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Ben Arfa: We have a chance

Hatem Ben Arfa is confident that Newcastle United can make it through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League after holding Anzhi Makhachkala to a goalless draw in Russia.

Last Updated: 08/03/13 at 21:20 Post Comment   

Hatem Ben Arfa: Confident Newcastle will make the Europa League quarter-finals

Hatem Ben Arfa: Confident Newcastle will make the Europa League quarter-finals

The Magpies were unable to grab an away goal in their first leg on Thursday night as Ben Arfa squandered one of the only chances in a tight game.

However, there were plenty of positives to take from a solid defensive performance on the artificial surface of the Luzhniki Stadium and the tie will now be decided at St James' Park next Thursday.

Ben Arfa told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: "We haven't lost and we have a great chance to qualify.

"I had a chance and I actually tried to chip it high over the keeper. I was aiming for more uplift, but on that pitch it isn't the same as on grass.

"I hope next game I get another chance and this time I'll score."

Ben Arfa was happy with how he coped with the testing conditions and he is now looking forward to the next few games.

He explained: "It was hard on the plastic pitch because it isn't easy on the knees.

"But that is the game and we had to play on it. Overall I feel good and I am very happy to be going back with the score level."

Ben Arfa added: "We were solid and we tried to keep the ball.

"But it was a night when we didn't have too many chances to score.

"I think 0-0 though is a good scoreline. We always prefer to score a goal or two of course.

"Yet this gives us a good chance to get through."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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