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West Ham United
18 August 2012
• St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 52385
D. Ba 55'
H. Ben Arfa 80'
J. Defoe 76'
FULL TIME: Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
A second-half that certainly belied the opening 45 minutes at Sports Direct Arena, with Alan Pardew's Newcastle getting off to a perfect start to the season with a 2-1 victory. Demba Ba's wonderful opener had been cancelled out by Jermain Defoe, but the lively Hatem Ben Arfa, who had proved a threat throughout, won and then converted a late penalty to secure all three points. Game on in the race for Europe, and with prolific striker Papiss Cisse's name not even mentioned during the game, it could be exciting times once again on Tyneside this season.
Tottenham were the better side in the first half but hit the woodwork from their best chances through Bale and Defoe. The second half was better from the home side but only a careless challenge from Lennon which conceded a penalty separated the sides after 90 minutes.
90' + 2'
Walker wins a free-kick in a dangerous area. Van der Vaart swings ball in from the right and Krul just about gets a hand on it. Assou-Ekotto sends the ball back into the box but the flag goes up for offside.
Spurs continue to probe in the Newcastle half but the two banks of four for the Magpies are standing firm.
AVB has thrown on young Harry Kane as Spurs look for a way back into the match. Big moment for the Spurs forward.
Gutierrez tries his luck from all of 40 yards with a looping volley. Argentine gets his shot on target but its a simple save for Friedel in the end.
Great delivery from a free-kick by van der Vaart but Krul comes diving out of his goal to clear with a double fisted punch.
Penalty Goal Hatem Ben Arfa
GOAL!!! Newcastle 2-1 Spurs (Ben Arfa)
Spot kick calmly dispatched by the Frenchman. Freidel dives the one way and Ben Arfa cooly slots it into the other.
Good decision. Lennon and van der Vaart sandwich Ben Arfa as he moves into the box and Martin Atkinson points to the spot!
PENALTY GIVEN TO NEWCASTLE!
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL!!! Newcastle 1-1 Spurs (Defoe)
Cross comes in from Lennon and Santon accidentally heads it at Krul, the keeper saves it onto the post,but Defoe is on hand and he bundles in off the post. Scrappy goal but Andre Villas-Boas won't mind one bit!
Shot comes in from Defoe from the edge of the area but Anita flings himself in the way of the shot.
Defoe takes an early shot but Krul gets down quickly to stop it at the near post. The ball looks to be rolling out for a corner but Taylor gets his head right down to the floor to nod it back to the keeper!
Big cheer rings out for Vernun Anita who makes his Newcastle debut, on for Yohan Cabaye.
That's what he was brought on for. Rafa van der Vaart picks out Lennon's dart into the box with a pin point pass but the wideman's touch and shot doesn't trouble Tim Krul.
Rafael van der Vaart
Meanwhile Alan Pardew's radio/walky-talky isn't working so members of his coaching staff are running up and down the stands to relay messages. Technology eh?
Andre Villas-Boas is urging his Tottenham charges to close down Newcastle in possession. Rafael van der Vaart's introduction is imminent.
Assou-Ekotto has a go from range which is well struck but equally well saved by Tim Krul.
Last season, Demba Ba's slow start to the season was attributed to his fasting during Ramadan. Well, as the holy month draws to a close on Eid weekend this time round, Demba Ba has shown no signs of wavering and pulled an absolute corker out of the bag to give Newcastle the lead. Toothless and lacking in ideas for much of the game, Sports Direct Arena has all of a sudden exploded into raptures with the Toon Army in full voice to celebrate the opening goal.
Alan Pardew has been sent from the dugout, for getting overly physical with the fourth referee. Naughty from Pardew that, he knows he's done wrong and walks off without much protest.
Goal Demba Ba
GOAL!!! Newcastle 1-0 Spurs
Pardew showing he has the midas touch! Ba peels off his marker who gets his header horribly wrong, takes one touch to control and strokes a curling effort into the far corner with his second. Sublime finish.
A change of system for Newcastle as they revert to the 4-3-3 formation we got used to seeing from them last season. Unfortunately for Demba Ba that means he gets pushed out wide with Cisse remaining up top alone.
Gareth Bale sprints down the pitch bypassing Newcastle players with ease down the left, but the Welshman couldn't put the brakes on quick enough and runs it out of play.
Hatem Ben Arfa does his best to muscle past Assou-Ekotto and into the box but the Spurs man stays strong to deny the Frenchman a way through.
Andrew Kennedy reports: Back underway on sunny Tyneside, with neither manager opting to make changes during the break. Alan Pardew will hope his full-backs can clamp down on Tottenham's free rein down the flanks. For Spurs, if they can maintain their attacking impetus and get the ball to Defoe a bit more, surely they will feel as if they can take all three points this evening.
Superb run from Aaron Lennon, skipping past two players before bursting into the box and playing a dangerous ball across the box looking for Defoe, but Danny Simpson intervenes. A couple of great dribbles from Lennon so far, looks in good shape.
Spurs get the second half under way!
Goal.com's Andrew Kennedy reports: The first-half draws to a close with the deadlock remaining unbroken in Saturday's evening kick off. After a quiet start, Tottenham have grown into the game and certainly look the strongest, with Defoe and Bale both hitting the woodwork, while Bale and Lennon have proved problematic down the flanks. Hatem Ben Arfa has looked the liveliest for the hosts, and Alan Pardew will hope Senegalese striking duo Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba will see more of the ball in the second 45.
45' + 2'
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
45' + 2'
HALF TIME: Newcastle 0-0 Spurs
Newcastle ending the half on a high. Simpson's cross from the right is headed just wide by Ba. Cabaye swings in the corner which is headed away by Walker.
