Newcastle's Ben Arfa hands Villas-Boas debut defeat
NEWCASTLE, United Kingdom (AFP) - Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa kept his nerve to score the late penalty that handed Andre Villas-Boas a 2-1 defeat in his first match as Tottenham manager on Saturday.
After a dismal eight-month spell at Chelsea ended with his sacking last season, Villas-Boas is back in the Premier League with a point to prove.
But the young Portuguese coach, a surprise appointment following Harry Redknapp's dismissal at the end of last season, will need to get more from his players than they delivered in an inconsistent display at St James' Park.
Senegal striker Demba Ba put Newcastle ahead with a superb goal early in the second half and, although Jermain Defoe grabbed an equaliser, it was France international Ben Arfa who won and then converted the decisive penalty with 10 minutes remaining.