French football resumed on Friday night and Hatem Ben Arfa was centre stage.
After a low key display for France against England, the former Newcastle winger was back to his best last night as Ligue 1 kicked off again for the first time since the Paris terrorist atrocities.
Though he didn’t get on the scoresheet himself, Hatem Ben Arfa was a key figure as Nice hammered second placed Lyon 3-0, a result which lifts relative minnows Nice into third place in the table.
Watching from the stands were representatives from Inter Milan, with Corriere Dello Sport reporting that the Italian giants are preparing a move for Hatem Ben Arfa, with the possibility of a bid in January but more likely waiting until the summer.
It was widely reported in the summer that Ben Arfa had only signed an initial one year contract and so Inter, or any other club, could potentially pick up the back to form playmaker for nothing if they wait.
Whilst Hatem Ben Arfa didn’t get on the scoresheet, another former Newcastle player did. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa put the ball into his own net just after half-time to give Nice a 2-0 lead and help them on the way to another three points.
The Nice fans held lit candles during a minute’s silence, with the French national anthem La Marseillaise played before the game at the Allianz Riviera.
The French government had announced on Tuesday that the weekend’s Ligue 1 fixtures would go ahead as planned, although away fans are banned for all games over the weekend.
All fans were throughly searched as they entered the stadium, with French clubs taking every precaution after what happened in Paris.