HATEM Ben Arfa helped carry Newcastle United over the line at Old Trafford, according to Alan Pardew.
The forward was thrown on against Manchester United midway through the second half on Saturday with the score still goalless.
Yohan Cabaye put Newcastle into the lead in the 61st minute, and Ben Arfa helped the visitors keep their momentum during a nervous finale for manager Pardew.
And Pardew’s side held out to claim their first win at Old Trafford in more than four decades.
“It was a bit nervous for me,” Pardew told the Gazette. “We’d defended great up until then.
“Sometimes you can get on the back foot, and get too deep, but we didn’t.”
Ben Arfa – who frustrated Man United manager David Moyes late in the game as attempted to get the ball to Patrice Evra for a throw in – helped relieve the pressure on Newcastle’s back four.
“I thought Hatem had a big part to play in that last bit,” said Pardew.
“He was brilliant at keeping the ball, taking us up the pitch and giving us a rest.”
Ben Arfa hasn’t started a Premier League game since late October, but Pardew, speaking late last month, insisted that the 26-year-old would have a “big impact” between now and the end of the season.
“His attitude has come as no surprise to me,” said Pardew. “I’ve been with Hatem now since I have been here, and I would like to think he respects my decisions.
“I certainly respect his. I think that helps in his mind. He’s a character who is going to have a big impact on our season.”