Ben Arfa torments Villa! Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle

Gouffran celebrates scoring the winner
Gouffran celebrates scoring the winner
Hatem Ben Arfa put in another eye-catching performance as Newcastle recorded a first away league win of the season at only the second attempt.

Ben Arfa scored one and set up another as United emerged 2-1 victors at Villa Park, with Ben Arfa proving to be tormentor in chief for Paul Lambert’s men.

The away side started brightly and looked the more assured of the two sides in the opening exchanges. United were keeping the ball well and made the most of facing a Villa side which looked disjointed and who struggled to get back into the swing of things after the international break. That resulted in United taking an 18th minute lead when Loic Remy surged past Matt Lowton on the left and crossed for Papiss Cisse who helped the ball on for Hatem Ben Arfa to apply the finish from six yards out.

We could have added more through half chances for Remy, Cabaye and Cisse along with having appeals for a penalty waved away by Mike Dean but it wasn’t to be whilst Villa fudged two decent chances through Ciaran Clark and Andreas Weimann ensuring the away side held the half-time advantage.

Paul Lambert must have had something to say during the interval as his side applied the pressure in second period. Gabriel Agbonlahor saw an effort deflected wide before missing a guilt-edged chance from just six yards out following good work from Lowton and Weimann on the right.

It took until 67 minutes for the Villa pressure to pay off after an error of judgement from Tim Krul saw him fail to claim a corner from Ashley Westwood allowing Christian Benteke to nod home into an unguarded net from eight yards out.

That goal woke the Villa Park faithful up although thankfully it was only for a brief period. United always looked threatening in attack and once again it was Ben Arfa who proved to be the key to unlock the three points as he sauntered in from the left before firing at goal only to see Brad Guzan spill the ball into the path of Yoan Gouffran who fired in the rebound to restore the lead for the away side.

Papiss Cisse headed narrowly wide and Cheik Tiote had a long range effort saved but Villa rarely threatened to equalise again and United comfortably held on to the final whistle to grab three points in an impressive showing far beyond my own lowly expectations.

Howay the lads!

Aston Villa: Brad Guzan, Matt Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Jores Okore, Antonio Luna, Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph, Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann

Subs: Jed Steer, Ciaran Clark, Lenadro Bacuna, Nicklas Helenius, Yacouba Sylla, Aleksander Tonev, Libor Kozak

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Fabricio Coloccini, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye; Loic Remy, Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa

Subs: Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor, Cheik Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Yoan Gouffran

Attendance: 37,554

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

158 thoughts on “Ben Arfa torments Villa! Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle

  1. Bugger! Just posted on the other thread. So I’ll cut and paste (and edit irrelevant asides).

    From what I’ve see in the last 2 and a bit games, there are many changes evident in the team: better pressing of the opposition is the biggest one, more football on the ground is also clear, but the defence is better organised – they ‘cluster’ around strikers, press more, full backs are not as advanced, Sissoko is more defensive, the wide men do their share without falling too far back. And there’s more pace, thanks to Mbiwa. I like the tactic of Ben Arfa hugging the touchline in the latter stages and attacking the defence – that particular move has been very effective. Cabaye was more advanced yesterday. Generally, there’s better movement all over the park, and much more energy. The midfield is holding the ball better.

    These are all coaching/tactical things that go beyond simplistic number crunching formationsand I think Pardew should get some credit for them.

    I think Santon has had two excellent games, as has Mbiwa. I like the look of Remy, and Gouffran has been a very good substitute. Sissoko is finding his role in the game, and he works well with Anita. Colo is as steady as ever. Cisse still has some work to do.

    Only 2 in a row I know, but there are good signs. Here’s to everything and everybody progressing.


  2. Its pretty awesome what a win can do for fans optimism like 😀

    I think Debuchy deserves a shout for how well he done as he has got alot of stick on here. He made more successful tackles (6/8) than our other 3 defenders combined. He also won more headers than any other defender. He had a pretty good game like.

    I have seen a few people mention it already but it might be time for Cisse to get dropped as our other forwards add alot more to the team than he does. He was better yesterday but still not good enough.

    One thing i really liked about the game was when there was about 10 minutes to go. we retained the ball very well with some neat and tidy passing and running it into the corners when needed. Makes a change from our usual frantic defending to hold a lead.


