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Premier League: Newcastle flog Tottenham 6-1 in battle for top four

Tottenham’s bid to qualify for the Champions League suffered a hammer blow as they conceded five times in the first 21 minutes of a humiliating…

Tottenham’s bid to qualify for the Champions League suffered a hammer blow as they conceded five times in the first 21 minutes of a humiliating 6-1 defeat at top-four rivals Newcastle on Sunday.

Cristian Stellini’s side were buried by an avalanche of goals from Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak, who both netted twice and strikes from Joelinton and Callum Wilson.

Harry Kane’s reply was no consolation for woeful Tottenham, who look certain to miss out on a place in the Premier League’s top four after a second successive loss.

The north Londoners are six points behind third-placed Newcastle and fourth-placed Manchester United, having played two more games than United and one more than Newcastle.

Fifth-placed Tottenham host United on Thursday and a defeat against Erik ten Hag’s team would surely end their faint hopes of salvaging their troubled campaign.

“It was my responsibility to decide how we play. We decided to do it differently because of the injuries, but it was wrong,” interim boss Stellini said of switching to a back four.

“It’s very difficult to understand why the first 25 minutes were so bad. We were not prepared to play this type of tough game. To suffer, control the space and win duels.”

Tottenham’s heaviest defeat of the season was a new low for a club already in turmoil after Antonio Conte’s departure by “mutual consent” in March after just 16 months in charge.

Newcastle took just 61 seconds to put Tottenham to the sword as Murphy fired into the roof of the net from close range.

They doubled their lead after six minutes when Joelinton rounded Lloris to slot into the empty net.

The rampant Magpies scored a stunning third goal in the ninth minute as Murphy unleashed a 25-yard drive that swerved past Lloris.

Howe’s men were the first team to score three goals within the opening nine minutes of a Premier League match since Manchester City against Burnley in 2010.

By the time Isak scored Newcastle’s fourth and fifth goals, Tottenham’s shell-shocked fans were already heading for the exits.

It was the second-fastest 5-0 lead in Premier League history after Manchester City, who took 18 minutes to do it against Watford in 2019.

Kane reduced the deficit in the 49th minute before Wilson stabbed home in the 67th minute to complete Tottenham’s misery.

In Sunday’s other game, West Ham boosted their bid to avoid relegation with a 4-0 victory at Bournemouth thanks to goals from Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta, Declan Rice and Pablo Fornals.

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