Pardew hails 'magnificent' Ben Arfa

15 September 2013 10:01

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew felt Hatem Ben Arfa was fully deserving of any praise coming his way after the France midfielder helped the Magpies secure a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Ben Arfa was once again key for the Tyneside outfit as their steady improvement this season continued in the Barclays Premier League clash at Villa Park.

He opened the scoring from close range in the 18th minute and then, after Christian Benteke's headed equaliser in the 67th, drilled a 73rd-minute shot which was parried by Brad Guzan, who saw substitute Yoan Gouffran arrive in space to convert the loose ball.

Ben Arfa had netted a spectacular winner in Newcastle's last outing, a 1-0 triumph at home against Fulham, although after that game Pardew was keen to stress the 26-year-old had put in a very mixed performance.

But following the final whistle at Villa, the manager said of Ben Arfa: "He was brilliant.

"I think people will have been thrilled by him today.

"He was magnificent, unplayable really.

"I thought the (positive) reaction (from other people) to his performance last time was slightly over the top, but I don't think it can be this week.

"He really was very, very good."

There has been plenty of talk about doom and gloom around Newcastle after a summer that only yielded one signing in Loic Remy, captured on loan from QPR.

Source: PA