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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham

By Saj Chowdhury

Damien Duff
Duff was on hand to give Newcastle fans an early Christmas present.

Newcastle substitute Damien Duff scored a late winner against Tottenham to lift Joe Kinnear's side into mid-table.

The Republic of Ireland international played a fabulous one-two with Mark Viduka then kept his composure to slot the ball past Heurelho Gomes.

Charles N'Zogbia gave Newcastle the lead when he collected a long pass from Shay Given and fired in.

Luka Modric equalised when he ran on to a Michael Dawson ball and sent his low effort past Given.

Newcastle's second successive win means they are now unbeaten in six and four points clear of a relegation zone they have been flirting with since the start of the season.


Harry Redknapp's Spurs will feel slightly aggrieved not to have gone back to the capital with at least a point, but the manager will take heart from the performances of his frontline, in particular Modric and the sublime Aaron Lennon.

They, along with David Bentley and Roman Pavlyuchenko, gave the lately solid Newcastle backline a good workout in the first half.

However, it was defender Dawson who almost came closest to opening the scoring when his looping header had to be pushed over by Given.

Winner came at perfect time - Kinnear

For the last 11 years, Newcastle have been used to having their Irish keeper bailing them out of trouble so when his pinpoint punt led to N'Zogbia's goal, it most certainly was one for the famous football scrapbook.

N'Zogbia still had to use his nous and strength to fend off the challenge of Benoit Assou-Ekotto then find the composure to slot the ball past the Spurs stopper.

The Magpies found their stride after the goal but there was one weak link in the team on the day - Ameobi.

The striker, who replaced the injured Obafemi Martins in the starting line-up, had already given the ball away on a handful of occasions before, what happened to be his final act, he was easily dispossessed by Dawson.

The defender's clearance ended up falling to the feet of Modric, who appeared to stay onside and in acres of space before running in on goal and firing past Given.

Ameobi was substituted for Viduka straight after the restart.

Spurs undone by 'sucker punch'- Redknapp

Kinnear's battlers survived until half-time with Given made to punch down Pavlyuchenko's firm 20-yard drive.

The second half of the match did not come to the boil until the last 20 minutes.

First Michael Owen blazed over for Newcastle from eight yards and at the other end substitute Frazier Campbell, who came on for Pavlyuchenko, just failed to connect with Lennon's cracking ball across the six-yard area.

Both teams were pressing for the win, but it with less than a minute remaining it was Newcastle who had the last cheer.

Duff, who had just been on for a few minutes, pounced on a loose clearance before finding Viduka on the edge of the area.

The Australian played the ball back to his team-mate with a sweet flick who in turn converted the ball past Gomes with one touch.

Newcastle: Given, Beye, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique (Duff 88), Gutierrez, Guthrie, Butt, N'Zogbia, Ameobi (Viduka 30), Owen.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Geremi, Taylor, Edgar, Carroll.

Booked: Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Duff.

Goals: N'Zogbia 12, Duff 90.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, King, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Zokora, Huddlestone, Lennon, Pavlyuchenko (Campbell 64), Modric.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Bale, Gunter, Taarabt, Boateng, O'Hara.

Booked: Huddlestone, Modric.

Goals: Modric 29.

Att: 47,982

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Luka Modric on 8.14 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Kinnear revels in change of luck
21 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
21 Dec 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
21 Dec 08 |  Football

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