Trademark cool, calm and composed display from the young Dutchman who represents a formidable last line of defence for Alan Pardew's team.
The stage was set for him to give England head coach Fabio Capello a timely nudge with a polished performance at the heart of the Newcastle defence but he fluffed his lines by tripping Adebayor to hand Spurs a first-half penalty.
The former Manchester United man had his hands full with Gareth Bale but stuck to his defensive duties well enough to stifle the Welshman.
He might only be a makeshift left-back but he is still doing enough to deny Davide Santon a starting slot and he remains a potent threat at set-pieces.
The Newcastle skipper has been lead by example this season but let himself down by injudiciously playing his Yohan Cabaye and his team into trouble ahead of the Van der Vaart penalty.
There has never been any doubting his work-rate but the Argentine finally stopped flattering to deceive by expertly teeing up Demba Ba for Newcastle's first equaliser.
French international has won rave reviews this season but he the way he was caught out by Jake Livermore ahead of the penalty was a salutary lesson.
The combative Ivorian was back at his best as he dominated the exchanges in the midfield trenches and stopped Spurs getting into their stride.
The Frenchman did precious little to suggest that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was wrong to let him go last summer although he did go close with a long-range daisy-cutter.
That's now a dozen goals in his last 15 Premier League games from a striker with a habit of being in the right place at the right time.
No one could have been happier to see Ledley King limp off because he looked more than a match for Sebastian Bassong and raised his game with a hard-working performance.
The 40-year-old American showed that the old ones are still the best with a composed display and almost denied Demba Ba a point-blank equaliser.
Won just about everything in and around the Spurs penalty box and worked over-time to keep Newcastle at bay following King's departure.
This was his 300th start for Spurs but ended in heart-breaking fashion as the skipper limped off on the half-hour with a groin injury.
The former Sheffield United defender showed why he has a lot to learn before becoming a shoe-in for club and country with a industrious performance but both Newcastle goals came from his right-back zone.
He might have kept Obertan quiet but he was ragged in possession and should have done more as an attacking force.
Subdued. If there was no lesson to learn from this game it was that Harry Redknapp should resist from putting the Welshman on unfamiliar territory on the right wing where he looked uncomfortable before switching flanks.
It took the Croatian a while to get going but when he did get into the groove in the second half there was no stopping Spurs as he skippered the team following Ledley King's demise.
It might not have been spectacular but the midfielder was certainly solid enough to warrant a place in the Spurs side and paved the way Van der Vaart's penalty by pickpocketing Cabaye.
R. van der Vaart
He dispatched his penalty brilliantly but then squandered a glorious chance as he flitted in and out of the game before being replaced by Defoe in a masterstroke by Harry Redknapp.
He might have played a major part in Defoe's goal but the Newcastle old boy found himself over-shadowed by Tiote as he failed to make a point to the Toon Army
He started off like a house on fire and won his side a penalty when he looked up for it but faded badly after the second half when he looked at best peripheral. Unconvincing and probably unfit.
- 35 R. Elliot
The Italian could not have asked for a more pulsating introduction to the Premier League in an accomplished performance on his Newcastle debut after coming on as a second-half sub.
H. Ben Arfa
His neat foot-work pushed Spurs onto the back foot when he came on as a second-half substitute.
- 15 D. Gosling
- 22 S. Marveaux
- 11 P. Løvenkrands
Supersub saved the day with a spectacular equaliser.
- 23 C. Cudicini
He had a tough act to follow when Ledley King went off but after a shaky start but he rose to the challenge of making up for his captain's absence.
- 25 D. Rose
- A. Townsend
- 17 G. dos Santos
The supersub made a point to Harry Redknapp after failing to make the first team and to Fabio Capello after losing his place in the England squad with a brilliant 20-yard effort.
Late substitute but failed to make an impact.