  3. At the start of last season we weren’t that horrific. We never looked anywhere near as good as the end of the previous season but we had some players in form (Ba, Arfa, Santon) and some absolute dog ****e (Cisse, Cabs, Jonas) with some half decent performances but a lot of crap, which steadily got worse and worse and but for a brief bit in Jan never really healed.

    I don’t think we really have any characters who can step up and take a hold of a bad situation or “stop the rot” as it is, not Pardew and none of the players. Colo can’t do it, we all know it. Look at his deputies, people pointed to Taylor and Cabaye. Taylor bottles it and clearly can’t hack it and if Cabayes performances last year didn’t show his lack of commitment then his efforts in the summer surely did. Our hopes lie with Sissoko and Mbiwa for the future I think. That issue does worry me as I’m not sure Pardew has learned how to do it, more we scraped by and then got the chance of a fresh start. Hopefully we can build some momentum, form and confidence, they are absolutely key and they make average footballers into great ones.

    Wins against Hull and Leeds will make this a pretty excellent start to the season results wise.


  4. Santii-he was ok (hard to be as bad as he was versus City) and he made some very good tackles. But the tackle he did for the yellow was an absolute shocker. I’m still nervous every time he goes to ground, especially when they’re closing in on the penalty box. Luckily gabby wasn’t really at the races and didn’t cause him too much bother.


  5. Bris…Give Pardew credit 😯 I thought he only has an input into the team when we lose? apparently everytime we win or play well he’s been on the sick that week and the players have just trained on their own 😉


  6. Ritchie, you can’t coach genius into players you can only coach talent out. Mind you thank god HBA is a newcastle player


  7. Prem 😉
    It’s nice to be able to look forward to the next game with hopeful expectation rather than blind optimism…let’s see how long that lasts though :mrgreen:


  8. I’m waiting for Al Jaz to “hopefully” repeat the match as I missed the second half to go collect visitors from the airport….selfish ****as flying in on a match day 👿


  9. Prem, it’s not a matter of who would have missed out, it’s about who will be a competent replacement when injuries strike.


  10. By no means was it a breathtaking or spellbinding performance yesterday, but very good shift put in by the lads. As Bris has already highlighted, fantastic improvements in defence. For me, the only player who looked jittery was Krul, to be honest. Completely out of character for him… Oh well. Onward and upward I suppose…


  11. MOTD was crap, hardly any highlights..

    @Prem ppl arent crying for players just to be negative, even Pardew admits he would like 2 players at least. An injury to either Barfa or Remy and we’ll struggle.

    There are real signs this team can do some damage if we keep players fit and up for it. Looking forward to auld cabbage-face coming to Newcastle next week.


  12. Toonsy good read, im sure it must be a lot easier writing the match report after we have played some good footie and got a good result.
    All the players played their part but for me Benny was the difference, & im sure Luna was happy when the whistle went 😀 as Benny gave him a right run a round


  13. Well yesterday Pardew answered what he would do with a full compliment of players. Couldn’t believe how positive the team selection was. Lads put in a great shift. Wor Hatem was immense, and improved performances from all. Remy made a big difference and his influence was missed when he went off. Agree with Vegas’s assessment in 1. Well done Pardew and all the lads.


  14. Yesterday’s team is what we’ve all been crying out for. No Jonas, no Tiote and Sissoko deeper than Cabaye. We’re not stupid fans. We know our players’ strengths and weaknesses well. Maybe Pardew is sourcing ideas from this blog? 🙂

    Anyway, the best thing i read post-match was Cabaye’s comments, which basically said the team are happy in yesterday’s setup and it’s like it was in the season we finished 5th.

    After comments like that and performances like yesterday it would be ludicrous for Pardew to make changes. Let’s hope the same side takes on Hull at SJP.


  15. Big Dave, if Jonas finds his way back into the team after yesterday’s win then Pardew needs his heed looked at.
    Still, you’re only as good (or bad) as you’re last game. Pardew will have a cunning plan to outwit Hull City for sure…


  16. MM I can understand that all managers have their ever present players that they can count on, and while I have always thought highly of Jonas.
    But for me the team is better without him and I have always believed that the shirt is for you to win and yours to loss, and for me no player has lost the shirt yet, so the team should stay as is.


