Halftime: Tottenham Hotspur 1, Newcastle United 1

Ian Walton

Gareth Bale's superb free kick was equaled by Yoan Gouffran's solid finish, and now the two sides are even at the break.

Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur head into the break even at 1-1 in an entertaining match that has featured plenty of back and forth action. Spurs got on the board first when Gareth Bale slotted a free kick in the bottom left right corner in the fifth minute. A lot of the talk in our Live Thread was about James Perch failing to jump on the wall, but that's really sort of unfair to Bale, who hit the ball perfectly, causing it to dip just past Tim Krul's reach.

The early portion of the half was dominated by Tottenham, but as the half wore on, the efforts of Papiss Cisse, Moussa Sissoko, and Yoan Gouffran up front began to pay dividends as the Toon found more space to work in midfield. It was Gouffran who finished off the goal for Newcastle, a real team effort that also benefited from some strong work by Jonas Gutierrez.

Newcastle must now slay their second half demons if they are to stay in this one and earn some points. They were able to do so last week against Chelsea, but if they collapse again today that will be seen as an anomaly. Perhaps a Cheik Tiote for Perch substitution could give NUFC the confidence they need in front of goal to withstand what will surely be a second-half onslaught.

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