HATEM BEN ARFA provided Alan Pardew with a reminder of his abilities as he scored a fine individual goal in Newcastle reserves’ 5-2 win over Reading yesterday afternoon.
Ben Arfa, who was making his first public appearance of the season after being frozen out of the first-team picture on Tyneside, beat three defenders on a slaloming run before slotting home Newcastle’s fourth goal of the afternoon at Whitley Park.
Having fallen two goals behind in the early stages of the game, the Magpies’ second string were level at the interval thanks to goals from Adam Armstrong and Sammy Ameobi.
With Pardew watching from the stands alongside managing director Lee Charnley, Armstrong fired Newcastle ahead before Ben Arfa produced a burst of brilliance to carve the Reading defence apart.
Armstrong completed his hat-trick when he raced clear of the Royals’ defence, but it was Ben Arfa who created the most powerful impression as he looks to get his career back on track.
Newcastle: Alnwick; Olley, Satka, Williams, Gillesphey; Bigirimana, Barlaser, Ben Arfa, Vuckic, Ameobi; Armstrong.