  17. who would rest Cisse next week for Gouffran?

    I would but at the same time Cisse might get a goal v Hull which may kick off his season 😕


  18. @Mark
    He was the weak link yesterday, unfortunately. But, I would start him. Cisse finding his first season form could be the difference between us just finishing mid-table, and us challenging for Europe again.


  19. Really enjoyed the win yesterday, nice early birthday pressie for Lewis who turns 23 today. Toonsy ,that has to feel better writing up a couple of wins in a row like.
    Pards picked a good positive team yesterday but it really was the Benny & Remy show to be frank .Although all the lads put in a shift ,we must not get carried away as lose either of those two early doors and we are very weak as the bench lacks anyone near their talent imo. Hopefully a face of equal talent will arrive in January to stop any possible rot setting in. Also think we are in big danger of losing Benny in jan if he keeps this up so simply must get him signed to an extension .


  20. Mark I have been toying with the idea of resting Cisse but I really do think that he will eventually find his shooting boots, and if we were to drop him it might make it even worse.
    I can remember Big Al talking about strikers can go through bad spells but he believes its better for the manager to keep faith with them.
    But there has to come a point were he would have to be dropped if he cant find his boots 😕


  21. Still wrapped with our flukey, Villa were ****, thank god for Benny, win.. winning breeds confidence and it has been in short supply of late…

    Oh and Troy from last thread…. baby steps mate, baby steps… we are not ready to be face book friends just yet.. please don’t stalk me over this.. 😯 😛


  22. @premandup

    that doesnt always work. I remember reading a story on Rooney who detests training, he apparently just goes thru the motions but is always a threat if he plays..


  23. Big Dave@20, I agree mate, we’d be well peeved having featured in a fantastic away win, only to be dropped the next game when one of the managers supposed favourites was once again fit.
    Hull at home will require a different tactical set up, with the onus more on the toon to make the running in the game, but the line up we had yesterday is well capable of doing the business at home I would imagine. Like the idea of the midfield giving it lowdy and chasing everything for 70 minutes, then Tiote coming on to add steel and see the game out.

    The next big challenge facing Pardew is to find a system which exploits the fact that clubs double (or in Fulham’s case treble) up on HBA. That Villa didn’t do it yesterday (or perhaps couldn’t) is what cost them the game, and was a naive tactic by the Villa manager.

    Just watched Dortmund absolutely mesmerize Hamburg with fast incisive passing movements in the final third of the field, I’d love to see the toon move the ball that quickly and incisively.


  24. I’m starting to like watching Anita pull the strings in midfield. He is doing a sort of Claude Makalele role for us. A little battler who steals the ball and then plays a simple pass to Sissoko to run with it, or to one of the outlets on the wing. That is sometimes what you need in a good side, Nicky Butt used to try hollywood passes and half the time they ended up in Row Z. It just gives possession straight back to the other side. But Anita is a clever little player, it’s no coincidence we look a better side with Anita and Sissoko in the centre.


  25. Finally finally Pardew picked the right players in the right formation. I thought we were excellent apart from the hapless Cisse. Surely Goffran is a better bet. I know Benny and Remy are getting the plaudits but the key for me is the energy in midfield with Anita and Sissoko. Phenomenal. And playing Cabaye further forward totally disrupted their style where Delph has been running the show. The amount of backpasses and desperate clearances were all caused by Cabaye closing down quickly near the centre circle.
    Hard to believe and smile restored 😛


  26. well thats what we want to see a bit of footy the way it should be played,now all we need is for pardew to shut his cake-hole about what we can and cannot do and get on with the job hes payed to do and cut the bull**** out


  27. Georgio@35, it is probably an indirect by-product of us having more umpf up front and hence less onus on the full backs to try and create something for us ?

    Having said that, I’d expect to see the same two full backs thinking they are Roberto Carlos and Maicon in the next home game, bombing forward !!! That’s what playing at home and a bit of confidence does for you !!

    The psycological lift of having game winners HBA, Cabaye AND Remy in the line-up was obviously good for team morale. Not to forget Pardew getting things pretty much spot on tactically. Well done to the lads !!


