Hatem Ben Arfa would sacrifice goal for point

Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa says he is committed to the club.
Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa says he is committed to the club.

HATEM Ben Arfa insisted he’d have happily traded his goal for a point at the Emirates Stadium.

The Newcastle United forward was restored to the starting XI against Arsenal last night.

And he repaid Alan Pardew’s faith in him with well-taken goal.

However, Pardew’s side went on to lose 2-1. Robin van Persie quickly cancelled out his goal, and Thomas Vermaelen netted an injury-time winner.

Ben Arfa’s 14th-minute goal was about the only highlight for Newcastle, who were pegged back for almost the entire second half.

The 24-year-old was played in on the right by Gabriel Obertan and he took the ball on his left foot before beating Wojciech Szczesny at his near post.

But the lead was short-lived, with Van Persie equalising 55 seconds later.

Pardew’s side went on to spend much of the game on the back foot, but it took Arsene Wenger’s team until the fifth minute of injury time to break their stubborn resistence.

And Ben Arfa and his team-mates left the field mentally and physically drained.

“It was a good goal for me, but it doesn’t make up for not getting anything out of the game,” Ben Arfa told SportMail.

“We’re very disappointed to lose. We could have taken one or three points. After going 1-0 up, we conceded far too quickly, and we made it difficult for ourselves.

“Then they scored in the last minute, but we must keep our heads up. There are 10 games left, and we have to do the maximum to finish in a European place.”