Alan Pardew hails Newcastle United’s ‘mesmerising’ Ben Arfa

Alan Pardew heaps praise on Hatem Ben Arfa after the midfielder's impressive display in Newcastle's 3-1 win over West Brom on Sunday

Alan Pardew has hailed Newcastle United’ Hatem Ben Arfa after the French midfielder’s “mesmerising” performance helped the Magpies to a 3-1 victory over West Bromich Albion on Sunday.

The 25-year-old scored a superb solo effort in between Papiss Cisse’s two goals to earn Newcastle three points towards their push for a top-five finish at the Hawthorns.

The former Lyon star has recovered from a horror leg-break against Manchester City last season, and Pardew feels Ben Arfa is finally producing his best form for the Magpies.

“I think he got the balance right [on Sunday] between working hard for the team and bringing his flair to the pitch,” said Pardew.

“I think last week he actually worked too hard against Norwich City, and it took a little bit away from his ability with the ball.

“I talked to him this week about getting that right and I thought [on Sunday] he was mesmerising with a couple of bits of his play. That run through the middle and the shot were just outstanding.”

Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson was pleased by West Brom’s reaction following a dismal first half showing, with half-time substitute Shane Long netting and the Baggies keep a clean sheet after the break.

“In the end, the only credit we can give ourselves, or the only solace we can take from the game, is that we did win the second half which is not always easy to do when you’re three goals down,” said Hodgson.

“That’s probably the task we set ourselves to at least win the second half. We knew it would be hard to get three or four goals.

“We won it so that we at least reduced the damage.”

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