Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham: Arsenal tenant Joe Willock dents Spurs’ top-four hopes with late equalizer

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Harry Kane’s failure to score a hat-trick was the reason Spurs did not win this game.

It’s phrases like the one above that will force the captain of England to leave North London. How long can the division’s main goalscorer try to mask the shortcomings of his teammates and manager Jose Mourinho?

By the way, Kane should have finished his hat-trick. When Spurs broke after 85 minutes, it looked like the striker was about to seal three points before his 12-yard shot kissed the base of the post.

A late equalizer from Joe Willock saw Newcastle claim a well-deserved run against Tottenham

A late equalizer from Joe Willock saw Newcastle claim a well-deserved run against Tottenham

The Arsenal lender was ready in the 85th minute to hit the ball from close range

The Arsenal lender was ready in the 85th minute to hit the ball from close range

The Arsenal lender was ready in the 85th minute to hit the ball from close range

Joelinton scored his first Newcastle goal since November with a cool finish to open the scoring

Joelinton scored his first Newcastle goal since November with a cool finish to open the scoring

Joelinton scored his first Newcastle goal since November with a cool finish to open the scoring

AGREEMENT AND REVIEWS

Newcastle (3-5-2): Dubravka 6; Krafth 5 (Willock 79, 7), Lascelles 6.5, Dummett 7; Murphy 7 (Manquillo 83), Almiron 6.5, Shelvey 6.5, S Longstaff 7, Ritchie 7.5; Joelinton 7, Gayle 6.5 (Saint-Maximin 71, 6.5)

Subs: Darlow, Clark, Lewis, Hendrick, M Longstaff, Anderson

Scorers: Joelinton 28, Willock 85

Bookings: Dummett, Shelvey, Almiron

Manager: Steve Bruce 6

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris 6.5; Tanganga 5, Sanchez 5, Rodon 5.5, Reguilon 5.5; Hojbjerg 5.5, Ndombele 7; Lo Celso 6 (Bale 88), Kane 8, Lucas 5 (Lamela 64, 5.5); Vinicius 5 (son 46, 6).

Subs: Heart, Animal, Winks, Sissoko, Dele, Lamela, Scarlett

Scorers: Kane 30 & 34

Bookings: Lo Celso, Tanganga

Manager: Jose Mourinho 6

MOTHER: Kane

Ref: C Pawson 7

His math error turned out to be much more expensive than missing the match ball when Newcastle claimed a deserved run just 52 seconds later via substitute Joe Willock.

The hosts were for the record unrecognizable from their surrender in Brighton two weeks ago.

On the other hand, running around, making tackles and having an occasional shot would have improved that fiasco.

But Spurs were lucky enough to come up with a draw, which is why Kane is in danger of wasting his peak years amid a team falling into disrepair under Mourinho, who once again bore the sour look of a man who simply no longer loves this company.

Kane didn’t hide his own frustration when he called their performance “sloppy,” because it must make him sick.

He scored twice at home against West Ham earlier this season, but Spurs gave up three times in eight minutes to decline the win. He also gave them control against Crystal Palace and Fulham, but again those in the back couldn’t protect their advantage.

Spurs have now lost 15 points from winning positions and 11 from goals conceded in the last 10 minutes.

It must be a terrifying watch for Kane across the park. Take, for example, Newcastle’s opening goal after 28 minutes.

Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie was the shortest man on the field, but both Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sanchez failed to navigate the failed distances past the winger.

The result was a loose ball that rushed to Sean Longstaff to knock off the unmarked Joelinton and send it home from 10 yards.

The defense felt like a fitting tribute to the return of Sunday morning football this weekend. But then again, that may be unfair to park players as they would have managed the industrial hoof that was needed here.

It says a lot about Newcastle’s vulnerability at this point that they fell behind within six minutes of taking a worthy lead.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane then responded with a five-minute brace to give Spurs the lead

Tottenham striker Harry Kane then responded with a five-minute brace to give Spurs the lead

Tottenham striker Harry Kane then responded with a five-minute brace to give Spurs the lead

Kane can of course do that to the best teams, let alone one as generous as the Magpies.

You were still scrolling back through the records looking for Joelinton’s last home goal – June, it turns out – when Kane leveled.

Emil Krafth made his best impression of a Spurs defender by knocking Giovani Lo Celso’s low cross right into Kane, whose body language suggested he had given up the opportunity. But a split second later, he was left with a two-meter tap.

His second was again due to a loose defense. Not in terms of finish, it has to be said. Kane’s low blow was a blast of class.

Newcastle goalscorer Joelinton had a golden opportunity to score in the second half, but missed

Newcastle goalscorer Joelinton had a golden opportunity to score in the second half, but missed

Newcastle goalscorer Joelinton had a golden opportunity to score in the second half, but missed

But Newcastle had given Tanguy Ndombele so much leeway to find his teammate that you’d think they weren’t judging the midfielder.

Ndombele accepted the invitation to let Kane slide clear and he did the rest from 12 yards for his 19th league goal of the season, driving above Mo Salah to the top of the scorecards.

But two goals never felt they were enough for the win – partly because of Newcastle’s renewed attacking ambition, but mostly because of the encouragement provided by a Spurs backline seemingly focused on self-harm.

So when Kane couldn’t line up his feet in the six-yard box fast enough after 73 minutes – which allowed goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to smother – and later when he hit the post, you guessed there would be a price to pay.

Willock's equalizing goal has put a dent in Spurs' top four and secured a point for the hosts

Willock's equalizing goal has put a dent in Spurs' top four and secured a point for the hosts

Willock’s equalizing goal has put a dent in Spurs’ top four and secured a point for the hosts

And so that moment began to unfold when Allan Saint-Maximin turned away from three Spurs jerseys in the middle of the park – surely one of them could have been a tactical mistake?

The substitute fed Ritchie on the left, and he was given too much space to measure a distant post. There was still a lot to do before a goal could be scored.

But when Joelinton got the upper hand from Sergio Reguilón to hit a header back and center-backs Sanchez and Joe Rodon collided in the goal, it left Willock with an easy finish at close range.

That’s not to say that Newcastle’s point was not hard-won and that it took on an even more beautiful complexion when Fulham lost at Aston Villa at the time. It releases them three from the bottom three, but with a record still indicating two wins out of 19 in the league.

Kane remained on the ground after hitting the post just before Willock's equalizing goal

Kane remained on the ground after hitting the post just before Willock's equalizing goal

Kane remained on the ground after hitting the post just before Willock’s equalizing goal

Bruce – who is lucky enough not to lose his job in the aftermath of the Brighton debacle – believes it will take one point per game to keep them in the division, and he’s probably right. However, that’s also an indication of how low the bar has fallen in St James’ Park.

Bruce’s former club Villa did him a favor by falling behind Fulham as the live table had Newcastle in the relegation zone for a 15-minute period.

As for favors, Kane should be doing herself like this one after another to opponents at the bottom of the form table. You get the feeling that he knows so much too.

Relive Sportsmail’s Ieuan Ivett’s live EPL coverage of Newcastle vs Tottenham, including score, lineups and build-up.