'Red-hot' Cissé keeps Newcastle's dream warm
Swansea City 0 Newcastle United 2
Saturday 07 April 2012
There is no certainly love-lost between arch-rivals Newcastle and Sunderland, but for once, Alan Pardew admits the north-east will be united in praying for a victory for the men in red at the Stadium of Light today – to boost his side's hopes of reaching the Champions League.
Newcastle's Senegalese goal-machine Papiss Cissé pounced in either half by to firmly apply the pressure on fellow top-four contenders Tottenham, who face Sunderland, and Arsenal over the remainder of the weekend.
Following this comfortable victory in south Wales, the gap between Pardew's fifth-placed side and the north London duo now lies at just two points. Yet with Cissé in their ranks, the Toon Army's travelling supporters can start dreaming of a top-four place come the end of the season.
Pardew said: "It will be one of the first times we are all going to be pulling for Sunderland in our dressing room. So good luck to Martin and the boys up in the north-east. We will be hoping they can do us a favour.
"We have got ourselves in a position which elevates us in a greater form than we expected. But, with six just games to go, we can see the finishing line now."
Cissé struck in the fifth and 69th minute, superbly finishing following sublime passes from Yohan Cabaye at the Liberty Stadium as in-form Newcastle sealed their fourth successive Premier League win.
Pardew praised the striker who bagged his ninth goal in eight appearances following his £9m move from Freiburg.He said: "We have a guy in red-hot form in Cissé and that can set you apart.He was the difference between the two sides. I didn't think we were brilliant and were a little bit flat. But Cissé was electric.
"I thought his second goal had gone over the bar because it hovered in mid-air. He had a bit of back spin on that – it was a Masters shot!
"But he is someone with pedigree. He's not a mystery or somebody we have plucked from Borneo. He has a fantastic CV. His record in the Bundesliga in a struggling team was excellent."
This was Swansea's third defeat in a row – the first time that has happened since April 2004.
Loanee Gylfi Sigurdsson, attracting interest from Arsenal among other suitors after the Hoffenheim man was named as the Premier League's Player of the Month for March was once again the main dangerman for the home side, but even the Iceland midfielder could not beat the ultra-reliable Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Yet manager Brendan Rodgers insisted he did not regret the decision to start top goal-scorer Danny Graham and star winger Scott Sinclair on the bench.
Rodgers said: "I felt we were the better side, but we didn't score goals. Ultimately, that is what wins games."
Cissé's two goals left the Geordie faithful to walk into the early evening in south Wales singing, 'Papiss Cissé, he scores when he wants.' And they were spot on.
Booked: Swansea Williams. Newcastle Williamson
Man of the match Cissé
Match rating 7/10
Referee H Webb (S Yorkshire)
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