with the game and performance,” a delighted Danks told the BBC. “Going into the game, you always have a bit of nerves and apprehension, but the moment I was on the touchline I was just focused on the performance. To see the fans and players at the end it was a nice feeling.”
The game was just over a minute old when Villa went in front through Leon Bailey, and there was a little extra satisfaction in the manner of the goal for the coach, who worked as assistant to Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht before joining Villa. “It was a really well-worked set-piece off the training ground for the first goal, so credit to the staff for that and the players for executing it,” Danks explained. After a turbulent week at the club, his side’s performance was markedly different from their often sluggish efforts under Gerrard, but Danks would not be drawn on his own future.
“I have been asked to lead the team at the moment, and will continue to do that and will step forward Monday morning to prepare the team as we go, and until I hear otherwise it is full focus and energy on that,” he said.
Leeds’ problems deepen with home defeat by Fulham
Leeds United sank to a 3-2 defeat at home to Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, leaving them in the relegation zone and heaping more pressure on coach Jesse Marsch. Leeds, who are without a league win since August, are 18th in the standings on nine points after a fourth consecutive defeat. Fulham meanwhile climbed up to seventh on 18.
The home side went ahead in the 20th minute with a close-ranged header from Spanish forward Rodrigo but Fulham responded four minutes later when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home from an Andreas Pereira corner to score his ninth goal of the season. Leeds had the bulk of the chances in an entertaining second period as both sides went in search of a winner, with Luke Ayling, Rodrigo, Brenden Aaronson and substitute Patrick Bamford all squandering promising opportunities.
Fulham also wasted two clear efforts but took the lead in the 74th minute when full-back Bobby Decordova-Reid headed in another cross from Pereira. The goal led to Leeds fans quickly turning on American coach Marsch, some chanting “You’re getting sacked in the morning”. The anger in the stadium rose further when Willian struck Fulham’s third goal in the 83rd after the visitors had run the hosts’ defence ragged.
Substitute Crysencio Summerville gave Leeds hope of a fightback when he slid to poke the ball home in added time, but it was too little, too late for Marsch’s side.
Arteta rues missed chances as Arsenal drop points at Southampton
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta rued his players’ inability to capitalise on their early dominance after they were held to a 1-1 Premier League draw with Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday, a rare stalemate for the north London side.
Arsenal were much the better team in the opening stages and might have had more than Granit Xhaka’s strike to show for it, but they allowed Southampton back into the contest in the second period and had to hang on at the end for a point.
It was, remarkably, Arsenal’s first draw in the Premier League since January, a run of 27 matches in which they were either the victor or the loser, but does leave them two points ahead of second-placed Manchester City after 11 games this campaign.