Newcastle United humiliated Tottenham Hotspur with five goals in 21 stunning first-half minutes as they ran out easy winners in what was billed as a showdown for a top-four spot.
Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak each scored twice and Joelinton added another as Newcastle scythed through a porous visiting defence that was already under the spotlight from last week’s defeat against Bournemouth.
Harry Kane pulled one back in the second half at St James’ Park but Callum Wilson added a sixth to complete the rout shortly after coming off the bench.
The embarrassing defeat is a significant blow to Spurs’ dwindling hopes of securing Champions League qualification – but in contrast the Magpies are now in a commanding position to finish in the top four as they climb to third.
Inspired by an electric atmosphere, Newcastle started with pace and ferocity, taking just 62 seconds to open the scoring.
Joelinton drove inside from the edge of the box and his low shot was parried weakly by Hugo Lloris into the path of Murphy, who was there to smash in the loose ball.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says Murphy has become a key member of his side, having previously been on the periphery.
“It’s not often you have a start like that in a game, especially one of such importance,” Howe said.
“Jacob has grown into the team, he’s got a lot of qualities, he can play various positions and he took his goals very well today.”
Five minutes later, Brazilian midfielder Joelinton sprung a shambolic Spurs offside trap and rounded Lloris to double the lead.
With the home fans still celebrating, Murphy rattled in the third with a curling shot from distance that Lloris – who was replaced by Fraser Forster at half-time – did not make any attempt to reach.
Sweden striker Isak, averaging a goal every 113 minutes in the Premier League this season prior to the game, then scored twice to compound Spurs’ misery.
First, he met a sumptuous ball from Joe Willock to slot home calmly, then beat the sprawling Lloris from a tight angle.
Kane barged past Fabian Schar and finished neatly to pull one back minutes into the second half but Newcastle responded when Wilson, who had replaced Isak, immediately poked home another from fellow substitute Miguel Almiron’s pass.
Howe still wouldn’t be drawn on whether his side will reach the top four by the end of May.
“It’s not for me to say,” he said. “I saw a very good team playing today, two actually. But there’s a lot of games to go and a lot of points to play for.”