Cisse stunners sink Chelsea
Newcastle keep the pressure on Tottenham after remarkable win
By Adam Bate. Last Updated: 02/05/12 10:18pm
Papiss Cisse produced a brilliant brace to keep alive Newcastle's hopes of finishing fourth with a 2-0 win at Chelsea.
The Senegal striker stunned Stamford Bridge inside 20 minutes when he collected a pass from Davide Santon, flicking it up with his right foot and blasting the ball past Petr Cech with his left.
But that was nothing compared to what he had in store for the Chelsea keeper with his second.
Newcastle appeared to be playing the game out during stoppage time when, out on the left flank, Cisse cut across a ball with his right foot and sent a swerving shot flying over Cech and into the net.
In between the two strikes, Chelsea pushed and probed for an equaliser, with Santon clearing off the line from John Terry, but the home side lacked Cisse's spectacular cutting edge.
And the win keeps Alan Pardew's side level on points with fourth-place Tottenham with two games to play.
Chelsea are now four points behind and will surely need to beat Bayern Munich on May 19 if they are to play Champions League football next season.
Cisse's second goal came in 10 minutes of second-half stoppage-time added for a sickening head injury to Cheik Tiote, the only sour note for the visitors after an impressive night's work.
It all looked so bright for Chelsea early on. Fernando Torres looked in the mood to add to his first Blues hat-trick, although this time he failed to round the goalkeeper after being found by Raul Meireles' long ball.
The striker then bamboozled Tiote into an early booking before the Newcastle midfielder then left Ramires in some pain after accidentally kicking him in the hand.
Torres soon switched to assist mode, with Daniel Sturridge failing to connect with his low cross but that was as close as they went before the visitors got a grip.
And after Demba Ba hooked over under pressure, they struck in stunning fashion in the 19th minute.
Santon and Cisse were both given too much space but the latter still needed just one touch to control the full-back's pass before volleying left-footed into the top corner.
A disjointed Chelsea took almost 20 minutes to muster a response as the absence of Frank Lampard and Juan Mata began to show.
When they finally did, they should have equalised, Florent Malouda heading Torres' brilliant cross wide and Branislav Ivanovic nodding Raul Meireles' corner over under pressure.
But they were lucky not to go into the break two down when Ba forced a scrambling save from Cech and then drilled against the crossbar after Chelsea failed to deal with a corner.
Di Matteo wasted no time sending on Mata at the restart, with Sturridge withdrawn, something that almost had an instant impact when Tiote blocked Meireles' drive after more good work from Torres.
Lack of precision
But the lack of precision in Chelsea's passing continued and they quickly resorted to trying their luck from set-pieces when Ramires went down very easily under Cabaye's challenge, earning the latter a booking.
Both teams were given the benefit of the doubt on the hour mark when Tiote's flailing arm caught the face of John Obi Mikel, who then led with his elbow in an aerial challenge with his fellow midfielder.
Tiote stayed down and it took around seven minutes to treat him and carry him off on a stretcher and in an oxygen mask with what looked a serious head injury.
Ryan Taylor came on, with Chelsea having already introduced Didier Drogba for Malouda, and tempers began to flare when Ba took exception an Ivanovic challenge from behind.
Newcastle were in danger of losing their composure and Ba was quickly withdrawn for Shola Ameobi, before Di Matteo threw on Lampard for Meireles in the 78th minute.
Chelsea's attacks became increasingly desperate and Lampard flashed wide from distance, while Fabricio Coloccini went close to glancing Drogba's cross into his own net.
Newcastle withdrew Hatem Ben Arfa for Gabriel Obertan and they had Santon to thank for preserving their lead when he cleared John Terry's 88th-minute header off the line.Krul was booked for time-wasting but he need not have worried as Cisse sealed the win in the most outrageous fashion.
|Chelsea||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||4|
|11||Shots off Target||8|
|62.3||1st Half Poss.||37.7|
|66.1||2nd Half Poss.||33.9|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|