Was twice saved by the woodwork in the first half, but could not prevent Defoe from firing home from point-blank range. Otherwise solid performance, but can be loose in his distribution.
Defoe had the beating of him throughout the second half, with the striker often finding space in behind the makeshift centre-back.
Struggled with the combination of Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker down his flank, with the pacey duo skipping past the Italian with ease. Was at fault for Defoe’s goal, with his failed clearance hitting off Krul before the striker fired home.
Looked solid on his return to first-team action following his Achilles injury that had seen him ruled out since December of last year. Troubled by Bale at times, but by no means left wanting.
Couldn’t cope with Gareth Bale and conceded the first yellow card of the game after just 15 minutes for needlessly chopping down the Welshman. Looked good going forward, but the same could not be said of his core defensive duties.
Gave a typically combative performance, yet will rue the early crunching tackle he put in on Walker, which seemed to aggravate the calf injury that had threatened to rule him of the game in the first place.
Nowhere near match fit, and it showed. The Frenchman was by no means poor but certainly wasn't at his best as he failed to make an impact on the game from the centre of midfield. Replaced after 70 minutes by Vurnon Anita.
H. Ben Arfa
After a quiet start to the afternoon, the Frenchman soon got a foothold in the game when he drifted into the middle from the right-hand side, proving problematic for both Sandro and Livermore. Drew the foul for the penalty before coolly stroking home to seal all three points.
A very quiet performance from last season’s star signing, with his team-mates taking on the goalscoring mantle.
Was far from productive during the first half but, unlike his attacking counterpart, was at least involved in the game. His work-rate paid off with a wonderful finish to open his account for the season and hand Newcastle an opening-day win.
Was largely untroubled throughout the game and couldn’t be held to account for either Ba's or Ben Arfa’s goals, with the Senegal striker given acres of space to pick his spot to seize the lead for Newcastle.
Never really tested by either Ba or Cisse during the game, with Newcastle’s one real chance resulting in their opening goal.
Threatened just as much as Lennon down the right flank and so often had the beating of Santon in one-on-one situations. Defensively sound overall, but will be disappointed with his headed clearance that led to Ba’s opener.
Was rarely troubled by Ben Arfa – primarily due to the wideman’s insistance on cutting into the middle of the park.
Named as captain for the afternoon, the Frenchman was untroubled by a toothless Newcastle attack in the opening hour, yet failed to close down Ba in time as the striker swept the ball beyond Friedel to give Newcastle a 1-0 lead.
A fairly anonymous performance in the middle of the park, with the young midfielder rarely impacting upon the game.
The Welshman looked dangerous as ever on the left and Danny Simpson was reduced to late fouls to try and prevent the 23-year-old getting the better of him. An ever-increasing presence in the air these days, Bale was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with a header, only to be denied by the bar.
After a lively start, the Iceland international failed to really get going in his central midfield role and quietened in the second-half. Was replaced with 20 minutes remaining by Van der Vaart.
Solid in the middle alongside Livermore, but did struggle with the pacey Ben Arfa, who looked dangerous through the middle.
The wideman was always available on the break and linked up well with Walker to cause Santon all sorts of problems. Found a good cross to tee up Bale late on in the first half, and his ball again led to Defoe’s equaliser, however, did give away the penalty which led to Ben Arfa's winner.
The England striker showed flashes of the brilliance which resulted in his winner for the national side in midweek. Had a great chance to open the scoring just before half-time after cutting in from the left, but couldn’t beat the post with his shot, however he wasn’t too be denied in the second half, as he temporarily drew his side level.