Spurs, overwhelmingly the better team in the first half, paid dearly through two bits of individual brilliance from the Toons. First, came Demba Ba's scintillating goal and then Van Der Vaart and Aaron Lennon were left defending Hatem Ben Arfa who was in the mood to make both pay when he made his run to the edge of the box. Dreadful inevitability. The winger was brought down and Martin Atkinson had no hesitation pointing to the spot.
The only decision to be made was whether it would be Ba or Arfa taking the spot kick. Arfa clearly had the upper hand in the matter and he struck it sweetly for the Newcastle winner leaving an egg for Andre Villa-Boas's debut. Minutes before, Spurs were able to counter Ba's goal with Defoe's putback after Tim Krul could not hold on cleanly to the striker's rather gentle header.
There was no Luka Modric whose transfer to Real Madrid is almost in the bag. The wantaway's agent is traveling to Madrid on Monday to finalize the personal terms of the contract. Both clubs are haggling on the add ons and bonuses to the £35 million figure that appears to be agreed upon. However, Spurs are holding back in no seeming rush as they also need replacements for Modric before the deal is finalized.
Joao Moutinho is a strong possibility although Porto themselves are playing hardball. Spurs are also looking to augment their strike force with Adebayor not agreeing to a permanent move and unsurprisingly Fernando Llorente, getting restless at Athletic Bilbao, is increasingly linked to White Hart Lane.