PAPISS CISSE SCORED a fortuitous injury-time winner as Newcastle United edged in-form West Bromwich Albion 2-1 while Spurs beat Southampton by the same margin at St Mary’s.
Substitute Sammy Ameobi’s shot from the edge of the box flicked off Cisse’s back and wrong-footed visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster to give Alan Pardew’s side all three points at St James’ Park.
Demba Ba had claimed his seventh goal in nine starts to put the hosts ahead in the 35th minute, but Romelu Lukaku looked to have given the Baggies a point when he headed home Zoltan Gera’s cross 10 minutes into the second half.
The home side had the first real chance in the 14th minute when Shola Ameobi dug out a deep cross from the right that found Ba unmarked to flash a close-range header inches wide.
The visitors had a great chance to go ahead in the 26th minute when Graham Dorrans fed Lukaku, who was clean through on goal but saw his left-foot shot pushed away for a corner by the advancing Tim Krul. Shola Ameobi blazed a 32nd-minute chance into the upper tier before the hosts finally broke the deadlock three minutes later.
Krul’s long goal-kick was flicked into the box by Shola Ameobi and when Gareth McAuley made a mess of things, Ba nipped in to prod the ball past Foster.
After a slow start to the second half, Lukaku got the goal his performance deserved when he squeezed in between Santon and Fabricio Coloccini to nod home Gera’s centre from close range.
Markus Rosenborg came close to putting the visitors ahead on a number of occasions, but with a draw beckoning, Sammy Ameobi’s shot cannoned off Cisse and beat Foster to keep Newcastle’s fine home record on track.
In Southampton, goals from Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey saw them roar into the Champions League places.
Jay Rodriguez pulled a goal back in the second half for Southampton, who remain second from bottom after losing seven of their first nine matches on their return to the top flight.
Bale was returning to Southampton for the first time since he left the club to join in Spurs in 2007 and he needed just 15 minutes to show the home fans what they have been missing.
Tom Huddlestone supplied the assist with a cross that Bale directed past Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc with an emphatic header to mark his return to action after the birth of his first child in style.
Bale, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon were giving the Saints defence plenty of problems, and Bale and Defoe were both involved in Spurs’ second goal six minutes before half-time.
The Welshman freed Defoe and although the England striker’s shot lacked power, Southampton defender Jose Fonte stumbled as he attempted to clear the danger and Dempsey was able to bundle the ball home.
Tottenham coach Andre Villas Boas congratulates Gareth Bale at the final whistle. (PA Wire)
Andre Villas-Boas’ men had no trouble keeping the home side at bay in the first half but Southampton rallied in the second period.
Daniel Fox and Jason Puncheon both threatened the Spurs goal, before Maya Yoshida somehow contrived to miss from point-blank range, but the Saints’ pressure was rewarded in the 66th minute.
Fonte flicked a corner towards goal and although Brad Friedel got down to claw the ball away, Rodriguez was on hand to tuck the rebound home and register his first goal for the club.
The former Burnley forward came within inches of an equaliser moments later, only for his effort from the edge of the box to flash narrowly wide of the post.
Nigel Adkins’ side pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages but Spurs held firm to climb above Everton and arch rivals Arsenal in the Premier League standings.