Goal of the day: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle) vs Bolton | inside World Soccer

A Hatem Ben Arfa wonder goal set Newcastle United on their way to a 2-0 home win over Bolton Wanderers and fired them into the thick of the race for Champions League qualification.

Newcastle player Hatem Ben Arfa scores against Bolton with a superb solo strike
Newcastle player Hatem Ben Arfa scores against Bolton with a superb solo strike

Photo: AP

While the opening 70 minutes was battle of defensive wits, Ben Arfa quickly changed that with a goal that will live long in the memories of those Newcastle fans present.

He picked up the ball from Yohan Cabaye deep inside his own half and lost Sam Ricketts with a turn and flick of his heels, leaving the Bolton defender on the floor.

In a split second, the Frenchman was sprinting past Mark Davies and Bolton central defenders David Wheater and Tim Ream came into view.

Ben Arfa's turn of pace took him past Ream, a delicate lifting of the ball with his toe taking him beyond the challenge of Wheater, who pulled out of his challenge for fear of committing a foul.

Ádám Bogdán did advance to quell the danger but Ben Arfa kept his composure before coolly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper in front of an ecstatic Gallowgate End.

Some might try to dismiss it as a fluke or a one-off, but Ben Arfa scored a similar goal against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup in January.

"You don't see many goals like that and there are only a handful of players who could score one," said Newcastle boss Alan Pardew. "It's a truly special goal.

"His first turn opened up the pitch a little bit, his speed has allowed him to run past one player and taken him past another.

"The last bit is probably the cleverest, lifting the ball slightly off the ground so the centre-half couldn't slide and make the tackle.

"Even the finish is typical Hatem, he doesn't panic, he just pokes it into the bottom corner."