"THE TIE IS FLYING": An Instant Reaction to Newcastle United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Newcastle United Manager Alan Pardew takes a seat in the stands after being sent from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at Sports Direct Arena on August 18, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

After a lackluster first half that saw Tottenham Hotspur hit the bar twice and dominate possession, Newcastle United came back in a big way in the second half, scoring on a brilliantly curled shot by Demba Ba, then on a Hatem Ben Arfa penalty just three minutes after Jermain Defoe equalized on a deflected shot on the other end. Ben Arfa was a standout, dribbling to and fro and eventually causing several Spurs players to commit fouls when they couldn't contain him.

A lingering storyline will no doubt be the fate of Alan Pardew, who was sent to the stands after he pushed the sideline official. Banishment to the owner's box wouldn't stop him from fist pumping like a champ, though, as his squad appears to be poised to build on last year's surprising finish.

In lieu of a binary Man of the Match poll, I've included a Google form to fill out. Give us your match ratings, and on Tuesday I'll summarize the results. Feel free to discuss your ratings and/or MotM pick in the comments.

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