Hatem Ben Arfa

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

When Hatem Ben Arfa was fouled in the box by Aaron Lennon to win a late penalty with the scores level against Tottenham, 52,385 supporters inside the ground held their breath.

But the Frenchman picked himself up, grabbed the ball and insisted that he would take the spot-kick despite the best efforts of Demba Ba. It was brave and could have been labelled stupid had he missed - but that thought never crossed his mind.

Having finished last season in sparkling form, Ben Arfa has carried his positive state of mind into the new campaign and had already produced several exciting dribbles before what turned out to be the match-winning moment.

From a short corner he exhanged passes with Cheick Tiote and surged into the area before his progress was unfairly halted, and he stepped up to send Brad Friedel the wrong way.

And, in his only interview following the opening day victory over Spurs, the Magpies number ten told nufc.co.uk: "I thought I could score and that's why I shot the penalty.

"I was sure I was going to score. I have confidence and I was sure I was going to score.

"I feel confident and the team are playing very well, so I'm very happy to play with this squad and this group because there are a lot of good players, and everybody is playing for the team.

"With everybody, we can do anything."

After playing for his country at Euro 2012 during the summer, Ben Arfa's pre-season preparations were disrupted and his only appearance ahead of the big kick-off came in a friendly at Hartlepool.

But the 25-year-old looked fit as he completed the 90 minutes against Spurs and will get more rest than many of his team-mates ahead of next weekend's trip to Chelsea as he serves a European ban when Newcastle face Atromitos on Thursday.

"I'm a little bit tired now but that's normal after a game for me," he said.

"But now I'm going to get some recovery. I can't play on Thursday because I'm suspended from when I was at Marseille, but I'm very happy to win today and I hope we can win against Chelsea as well.

"It's important to win the first game of the season for the confidence, and we won against a very big team so I think it's very good for us."

Saturday's game was a sell-out at the Sports Direct Arena. The only way to guarantee your seat for every home Premier League game this campaign is to buy a season ticket - click here