It was a very important win today for Newcastle, as they kept their 6th clean sheet in 18 league games, with a nice 2-0 win at the Reebok Stadium.
Ben Arfa – after scoring Newcastle’s first goal today
And the all important breakthrough goal was scored by Hatem Ben Arfa, who came on after 61 minutes for Leon Best.
Alan Pardew had been holding the French international back a little, to ensure he comes back into form and back into the swing of things nice and easy, after his double leg fracture of last year.
And Ben Arfa scored the all important goal with an excellent first time left footed shot today, from a perfect Ryan Taylor cross from the left wing on 69 minutes.
And Alan Pardew had this to say about the French International today:
“Hatem is still on a long road back. He had a terrible injury and he still isn’t at his best, I promise you”
“You could almost sense it was made for Hatem Ben Arfa today,” “We got in between their lines, create a cross and once it landed on that left-foot of his you knew it was only going one way.”
“Hatem is still on a long road back. He had a terrible injury and he still isn’t at his best, I promise you.”
“I’ve seen enough of him to know that at the moment he’s limited to cameos for us but that’s the sort of cameo that will give him belief on the training ground to get back to his very best.”
There were over 4,000 Newcastle fans who traveled to Bolton for the game today, and it made all the difference, and after the game Ben Arfa thanked the Newcastle fans for their support.
And it was appropriate that both Newcastle goals in the 69th minute and two minutes later though Demba Ba, for his 14th league goal of the season, were in front of the traveling Geordie support, and as soon as Ben Arfa scored he hailed the Newcastle fans.
Ben Arfa talked after the game and said he felt just great:
“I was very happy to be on the pitch and to score that goal. It feels great.” “I think I’m just coming near to 100 per cent after my injury.”
“I feel sharp and I feel good.” “And I’m really happy because the fans are behind me and supporting me, which is important to me.”
“I was very surprised when I came out of the tunnel to see that 4,000 fans were here to support us, but I think it’s a great thing.”
“I just hope that the goals are going to come one after another now,” “It was important to get a win today because the next game is going to be very hard and very important.”
“It’s a good start.” “The atmosphere at Anfield is very special but the most important thing will not be the ground – it will be the three points.”
Newcastle with 30 points from 18 games are just one point behind Liverpool, after Liverpool could only draw 1-1 with bottom side Blackburn at Anfield this afternoon, so there is a chance Newcastle can get something out of the game on Friday night.
The first goal will be important, and there’s now reason why the lads cannot take at least a point at Anfield, and a win will now take Newcastle 2 points above Liverpool into 6th place.