Urgency from both sides is slowly fading as we edge closer to half time. Cries for handball as Assou-Ekotto tackles Ben Arfa but much to the displeasure of the home crowd, Martin Atkinson is having none of it.
Andrew Kennedy reports: Tottenham are getting closer, and this time its Gareth Bale who is denied by the woodwork. Aaron Lennon skips past Davide Santon with ease before standing the ball up at the backpost for his Welsh team-mate. Bale heads back across goal, and if his effort was six-inches lower, Spurs would have the lead.
Off the woodwork again! Aaron Lennon does brilliant turning one way and then the other to beat Santon and then lifts a great cross to the back post for Gareth Bale. The Welshman rises well but hits the crossbar with his header, unlucky! AVB is cursing his luck on the touchline.
Andrew Kennedy reports: He's been anonymous throughout the opening half hour, but Jermain Defoe all of sudden pops up with the best chance of the game. Cutting inside from the left-hand flank, the striker gets his shot just beyond Tim Krul but not the post, and Newcastle are able to clear. All square still in the north-east.
Off the post! Spurs go right down the other end through Sigurdsson, who has been heavily involved. The Icelandic midfielder plays in Defoe, who cuts inside Taylor but his shot hits the near post with Krul well beaten.
Promising attack from Newcastle breaks down and the ball rolls invitingly for Tiote to take a long punt. Unfortunately the ball sails as high and as wide as you could possibly imagine.
It's all getting a bit scrappy now, with both sides unable to string together attacks. Have seen very little of the front men of either side.
Free-kick from about 30 yards out is taken by Sigurdsson and aimed for the bottom left corner, well saved by Krul. The resulting corner comes to nothing for the visitors.
Inches from the opener. A smart turn from Ben Arfa penetrates the Spurs midfield, he then lays the ball off to Cisse, whose shot takes a deflection and trickles just wide of the post. Agonising for the hosts!
Yellow Card Sandro
Goal.com's Andrew Kennedy reports: A steady start at Sports Direct Arena, with Tottenham edging it attacking wise. Jermain Defoe has been quiet up top, but the biggest threat for the away side has come down the right-hand flank. Davide Santon has struggled with the combined threat of Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker, and any breakthrough looks likely to come from the pair.
Ben Arfa picks up the ball and decides to have a run at Spurs but Jake Livermore trips the Frenchman as he crosses the halfway line.The free-kick is over hit by Cabaye and goes straight for a goal kick. Newcastle cannot get the ball to Ba or Cisse.
Yellow Card Jake Livermore
New signing Vurnon Anita is getting ready on the sidelines as Tiote's injury situation is touch and go.
Yellow Card Danny Simpson
First booking of the game goes to Danny Simpson for a foul on Gareth Bale, no choice for the Newcastle man as Bale was galloping towards goal.
Teasing ball again from the right-hand side with Sigurdsson trying to pick out Defoe. Nothing comes of it but Spurs continue to probe in Newcastle's half.
Chance for Spurs! Lennon breaks down the right and finds Livermore on the edge of the area, the midfielder's touch is poor but it falls to Sigurdsson who slides into Krul as they both go for the ball. Flag goes up on the far side, wouldn't have counted anyway.
Tim Krul taking a real chance there! A poor touch from a back pass and Defoe is all over him like a rash. Martin Atkinson saw something wrong with Defoe's challenge, Newcastle free-kick.
Bad news for the Magpies. Cheick Tiote stays down after making a heavy challenge. The Ivorian is holding his groin but looks okay to continue.
Early pressure from Spurs. Walker takes on Santon on the right hand side and wins the corner, taken by Sigurdsson but cleared for another corner. Taken again by the new signing but Lennon scuffs his volley over.
Newcastle get us under way!
Excitement building on this glorious afternoon, not long to go now...
It's been 9 long years since Spurs picked up a league win in Newcastle., whereas Newcastle haven't won on the opening day since 2007. Draw anyone?
More from Andrew Kennedy: It's a gorgeous day on Tyneside, and a perfect evening to open the Premier League season. There are mixed expectations amongst the Geordie faithful, with some sceptical as to whether Pardew's men can repeat last season's heroics, while others see no reason as to why the Magpies can't push on and claim that Champions League spot. Perhaps the biggest uncertainties lie across the dugout and with new Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas. Luka Modric all but gone and still yet to sign a striker, Spurs will rely heavily on Sigurdsson and Bale this evening, and this game really is a hard one to call - but it sure has potential to be a cracker!
Cisse and Ba took it turns to provide the Magpies' goals last season with Ba prolific up until Christmas and Cisse scoring for fun since his arrival in January. I'm sure Alan Pardew doesn't mind who scores, as long as someone does.
Goal.com's Andrew Kennedy reporting from the Sports Direct Arena: Fabricio Coloccini may be missing for Alan Pardew as Newcastle welcome Tottenham to Sports Direct Arena for this evening's kick off, but it's largely good news on injury front of for the Magpies, with Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Ba and Cisse all shrugging off knocks to start. For Spurs, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon flank Gylfi Sigurdsson through the middle, with Jermain Defoe deployed as a lone striker.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Brad Friedel; Kyle Walker, William Gallas, Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto; Jake Livermore, Sandro; Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Gareth Bale; Jermain Defoe. Subs: Carlo Cudicini, Naughton, Jan Vertonghen, Jermaine Jenas, Rafael Van der Vaart, Andros Townsend, Harry Kane.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, James Perch, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse Subs: Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor, Mike Williamson, Vurnon Anita, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan, Shola Ameobi
Team news to follow shortly...
Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur. I'm Husmukh Kerai and I'll be your host for this afternoon's action live from the Sports Direct Arena!
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