  28. A good result lads and it seems we’re now playing decent football. Missed the game yesterday as was in town but caught MOTD later on. I noticed that on the post match the “pundits” are very critical and very doom and gloom about us when we lose and then when we win they barely talk about us or even suggest we might do alright this season.


  29. Could be right MM! but I suspect Pardew has been at them about it. Needed doing and one of the reasons we were so poor defensively last season.

    Goffran for Cisse? What ya think?


  30. Sorry, was referring back to when Cisse first came. I remember a report coming out of the training ground that he was hitting the back of the net from everywhere. If that was true then what is he doing now? If he can’t hit a cow’s are with a banjo he should be dropped. If he is still giving it large in training we should stand by him.


  31. Icedog and Georgio, both spot on there.
    Two more back to back wins and we aint goona be able to sut Pardew up 😆 😆 😆

    Fair enough like, Pardew takes the **** so he should also take the plaudits. At the end of the day he couldn’t have managed it without Kinnochio’s influence..


  32. Premandup@41 of course we have to stick with him, the only other option through the middle is Super-Eagle Shola 😆


  33. well on the Goffran for Cisse debate,i would stick with cissie yes hes having a bad run things are just not coming off for him but strikers get bad runs he will come good a goal or two and it will flow again for him


  34. I say that Pardew needs to shoulder part of the blame for Cisse’s poor performances. Surely he can see that the blokes first touch stinks at the moment, and that he is physically not robust enough to hold off the centre half.

    Or perhaps Pardew just doesn’t want to tinker with Cisse’s general make-up, in the hope that he will eventually come good ? Cisse will eventually come good, it’s a question of us not fulfilling our ambitions because it’s a pity if the rest of the team are starting to show some semblence of form and unity, whilst our main striker is way out of form ?

    Still, at least we are putting in the effort !! ….

    Howay the lads !!


  35. MM i put it all down to pardew knocking cissie out of his stride,playing a c/f on the wing at one point for ffs and hes still harping back to Ba,think he should be looking at his own tactics with the players he has not talking about what we havent got its a team game not a one man game imo it just shows he has a one track mind and when injurys kick in hes lost,yes we lack a bit of depth thats when a good manager shows his talent,but imo he lacks it


  36. I was very surprised to get an away win at Villa. We our not always going to win games comfortably but a good win never the less. Hull next week and it looks a bit brighter in the table. Pardew please take note Jonas isn’t in the team and we our doing well. I will reserve my judgement for now, still early days.


  37. Stuart79@47, you could be onto something there mate… it’s worth a fiver bet I would say 😆

    Icedog@48, you’re right there, if the opposing clubs start doubling up on HBA then that is a lot of our attacking potency under control. Cisse was always a striker who swept up the half chances / difficult chances, without actually contributing much himself, with the spade work being done by his team-mates. Now we have HBA and Remy giving the opponents something to think about; AS LONG AS EVERYONE STAYS FIT i THINK IT COULD PERHAPS WORK: tHE clue to it all is having a stable midfield and attacking through the team, and despite the occasional defensive wobble we seemed to have that yesterday.


  38. Big Dave, or any other Twitterers out there, are there any shots of Fenwick’s window doing the rounds this morning ? 😆


  39. Rich – Did you not get the rules? They are really simple.

    If we lose its Pardew’s fault. 100% and nothing else.

    If we win its the players responsible 100% and nothing else 😉


  40. @MM

    I dont think he is as quick as i thought he would be or maybe he just didnt get into full sprint at any point yesterday but my god we might of actually of found a wide man with an end product.. 2 games and two assists (if you can count yesterdays as an assist?).

    Motd was terrible they showed about 5 highlights of the game and talked about it for 30 seconds then onto Stoke v Man City’s 0-0 which lasted about 3 times longer than our game. + i ****ing hate Shearer as a pundit like.


  41. You shouldn’t really download this stuff Santii … 😎 but try
    You will need to navigate to the right game.. hope it works..


  42. I wont Aussie 😉 😉 Cheers

    Just has the goal highlights but it does have the Napoli game which i wanted to see. I think this could be there year Hamsik has reached his best potential now.


