Those setbacks only served to deepen the gloom that followed Rafael Benitez's departure, but Newcastle produced a superb away performance as Spurs suffered an early slip up in the 2019-20 season.
Tottenham were behind for much of their opening 3-1 win over Aston Villa but were unable to produce a similar turnaround this time, though the hosts were controversially denied a penalty after Jamaal Lascelles appeared to impede Harry Kane.
3 - Joelinton is the third Brazilian player to have scored for Newcastle in the Premier League, following Kenedy and Caçapa. Samba. pic.twitter.com/AktV1FrNHG— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 25, 2019
Newcastle suffered an early blow when Allan Saint-Maximin limped off with a hamstring injury while wastefully running the ball out of play during a free-kick routine.
The visitors were then fortunate not to concede a penalty when Fabian Schar appeared to bring down the returning Son Heung-min.
However, Tottenham's defence failed to heed the warning of Sean Longstaff forcing Hugo Lloris to tip over, allowing Joelinton too much space to collect a Christian Atsu cross as Newcastle's record signing confidently fired in from close range.
Son stung the palms of Martin Dubravka with a half-volley and then dragged another effort wide before Lucas Moura miskicked a chance to equalise with the goal at his mercy.
A last-ditch tackle from Schar prevented Erik Lamela from levelling from Son's deflected effort and Spurs were apoplectic when Lascelles fell to the ground and took Kane with him, only for referee Mike Dean to reject shouts for a penalty and have VAR back him up.
Lucas and Kane both spurned glorious late opportunities for Tottenham as Newcastle held on for a result that should serve as a much-needed morale boost.
What does it mean? Fortune favours Newcastle
Some may believe Bruce was handed a poisoned chalice succeeding Benitez amid a fan revolt. However, with Tottenham having two strong penalty claims dismissed, luck was firmly on his side as he got off the mark with his boyhood club.
Joelinton up and running
While Saint-Maximin's chance to repay the reported £16million fee Newcastle paid for him lasted only 17 minutes, Joelinton at least briefly silenced those who questioned his £40m arrival with an impressive display. He took his goal brilliantly and was pivotal in Newcastle's defensive effort.
Shot-shy Spurs well short
Saved by VAR last time out at Manchester City, Spurs will be bemoaning it after this defeat. In reality, though, their attacking effort was well short of what was needed to break down Newcastle.
Key Opta facts
- Newcastle have won more games (22) and scored more goals (74) against Tottenham than any other Premier League team.
- Mauricio Pochettino marked his 500th match as a manager in all competitions (W231 D112 L157) with his first defeat against Newcastle since May 2016 (1-5).
- Steve Bruce recorded his first away win against Spurs in the Premier League, ending a run of nine games without victory (D2 L7).
- Harry Kane has scored in just two of his nine Premier League appearances against Newcastle. He had the fewest touches of any Spurs player to start Sunday's match (24).
- Tottenham had 79.8 per cent possession, the second highest figure for a losing side in the Premier League since 2003-04, behind only Liverpool's 80.4 per cent against Burnley in August 2016.