Bookings: Perch 59', Enrique 67', Nolan 69'
Substitutions: Krul for Harper 35', Gutierrez for Ben Arfa 84'
CHN Man of the Match: Ben Arfa
Not many people thought that the Toon would go into Goodison Park and snatch away a victory, though you can't really blame anybody for being skeptical following last week's abomination. Not only did Newcastle win, they were dominant in this game, save for a few stretches where The Toffees showed a little bit of life.
The headline of this match will be Hatem Ben Arfa's brilliant play, but the injury to Steve Harper (speculated to be a possible collar bone break, which would certainly keep him out for an extended period of time) casts a dark cloud over an otherwise cheery day. Tim Krul made a couple of very good stops, but he seemed a little eager at times. He'll need some support from that strong back line in the coming weeks - a back line that will certainly feature Sol Campbell as James Perch will have to serve a suspension for drawing his fifth yellow card already. Also receiving yellows were Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique, and both were easily avoidable. I'd even characterize them as stupid. The referee is always going to book players for strong dissent, and I don't think I've ever seen a foul reversed because a player was emphatic enough. Say your peace and walk away.
Anyway, back to Ben Arfa. On a day when Andy Carroll was non-existent on the offensive end, HBA showed us the creativity we've all been itching to see, and he combined well with Joey Barton and Jose Enrique to create a total of 9 chances on goal for the team by my count. They only finished on one of them, obviously, and we're lucky that the lack of finishing didn't end up being the main story. It was the finish, though, that will have everyone talking for a solid week. Higher quality versions of this video will surely be available shortly, but for now, just enjoy the brilliance of one Hatem Ben Arfa in his debutante match for NUFC: