Newcastle unveil Premier League’s most lethal duo

Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba make the Toon Army geniune Top 4 contenders

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admitted he was hanging his head in shame after angrily pushing a linesman during his side's 2-1 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

That is the only thing he will regret as at the end of the first day of matches in the new Premier League season in England, Newcastle boasted the most lethal striker and the most dangerous midfielder.

Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa turned a game the Magpies were out of for large parts, on sheer genius.

Pardew had urged his players to keep their cool on the opening day of the season and even appealed for them to show some of the spirit of the Olympic Games.

But all his good intentions went to waste when he was sent to the stands for his angry confrontation with the official.

"There's me telling my players to behave themselves and follow the Olympic spirit and be humble, and they did it except for me," said Pardew.

"It was a stupid moment - the linesman just happened to be standing right in front of me when I thought the ball was out, and I gave him a little shove. I have apologised and I can't turn the clock back, so I will have to take my punishment."

Midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa kept his nerve to score the late penalty that secured the win for Newcastle and condemned Andre Villas-Boas to defeat in his first match as Tottenham manager.

After a dismal eight-month spell at Chelsea ended with his sacking last season, Villas-Boas is back in the Premier League with a point to prove.

But the young Portuguese coach, a surprise appointment following Harry Redknapp's dismissal at the end of last season, will need to get more from his players than they delivered in an inconsistent display at St James' Park.

Senegal striker Demba Ba had put Newcastle ahead with a superb goal early in the second half and, although Jermain Defoe grabbed an equaliser, it was France international Ben Arfa who won and converted the crucial late penalty.

Villas-Boas admitted the result was "hard to take".

"I think our first half was really good with the amount of chances we created, and in the second half we had the same consistency but Demba Ba made the most of that split second with an excellent goal," said Villas-Boas.

"We came back into it playing good, attacking football and we got the momentum back at 1-1 and it's a shame we couldn't keep it. It is obviously hard to take but the manner of the performance eases our pain a little bit."

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