Aston Villa (a) Premier League
18mins Remy made a great run down the left and pulled the ballback for Cisse at the near post but when the striker made a weak contact the ball fell perfectly for Ben Arfa to hammer the ball home left-footed from six yards out. 1-0
Half time: Villa 0 United 1
67mins A routine corner from the right was misjudged by Krul and after punching fresh air, Benteke was easily able to head past Santon on the line. 1-1
73mins Ben Arfa was allowed to cut across the box from the right again and his shot was poorly parried out by Guzan straight to Gouffran who side-footed into the empty net. 2-1
Full time: Villa 1 United 2
"That's what Newcastle teams should look like today and in Hatem Ben
Arfa he was sublime. He was doing things anybody would pay £50 to watch.
"Since Demba left we have not really had that many options but today we did. Remy did well, Cabaye did great, then you had the option of Gouffran or Marveaux to come off the bench, or Sammy Ameobi. It makes a hell of a difference.
"But we had the outstanding performance on the pitch today from Hatem Ben Arfa and our fans would have loved that. He holds onto it, he goes past two players in a moment, it is wonderful Ė if he can keep that concentration and play like that every week, we will be a fantastic team.
"When you are sitting in the dressing room you want to look around and think Ďweíll score goalsí. We used to look around at the back end of last season and think where are the goals coming from?
"Today though we had numerous chances and that is how it should be for
a Newcastle team.
"Our players can only aspire to what they achieved. We are not in a position to compete financially like they did because the game has changed dramatically.
"Their comments, we accept, itís OK. The only answer is to win games. My job is to get my team out there to win games as we did today.
"When you are manager of Newcastle, it is a bumpy ride. But you just
try to be consistent in your work and I try to be that.Ē
"We had our best players available today and anyone who was at the
game would say that when that happens we look a good team. If we can keep
them all fit then we can have a good season.
On the positive fan response to Cabaye:
"The fans who clapped him off the pitch would have been impressed, but those back home want to see him do it as well.Ē
On Ben Arfa:
Hatem Ben Arfa:
"We never got going in the first half, and you can't lose goals the way we did and expect to get something," Lambert said.
"We started the second half really well. But in the first half we lost a really poor goal, and I think the second one is even worse.
"We had got back into the game, and I think the momentum was with us.
"But we can't defend that way."
It's always good to get a result here. Their
ignorant, fickle fans and the events of May 2009 give wins at Villa Park an
extra resonance. Today was no exception but this one had an element of
surprise that made it even more special.