An explicable Jonjo Shelvey stamp and subsequent red card marred Newcastle United's return the Premier League.
With the game finely poised at 0-0 the Magpies skipper for the day stamped on Dele Alli and was rightly given his marching orders by Andre Marriner.
Shelvey now faces an automatic three-game ban for the offence, giving manager Rafa Benitez yet another headache after an already difficult summer to date.
The red handed the three points on the day on a plate to Spurs, who went on to net courtesy of Alli on the hour and Ben Davies ten minutes later.
From the off Florian Lejeuene was handed his United debut in the heart of defence, as too was Javier Manquillo at right-back.
Otherwise it was the team who guided the Magpies to the Championship title, with Jacob Murphy on the bench alongside loanee Mikel Merino.
United were forced into a defensive reshuffle within seven minutes of the off when Paul Dummett pulled up. He was replaced by Jamaal Lascelles with Ciaran Clark shifting out to the left.
The first chance of the game fell to England hitman Harry Kane, who saw a flicked header at goal saved low down by Rob Elliot as Spurs zipped the ball around in midfield.
Benitez's men were a threat on the break, though, with the pace of Christian Atsu causing problems down the left and Ayoze Perez finding pockets of space in behind.
United were forced into another change just after the half hour when Lejeune was chopped down by Kane, limping off down the tunnel after what had been a promising debut in black and white. Chancel Mbemba, who looked certain to leave the club this summer, was called into action off the bench.
Compact, organised and intent on hitting Spurs on the break, United did little to trouble Hugo Lloris in the opening 45 - the closest they came was courtesy of Dwight
Gayle whose snap shot was skewed wide of the Frenchman's goal.
The second 45 got off to a disastrous start for United with Jonjo Shelvey shown a red card for a stamp on Alli. Idiotic and needless from the man trusted with the United armband for the day.
Almost immediately Kane,with Spurs pushing, had a chance to record the opener - his close range shot was saved brilliantly by the sprawling figure of Irishman Elliot between the sticks for United.
It was a warning shot for United, and Spurs were in no mood to give them another.
Alli got on the end of a right wing cross on the hour mark to break the deadlock in front of the Leazes End.
From then on in it was a backs to the wall job for Benitez's United.
And it was 2-0 soon after when Ben Davies diverted home from close range as Spurs made the extra man count.
To stem the tide Benitez switched to three at the back and it seemed to work with United continuing to trouble on the break - Atsu went close hitting the side-netting with a low drive after a Perez flick on.
Clark also went close with time ticking away, but his volley from a corner was saved by Lloris as Spurs, who hit the post through Kane in the 90th minute, saw out time to get off to winning start on Tyneside.