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Barclays Premier League

St James' Park, Newcastle (ATT 52,385) 18th August 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: M Atkinson

Newcastle Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

Newcastle 2

D Ba (54)
H Ben Arfa (pen 80)

ft

Tottenham 1

J Defoe (76)

Losing start for Villas-Boas

Superb Ba strike and Ben Arfa penalty give Newcastle the points

Last Updated: 18/08/12 8:11pm

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Demba Ba: The Newcastle striker scored an excellent opening goal to give his side the lead

Demba Ba: The Newcastle striker scored an excellent opening goal to give his side the lead

Andre Villas-Boas was condemned to defeat in his first Premier League game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur as Newcastle United picked up a 2-1 win.

A super Demba Ba goal and a Hatem Ben Arfa penalty, both aided by defensive mistakes, sandwiched Jermain Defoe's equaliser as all the goals came in the second half at St James' Park.

Villas-Boas will be left a little confused as to how his team lost after his tactics of a three-man central midfield allowed Spurs to dominate for the majority of the encounter.

But Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who was sent to the stands in the second half for pushing a referee's assistant, got the winning start he wanted to build on last season's fifth-placed finish.

Man of the match: Demba Ba was a willing runner on limited service and also scored an excellent goal
Goal of the match: Demba Ba's opening strike was a beautifully-placed, curling effort which gave Brad Friedel no chance.

Moment of the match: Just four minutes after getting back into the game, Tottenham shot themselves in the foot by Aaron Lennon's foul for a penalty on Hatem Ben Arfa.
Controversy of the match: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was sent to the stands in the second half for pushing a referee's assistant.
Talking point: Andre Villas-Boas' tactics worked. Tottenham were simply undone by poor defending to give away both goals.

Tottenham had looked sharper in the first period and were desperately unlucky not to take some kind of lead into the half-time break after both Defoe and Gareth Bale clattered shots against the woodwork.

Unfortunate

Defoe was sent through by a neat ball from Jake Livermore in the 33rd minute but fired against the base of Tim Krul's right-hand post, and three minutes later Bale headed powerfully against the bar from an Aaron Lennon cross.

While Pardew started with his new signings Vurnon Anita and Romain Amalfitano on the bench, Villas-Boas gave Gylfi Sigurdsson his debut and the ex-Swansea man was at the heart of most of the visitors' attacking moves.

The Icelander was a little unfortunate to be flagged offside in the eighth minute as Spurs started well, the striker getting on the end of Livermore's first ball into the box where he was thwarted by a brave challenge from Krul.

Steven Taylor swirled Newcastle's first chance high and wide from a left-wing set-piece, then the Magpies almost took a freak lead in the 22nd minute when Ba hit a weak, bobbling shot that took a touch off Papiss Cisse and almost deceived Brad Friedel.

Krul tipped a Sigurdsson free-kick round the post and Taylor had to be alert to head away the same player's resulting corner before Tottenham's best period saw them twice come agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock.

In the last action of the first half, the largely anonymous Cisse headed over but Spurs were again on top early in the second, Magpies defender James Perch making a superb interception to stop Defoe latching onto Lennon's cross in front of goal.

Delicious

But the home side snatched the lead against the run of play in the 55th minute when Danny Simpson's high ball into the box was only half headed clear by Kyle Walker, and Ba responded with a delicious curling shot high into the net from the corner of the box.

Spurs seemed a little clueless in response, Benoit Assou-Ekotto drilling a long-range effort which was parried by Krul, but the swing in momentum did not placate Pardew, who was sent to the stands on the hour for over-protesting a touchline incident. Newcastle made their first change in the 70th minute, new boy Anita replacing Yohan Cabaye, but Spurs were almost level within a minute, Defoe bursting through the static rearguard and hitting a low shot which was well parried by Krul.

Spurs grabbed their deserved equaliser in the 76th minute when Lennon crossed into a crowded box and Defoe wriggled free to fire past Krul at the second attempt after his initial header had been parried by the goalkeeper.

But the point only lasted four minutes before Aaron Lennon was rightly penalised for tripping Ben Arfa in the left side of the box, and the Frenchman picked himself up to send Friedel the wrong way from the spot.

Jonas Gutierrez almost extended Newcastle's lead with an ambitious looping effort which Friedel tipped over the bar, while Spurs' increasingly desperate final forward forays lacked the sharpness to trouble Krul.

Newcastle UnitedTeam StatisticsTottenham Hotspur
2Goals1
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target4
2Shots off Target7
2Blocked Shots4
3Corners5
13Fouls9
3Offsides2
2Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
81.4Passing Success83
18Tackles17
83.3Tackles Success76.5
52Possession48
42.6Territorial Advantage57.4
404Total Passes371
16Total Crosses24
157Lost Balls141
46Recoveries60
54.41st Half Poss.45.6
502nd Half Poss.50

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 35 80
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 34 74
4 Arsenal 35 70
5 Everton 35 69
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 34 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 34 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 34 33
17 Norwich City 35 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

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