Spurs hammers Newcastle to move into top-four

Tottenham Hotspur moved into the Premier League top four after a second-half blitz of goals fired it to an emphatic 5-1 home win over Newcastle United.

Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies, right, Emerson Royal, left, and Son Heung-min celebrate after the 5-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United at Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday.   -  AP

Tottenham Hotspur moved into the Premier League top four after a second-half blitz of goals from Matt Doherty, Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal and Steven Bergwijn fired it to an emphatic 5-1 home win over Newcastle United on Sunday.

Spurs is now level on 54 points with Arsenal but its London rival have two games in hand and can move back into fourth place when it visits Crystal Palace on Monday. Newcastle is 15th with 31 points, nine clear of the relegation zone.

Much of the first half was played in Newcastle territory but Tottenham failed to find a way through its opponents before the away side grabbed a surprise lead in the 39th minute through Fabian Schar, who drilled a low free kick past Hugo Lloris.

Newcastle's lead lasted only four minutes as Ben Davies got in front of his marker to head home a delightful Son cross and bring to life a dour half that had initially promised little.

Spurs took the lead almost immediately after the restart through wing back Doherty's diving header from a Harry Kane cross before the dangerous Son doubled their advantage in the 54th minute as he finished off a sweeping move.

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Dejan Kulusevski, who joined Tottenham on loan from Juventus in January, was a constant threat down the right as he set up Son's goal and often combined brilliantly with the South Korean and England striker Kane to stretch the Newcastle defence.

"When you see your team play this way, you enjoy it," said Spurs manager Antonio Conte. "We played a really good game. Newcastle are not easy to face. They try to be compact and deep to not concede space."

Newcastle made a double switch just before the hour, bringing on Jacob Murphy and Bruno Guimaraes, but Tottenham heaped more misery on the visitor as Emerson and substitute Bergwijn added two more goals to complete the rout.

"In the second half we controlled the game and had the chances to secure the result. Newcastle are well prepared and have good players. We are in a good moment. The team are growing in every aspect," added Conte.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said the second goal made all the difference after his side had displayed great defensive solidity in the opening stages.

"We contributed to that (scoreline). We were 1-0 up and executing a good plan. We were controlling them as best we could. The second goal is the key thing," he said.

"We chased the game in a way you can't against this type of team. We took risks and didn't execute it well enough," added Howe, whose team have now lost their last three league games.

Earlier in the day, Frank Lampard's Everton was left three points above the relegation zone following a 2-1 defeat away at West Ham.

Conte says his ideas finally paying off

Conte hailed his side's recent progress and said that months of hard work was paying off.

"I like to be honest and clear in every moment with my players. I arrived in November and it was difficult to set a target for the season. I found it difficult in many aspects," said Conte.

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"The work we are doing is paying off. It is important for me as I see the commitment of my players every day. A good result is important for the trust in the work we are doing."

Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in November, with Tottenham ninth in the standings and five points off the Champions League places.

"Now I have had the work of five or six months, to work and bring my idea of football and mentality... I thank my players. From the first day they've shown commitment and desire to improve," he added after Spurs' third straight league win.

"This league is very difficult to try to be in the race for the Champions League. We want to stay there until the end. We have to try to continue to play this way with intensity, accuracy.

"I was happy before the international break. I said it was a pity we had to stop. I asked my players today to start in the same way we left."

Tottenham next visits 10th-placed Aston Villa on Saturday.

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