Romero imperious and Kane inspired: Spurs thrash Newcastle 5-1

Ben Davies celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Newcastle with Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur

Ben Davies celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Newcastle with Eric Dier - Credit: PA/Nick Potts

"I'm happy because hard work is paying off."

There is a restrained satisfaction emanating from Antonio Conte that the Conte way is working.  

In the early stages of this 5-1 home win, Tottenham dominated possession, without carving out many chances against a well-organised Newcastle block. A dragged shot from Harry Kane after a quarter of an hour, a header from Pierre-Emile Højbjerg - nothing to shout about. 

Then, on 37 minutes, Son Heung-Min brought down former Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock on the edge of the box. Fabian Schär took the free kick and Hugo Lloris got a hand to the ball but it wasn't enough.

The lead lasted minutes. Son got a second bite at crossing in from a corner, and Ben Davies guided his header in.

Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies scores against Newcastle

Tottenham Hotspur's Ben Davies scores against Newcastle - Credit: PA/Nick Potts

Immediately after the break, another defender gave Spurs the lead. Kane found time to cross and the ball evaded a stretching Son but Matt Doherty bundled it in. 

Tottenham's confidence grew and Spurs effectively ended the game after 55 minutes - Kane feeding Dejan Kulusevski, who crossed in for Son to control and score.

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min scores the third goal against Newcastle

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min scores the third goal against Newcastle - Credit: PA/Nick Potts

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From there the home team were running riot. The fourth came with Royal (another defender) poking in after some more fine work by Doherty.

With number five, the understudies got in on the act - Lucas Moura on the run, poking through for Steven Bergwijn to finish. 

Cristian Romero 

Cristian Romero is on his way to hero status at Tottenham. The Argentinian dominates the penalty area - reading the game, muscling attackers out, crunching a tackle - and carrying the ball forward he is imperious. Time and again he defused the situation at the back, and by the end against he was swaggering through the Newcastle lines.

Defence

Romero, aside, Eric Dier is a rock in defence once again, and the versatile and underrated Ben Davies makes up a three that's looking more and more convincing.

The manager made a point of mentioning Davinson Sanchez, as an option on the bench, but he is clearly happy with his current trio.   

On the break

Eddie Howe said after the game that his team changed the way they played after Spurs went ahead, and that that benefitted the home team. He's right. For the first 20 minutes Tottenham had all the possession but the visitors looked well set up to frustrate them. 

Spurs look happiest when they can play on the break, with Kane whipping the ball around the corner for Son to take in his stride.

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane during the Premier League against Newcastle United

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane during the Premier League against Newcastle United - Credit: PA/Nick Potts

Kane's vision

Few (outside Chelsea) would argue that it's been anything but wonderful to see Christian Eriksen back in the Premier League. For a few years, before his head was turned by clubs on the continent, he was one of the most visionary, forward-thinking players in the league - the Spurs successor to Luka Modric. The club has a history of these players (Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne) but now, bizarrely, it's the number 10.

Kane's passing and sheer imagination are beautiful to watch. He, as they say, "sees balls other players don't".

The manager joked after the game that he was disappointed his striker didn't score - but it was a joke.

"I want to give him satisfaction," said Conte. "I think now he is enjoying playing this type of football."

First XI

Kulusevski, Bentancur and Romero have all cemented their places this season. The only stand-in here was goal-scorer Emerson Royal, coming in for Reguilón, who picked up a knee injury in training on Friday.

The one thing that might shake things up at this stage is the return of Oliver Skipp, who will find he must earn his place once again in this well-drilled team, who have learnt the Conte way.

"Now [the players] understand this is the right way," said the manager.