Ben Arfa banishes Bolton

Mon, 09 Apr 17:32:11 2012

Hatem Ben Arfa produced a moment of genius to set Newcastle on the way to a 2-0 win over Bolton, leaving the Magpies level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.

The Frenchman lit up a disjointed display by his side with a breathtaking 73rd-minute run and finish to finally break Bolton's stubborn resistance, who stay one point above the relegation zone.

Papiss Cisse made sure of the win seven minutes from time by converting substitute Shola Ameobi's cross - his 10th goal in nine appearances for the club - to take the Magpies to 59 points for the campaign, their best Barclays Premier League haul since the 2005-06 season.

In the first half, a Ben Arfa free kick was parried by Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan into team-mate Sam Ricketts, but the ball went wide to the relief of the visitors. The home side had Tim Krul to thank for keeping the scores level straight after the restart, as Chris Eagles side-stepped Fabricio Coloccini, but his close range shot was saved by the Dutchman.

A moment of magic was required to break the deadlock and Ben Arfa provided it 17 minutes before the end. He picked up the ball from Yohan Cabaye deep inside his own half before setting off on an unstoppable run which saw his slip away from Mark Davies and in between central defenders David Wheater and Tim Ream before nonchalantly poking a shot past the advancing Bogdan.

The game was over 10 minutes later when Shola Ameobi turned Ream wide on the right and sent a cross to the far post where Cisse, who looked suspiciously offside, tapped home his now customary goal.


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