Saturday, 18 September 2010

Everton 0 Newcastle 1: Ben Arfa's brilliant blast from the past


By Joe Bernstein

Talk of the Toon: Hatem Ben Arfa scores the winner

Everton fans booed their team off the pitch as Newcastle discovered a new hero who brought back memories of David Ginola.

France winger Hatem Ben Arfa marked his full debut with a sensational strike on the stroke of half-time after Newcastle had seen goalkeeper Steve Harper carried off on a stretcher.

Ben Arfa, who recently made his international bow, is on a season-long loan from Marseille but Newcastle have an �8million option to buy him after that. On this showing, manager Chris Hughton will not need asking twice. At times the No 37 appeared to have the ball glued to his foot.

'We had competition for him in the summer but the really pleasing thing was he was desperate to join us,' said Hughton. 'He has terrific ability and we have to try to fit him into a system where he can do the most damage.'

Where Newcastle were jubilant, Everton were abject misery. Tipped to be challenging for a Champions League place this season, they have yet to win and only West Ham are below them in the table.

Big blow: Steve Harper is injured following a challenge by Everton's Jermaine Beckford

Their all-round performance was pitiful save for a desperate late surge for an equaliser in injury-time that saw Yakubu hit a post and Marouane Fellaini miss from four yards.

After last weekend's heroics against Manchester United - two late goals to force a 3-3 draw - Moyes was angry at this hangover.

'I would have booed after that performance,' he said. 'I keep telling my players how good they are but it's time for them to stand up and be counted.Newcastle deserved the win. We didn't create any chances until after the 90 minutes.'

Grounded: Newcastle's Andy Carroll brushes off Everton's Phil Jagielka

Everton's afternoon was crystalised by Jermaine Beckford. The summer signing from Leeds was given the chance to play up front because of an injury to Tim Cahill but his only contribution in 45 minutes was to put Harper out of the game and he was hooked at half-time by Moyes.

'It was a challenge [by Beckford] that didn't need to be made because Steve Harper was always getting their first,' said Hughton, who confirmed his player has suspected shoulder ligament damage and could be out for some time.

Having lost 2-0 at home against Blackpool, Hughton gambled with an attacking line-up featuring Ben Arfa on the left. It worked a treat as Newcastle dominated.

Wayne Routledge missed with a free header after nine minutes but even after Harper had been replaced by Dutch rookie Tim Krull, Newcastle remained on top.

Ben Arfa, who likes to dribble at every opportunity a la Ginola, chose a more direct route for once to stunning effect after 45 minutes. Collecting a pass from Routledge, he cut inside Holland's World Cup finalist John Heitinga and unleashed a 20-yard drive that curled beautifully away from Tim Howard.

Moyes's response was to make two changes at the interval and one of the substitutes, Seamus Coleman, was lucky not to concede a penalty when he pulled down Kevin Nolan.

Stripe tease: Newcastle's Joey Barton (left) takes on Leon Osman

Fellaini earned his customary yellow card as home frustrations grew but they still almost nicked a point in injury-time.

Yakubu hit the post from four yards with the ball bouncing back into the arms of Krull. Then, Fellaini was not decisive enough from the same distance and allowed Fabricio Coloccini to get a tremendous late block.

source: dailymail


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