Hatem Ben Arfa couldn’t wipe the smile off his face when his former manager at Paris Saint-Germain, Unai Emery, appeared to be agitated during Arsenal’s defeat to French side Rennes in the Europa League.
Ben Arfa said he wasn’t looking for revenge against Emery, whom he had a heated relationship with during their brief time at PSG, but the midfielder admitted he had a little chuckle at how frustrated the gaffer was once it appeared the match was getting away from Arsenal.
“My motivation was to play a solid match, to win and get ourselves into a good position to go through,” Ben Arfa, who celebrated his 32nd birthday during Thursday’s 3-1 win, said, according to the Guardian’s Paul Doyle. “That’s what was in my head. But I did see the same Emery, as agitated as ever. I looked over at him a few times and that made me laugh a little. He hasn’t changed.
“I told some friends before the match that my prediction was that we would win 3-1 or 4-1. We didn’t manage to get the fourth but my prediction was right.”
Ben Arfa’s time in Paris ended last summer. He featured in just 23 matches during his brief spell in the French capital and didn’t appear in a single fixture during the 2017-18 campaign, which prompted him to lodge a legal claim with which he was seeking millions in damages – related to bonuses that were not paid – for discrimination from the French side.
He went on to join Rennes in the summer and has gone on to find the back of the net five times while providing two assists in 18 Ligue 1 appearances.