  43. Sam Allardyce on SSN. “We threw away two points at Newcastle” Honestly is the man driven completely insane out of bitterness because we sacked the prick? He’s completely mental. Maybe Nolan should have scored but **** me Goofy’s chance was far more scorable, most of us said a draw was about right and maybe we should have nicked it but jesus christ 😕


  44. Santii @2 (I know that’s a long time ago but I’ve just got on) says its amazing what a win can do for the fans. For me the win was a bonus yesterday to be honest mate. The boost for me was the player selection and the formation from Pardew. I’ve been crying out for Pardew to go with that for ages now and that has been my frustration with him so far.
    So yes, hats off to Pardew for that and good to see him say its the way forward.
    Players who deserve a mention are Debuchy, MYM, Remy and Benny were the stand out individuals for me personally – with another solid display from Anita. I really love the look of that midfield 3 and if they stay fit could easily go on to be one of the best midfields in the league.
    Cisse was a real frustration again yesterday though for me. I desperately want him to have a good game and score himself a couple of goals, but the lad needs to work on STAYING ONSIDE!!.
    Happier times – so it must be nearly time for Ashley to **** that up soon 😆


  45. What is wrong with all of you. 👿

    Suddenly everyone is trying to give Pardew credit.

    Credit where credit is due……..and Pardew is not due any.

    He didn’t do anything that deserves credit.

    Why would you give him credit for picking a team most fans would have picked? Why would he get credit for:

    1) bringing on Tiote for Anita (i predicted this BEFORE the game!)
    2) taking off Remy (i also predicted this BEFORE the game!)

    The only substitution i got wrong was Cabaye being taken off instead of Ben Arfa.

    No, i can’t see the future. However I can tell you that nothing has changed and we’re still as badly managed as we have been.


  46. Aston Villa didn’t get going yesterday.

    They haven’t played properly since the first game of the season.

    They play better when they are away from home and they are the underdogs.

    They play counter attacking football but they didn’t play it yesterday. They were at home and they weren’t sure how to approach the game.


  47. @KK

    Tiote is more defensive than Anita and more of a physical presence good sub when we are trying to hold onto a lead….

    Remy is not yet fully match fit so of course most of us could see that sub happening it doesnt make you special… + that sub won us the game

    To say Pardew deserves no credit for our recent wins is pretty naive.

    Becuase we are giving Pardew credit does not mean that we all suddenly think he is Ferguson Reborn


  48. “IF” this momentum continues – whats are folks views on the upcoming demo’s?

    The same circumstance will exist – so if they abandon (which they should do) it will be an admission of reacting too quickly and thus proving their stupidity.

    If they still demo – again they prove their stupidity.

    So do the likes of Troy and Dave hope for failure to prove themselves right :mrgreen:


  49. I’m somewhere inbetween KK and the rest. I don’t think the formation and subs were anything amazing, but the tactical approach to the game was impressive.

    We started off well on the front foot and took advantage of Villa’s indecision. It’s a brave move away from home.

    You can say that any fan would have done the same, but that argument can be made for almost any managerial decision across the premier league. How often does a manager win a game through means that fans haven’t already considered? Not often I’d imagine


  50. Santii@57, maybe the lad needs a few more games under his belt ? If he doesn’t come up with the goods we’ll maybe be having Santone bombing past him ? 😆 😆 ..also not a bad option 🙂

    The big improvement is the move away from this slow shuffle shuffle laborious football. Passing the ball to HBA and Remy gives the midfield good attacking outlets, the same can’t be said for Cisse unfortunately who seems to be outmuscled far too easily.


  51. @Santii – 69

    ‘most of us could see that sub happening it doesnt make you special…’

    That’s exactly my point. Pardew didn’t do anything different to what you would have done or i would have done or most other fans would have done.

    Why would you give him credit for doing the obvious?

    ‘Tiote is more defensive than Anita and more of a physical presence good sub when we are trying to hold onto a lead….’

    How many times have we complained about Pardew going defensive with a one goal lead? We got away with it yesterday but it’s just completely silly. Your inviting pressure.


  52. KK – it’s ying and yang mate. I’m like Santii, in that just coz I am prepared to credit Pardew for his part he played yesterday, doesn’t mean that’s that. It simply means that having been critical of his tactics for months now, I’m fair enough to acknowledge him getting it right.


  53. Santii@69, Pardew takes the **** when the performance is bad, so he should take the credit when we win. I agree, none of us thinks he has transformed into a fantastic manager on the back of a great away win though..


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