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Newcastle sink Spurs with late winner

January 15, 2007 09:08 IST

An injury-hit Newcastle United stunned Tottenham Hotspur with a 3-2 victory in a pulsating Premier League match at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

United were under siege for most of the game but hit back to equalise twice before flu-stricken midfielder Nicky Butt grabbed an unlikely winner.

In Sunday's other action Andy Johnson headed a late equaliser for Everton in a 1-1 home draw with Reading -- a point that moved Everton above Tottenham into seventh place.

On Saturday, the top four sides all won. Manchester United protected their six-point lead with a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa, champions Chelsea thrashed Wigan Athletic 4-0, Liverpool beat Watford 3-0 and 10-man Arsenal won 2-0 at Blackburn Rovers.

Tottenham, who had lost just two home games this season and are in the hunt for a European place, overwhelmed Newcastle's inexperienced defence early on and took the lead after 13 minutes when Jermain Defoe slid into stab home Steed Malbranque's low cross.

Newcastle replied immediately with their first attack of the match, young full back Paul Huntington shooting past Spurs keeper Paul Robinson for his first goal for the club.

Dimitar Berbatov restored Tottenham's lead eight minutes after halftime and Spurs should have wrapped up the points before Obafemi Martins smashed a ferocious equaliser with 19 minutes remaining.

NEAT PASS

A minute later the impressive Nigerian Martins slid a neat pass in to Butt who shot right-footed across Robinson for his first goal of the season.

Defoe was denied an equaliser for Tottenham when his snap-shot from outside the area struck the post while Robbie Keane's goalbound effort struck Nolberto Solano on the line.

"Nicky Butt has been in bed for five days with heavy flu and lost nine pounds of weight...I don't think many would have got off their sick bed to play," United manager Glenn Roeder told Sky Sports. "He was magnificent."

"And of course Oba Martins showed you what he is all about, he is unstoppable."

At Goodison Park, the biggest cheer was reserved for Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone who walked on to chants of "Rocky Rocky" before the start.

The American, a guest of Everton shareholder Robert Earl, is in England to promote his new movie Rocky Balboa, but watched on as Reading left the hosts reeling with a 28th-minute goal.

Everton defender Joleon Lescott was unfortunate when American keeper Tim Howard saved a Steve Hunt header but the ball cannoned into the net off his heel.

Johnson wasted one good opportunity to level but redeemed himself after 81 minutes when Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann failed to deal with a flick-on and the England striker nodded the ball into an empty net.

Everton almost snatched victory in stoppage time when Lee Carsley's free kick skimmed the roof of the Reading net.

Source:
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