Hatem Ben Arfa was replaced last night with 20 minutes to go, when he was far and away, the best Newcastle player on the pitch.

The Fulham fans were pleased to see the back of the French star, and Toon fans couldn't believe it when the number ten flashed up on the board.

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Alan Pardew: “He was short of match fitness, and I thought he struggled in the early part of the game to pick up the pace.

“But he’s got great moments. He was tiring, and I had to remove him.

“It was a terrific goal, and that’s what he can create.

“I was pleased with our attacking performance.

“I thought we really did create some great chances, and on another night we could have scored two or three goals.

“But it wasn’t to be. I was disappointed for the players – I thought they gave everything.

“It was just a couple of mistakes – like at Stoke – that cost us.”