London Energized by the return of manager Harry Redknapp to the dug-out, Tottenham routed visitors Newcastle 5-0 at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday.
After a whirlwind week during which Redknapp was cleared of tax fraud and became the overwhelming favorite to replace Fabio Capello as England manager, the Spurs manager looked on as his team put in a stellar performance that allowed it to keep pace with league leaders Manchester United.
A breathtaking opening half-hour marked by four assists from the invigorated Emmanuel Adebayor propelled Tottenham to a demolition of Alan Pardew's side at White Hart Lane.
Adebayor walked off the pitch the star man, scoring one and providing four assists for Louis Saha, who bagged a home debut brace, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Niko Kranjcar.
It took just three minutes for Spurs to find their rhythm as Adebayor surged into the box and played a great one-two with Niko Kranjcar to find himself closing in on goal. His low cross-cum-shot found its way beyond Tim Krul for the onrushing Assou-Ekotto to slide into an empty net.
Barely two minutes later Adebayor again got the better of Fabricio Coloccini and sent a superb teasing cross across the box from the right touchline. Arriving right on cue was Saha to superbly tuck away his first goal for the club, leaving Krul no chance from six yards.
The positive mood at White Hart Lane was exemplified by the home fans, who were intent to voice their dissatisfaction at the prospect of Redknapp leaving the club for the England national team role.
Chants of "Harry Redknapp - we want you to stay" were interrupted by scenes of celebration as the home team tormented their visitors in the opening 20 minutes, surging to a 3-0 lead.
Assou-Ekotto's pass down the left channel to Luka Modric opened up Newcastle once more and the midfielder fired a low cross into the feet of Adebayor.
The Togolese striker, not content with a brace of assists, cushioned the ball into Saha's path for the Frenchman to double his tally and move Spurs into a commanding position.
Alan Pardew's side did eventually get their house in order. Newcastle won a free kick in their attempt to claw a way back into the game and after Scott Parker was booked for a foul on the edge of his box, Demba Ba lashed his shot just wide of Brad Friedel's left-hand post.
But just as the Magpies looked to be gaining a foothold in the match, Spurs struck again.
Luka Modric won the ball off Danny Guthrie and launched another attack, sliding the ball left to Saha, who rolled Gareth Bale in behind the recovering Newcastle back-line.
Bale's low pass found Adebayor, who saw his shot saved by the legs of Krul. The rebound, though, dropped to the onrushing Kranjcar to slot past Krul and into the net.
Half an hour of football had been played and Spurs were 4-0 to the good.
Newcastle continued to carry disappointingly little threat and looked happier to deal with Pardew's half-time dressing down than the rampant Tottenham attack.
That was justified on the hour mark as Spurs added to the four they scored in the first half as their two strikers linked up once again. This time, Saha returned the favour to Adebayor.
Assou-Ekotto's deep cross was headed back across the box by Saha to the unplayable Adebayor to volley the ball past Krul.
The assist added to his two goals and was a suitable end to Saha's involvement – he was subbed minutes later to a fantastic ovation.
Predictably the game took on a more languid pace after the fifth goal. The disappointing forward line of Papiss Cisse and Ba never found its rhythm and the former was subbed for Dan Gosling as Pardew clearly looked to restrict the loss to just five goals.
That said, Gosling was guilty of missing an open goal with 15 minutes to play, flicking the ball over the bar following Friedel's excellent point blank save from Ba's header.
Spurs remained persistent in their hunt for further goals and Modric was unlucky with a drive from distance that stung the fingertips of Krul.
To Pardew's relief, the scoreline remained 5-0, but on reflection he will look at this game and wonder where it went wrong.
His team barely had time to rev their engines before they were behind and as Roberto Martinez will recall from the 9-1 thrashing they received at White Hart Lane two years ago, once Spurs build a head of steam, they are liable to steam-roll any opposition.
To be too despondent an away fan would be a waste of a fantastic season thus far. Trips to London have always been tricky and this will be filed under the same section of history.
For Tottenham and Redknapp, this game will provide more questions than answers. Performances like this do reinforce the suggestion that this is potentially a title-winning side. It may not be this season, but the home fans know – and said so through song – that with Redknapp at the helm, anything is possible.
Tottenham remain third in the league, five points behind United and four points behind Manchester City, who play Aston Villa on Sunday.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, bottom team Wigan moved to within a point of Bolton by beating their northwest neighbours 2-1, James McArthur scoring the winner in the 76th.
Blackburn stayed in the relegation zone despite winning 3-2 at home to QPR. Both teams are level on 21 points, however, along with fourth-bottom Wolverhampton Wanderers, who play West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Norwich climbed to eighth by rallying to a 3-2 win at Swansea, with Grant Holt scoring twice for the visitors, and Fulham beat Stoke 2-1.