LONDON, April 7 — Newcastle United’s red-hot striker Papiss Cisse struck twice to earn a smash-and-grab 2-0 win at Swansea City in the Premier League yesterday that lifted his side above Chelsea into fifth place.
The Senegal international, fast becoming one of the best signings of the season after arriving from Bundesliga strugglers Freiburg in January, scored in each half to give Alan Pardew’s team 56 points from 32 matches.
“He was our best player today, of all our flair players he was the one who was really on his game,” Pardew told Sky Sports. “We are lucky to have him and he deserved to be named man of the match.
“As a team we were flat today, some of our flair players lacked a bit of energy but we have a lot of discipline and camaraderie in this group.”
Chelsea (53 points), who play holders Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals later this month, can go back above Newcastle on goal difference by winning at home to second from bottom Wigan Athletic today.
Tottenham Hotspur, in the fourth and final Champions Leaguequalification spot on 58 points, visit Sunderland also today.
Leaders Manchester United (76 points) host Queens Park Rangers on Sunday when second-placed Manchester City (71) visit Arsenal (58) who are in third position.
Cisse opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he picked up an excellent pass from Yohan Cabaye and fired a low shot past Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Swansea, who are 11th in the 20-team table, controlled possession with their slick-passing style but could not find a way pastNewcastle keeper Tim Krul.
Cisse went close to a second goal in the 65th minute when he sent a fierce low drive whistling past Vorm’s right-hand post.
The Senegalese then put the game beyond Swansea with a delightful strike four minutes later.
Cisse received the ball from Cabaye in an awkward position 15m out but he showed great dexterity to get it out from under his feet and deliver a pinpoint chip that sailed over Vorm into the net.
It was his sixth goal in his last three league appearance and his ninth in eight matches for Newcastle who have now reeled off four league victories in a row.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers was frustrated his team failed to make the most of their dominant display.
“I thought we totally outplayed Newcastle and the only thing we couldn’t do was put the ball in the net and find that little bit of quality in the final third of the pitch,” said Rodgers.
“They were two outstanding finishes by Cisse, real quality. It stuns you a bit when you dominate a game like that but that’s football sometimes.” — Reuters