Everything had been going so well.
In a topsy-turvy season where Chelsea hover one point from relegation and Leicester sit top of the Premier League, a result like this shouldn’t really be a surprise. But then this was supposed to be a team that had shrugged off the Spurs image of old.
For the second year running a comfortable Tottenham lead was turned on its head by a Newcastle team seemingly out of sorts.
Dembele had been ruled out before the game but that just gave Pochettino the chance to show faith in yet another youth prospect, as Tom Carroll finally got his chance in the league.
Tottenham started brightly, first to every ball, defending from the front as Newcastle were unable to keep hold of possession. The chances came and went, Lamela having the best of them. Brimming with confidence after his hat-trick in midweek, it took two good saves from Elliot to keep him out – first from a snap shot on the edge of the penalty box, then tipping over from much closer range as the Argentine latched onto a Kane flick.
It didn’t take much longer for Spurs to get the goal their pressure merited. Eriksen whipped in the resulting corner and Eric Dier flicked a near post header towards goal. This time the Newcastle keeper could only deflect the ball into the top corner.
As half time arrived Pochettino would have been quite content if a little frustrated that his side only led by a single goal. All signs pointed to a comfortable three points.
The second half was a completely different story. Newcastle were much improved and Spurs looked unfocused and sluggish. Could it have been another hangover from playing in Europe on Thursday night?
The Tottenham left was a particular concern as Newcastle got in on a couple of occasions only to waste their opportunities. Both goals were to come down this side.
First Rose used his hand to stop a Newcastle cross, giving the visitors a free kick in a very dangerous position. The execution was scrappy but Mitrovic managed to poke the ball home, having only come on minutes earlier for the ineffectual Cisse.
The game looked to be heading for yet another stalemate.
As time ran out, Newcastle again got in down the Spurs left. This time it was Perez – another second half substitute – who took his opportunity, sneaking the ball past an unusually culpable Lloris.
This game was a big disappointment, especially with others faltering. After a tough run of games and some great performances, here was a lesson in not counting the points before they are won.
Still we mustn’t be to down-hearted. The team has improved immeasurably of late and one result, however disappointing, doesn’t change that.
It’s been a great run and it had to come to an end eventually. 14 games unbeaten. A fantastic achievement despite the irritatingly high number of draws. As time ran out here I was shouting at the television, cursing another draw. Be careful what you wish for.
Where did it go wrong on Sunday? Can Spurs bounce back next weekend? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.