Tottenham obliterated Newcastle as they stylishly secured their place in Capital One Cup semi-finals.
Mauricio Pochettino’s start to life in north London has not been without its teething problems, yet Spurs fans are now beginning to see the performances they yearn for.
The recent improvements were evident at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening, when Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado all scored in a 4-0 demolition of Newcastle.
It puts Spurs within a two-legged semi-final of Wembley and help made amends for October’s embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Alan Pardew’s men at White Hart Lane.
They certainly impressed in laying that ghost to rest, with Bentaleb capitalising on a mistake by Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper, Jak Alnwick, to turn home midway through the first half.
It was a lead doubled by Chadli seconds after half-time and, once Massadio Haidara cleared a Jan Vertonghen header off the line, Kane put the game out of sight.
It continued the England Under-21s international’s record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition and his replacement Soldado added extra gloss, slotting home from close range after Christian Eriksen’s initial effort was saved.
While things are on the up for Tottenham, this defeat is hardly the visitors’ ideal preparation for the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland this weekend.
It was a result which looked likely from early on, with Benjamin Stambouli, one of six Spurs changes, seeing a long-range effort loop onto the roof of the net via a deflection.
Chadli got away the evening’s first shot on target after meeting a lovely Andros Townsend pass, before Kane almost latched onto a fine cross-field ball from Danny Rose.
Townsend shot over as Spurs continued brightly and took the lead 18 minutes in after a moment that will haunt Alnwick.
Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper inexplicably fumbled an Eriksen corner and Bentaleb reacted quickly to scoop home in front of the befuddled visiting support.
It was a lead Spurs deserved but one which it looked like they were easily capable of squandering.
Michel Vorm did well to prevent Moussa Sissoko ending an impressive run with a thumping goal from distance shortly before the opening goal, which was followed by a major let-off for Pochettino’s men.
Yoan Gouffran was afforded time to swing in a cross from the right which found Emmanuel Riviere unmarked, only for the frontman to direct wide from close range, unaware the offside flag was raised.
Sissoko stung the palms of Vorm from 25 yards as Newcastle’s search for a leveller continued – a task Spurs attempted to make more difficult as half-time approached.
Kane looked likeliest to provide a second Spurs goal and, thanks to Gouffran’s shocking backpass, was allowed to burst forward and unleash a fierce drive just wide.
The academy graduate was proving a nuisance and looked to have won a penalty after going down under pressure from Fabricio Coloccini, only for referee Andre Marriner to infuriate Pochettino by waving play on.
If the Spurs head coach was concerned about that costing his side, those fears were alleviated seconds into the second half.
When the sides last met here Sammy Ameobi’s moments after the restart was the catalyst to Newcastle’s win, whereas this time it was the hosts celebrating when Chadli’s low strike crept past Alnwick.
It was a sucker punch Pardew’s men were unable to recover from, with Remy Cabella and Riviere somehow unable to turn home Ayoze Perez’s cross.
The Magpies’ need for a goal was leaving spaces at the back and Vlad Chiriches forced a save from Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper.
A goal-line clearance from Haidara prevented Vertonghen extending Spurs’ lead, but fans’ favourite Kane soon added a third, collecting a pass from Townsend to coolly slot home.
It was Kane’s last action of the night, but his replacement carried on where he left off as Soldado reacted quickly to tap home after Alnwick parried Eriksen’s fizzing drive.
Townsend and Soldado had attempts shortly afterwards and, at the other end, Vorm was held firm under pressure from Perez and substitute Adam Armstrong as Spurs secured their semi-final spot.
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