Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew hailed goal scorer Hatem Ben Arfa after their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

The Frenchman took it upon himself to drag them back into the game with 59 minutes played when he cut in from the left and smashed a right-foot shot high past keeper Brad Guzan and into the top corner.

Pardew said: "Hatem is a wonderfully-gifted footballer. I didn't actually realise it was his right foot until I just watched the replay because I didn't expect him to hit it with that power.

"He has got exceptional power in amongst all his technique and as I say, he has been our best player from the start of the season.

"In training, he is our best player and on the pitch, he is our best player at the minute.

"When we get three or four like that, we are a really, really good side. Unfortunately, we haven't at the moment, we have got one or two just below that."