PAPISS Cisse eased Newcastle’s relegation fears with an injury-time winner against Fulham on a day when it appeared as if luck had deserted the United striker.
Scorer: Newcastle United - Cisse (90)
Alan Pardew’s side – and Cisse especially – had previously spurned a catalogue of chances at St James’ Park against a Fulham side who suffered their first defeat in six games. But with frustration and anxiety growing, the Senegal forward finally beat Mark Schwarzer in the third minute of added-on time for his 11th goal of the season after latching on to a loose ball inside the box.
After a run of three straight defeats this was a crucial win for Newcastle and Cisse’s fervent celebrations were understandable as he jumped in among the delirious home fans, earning himself a booking to boot, but one worthy of his cause.
Newcastle dominated in terms of opportunities after Dimitar Berbatov, with four goals in four games coming into this match, had audaciously curled a 20-yard shot just over the right-hand angle of Tim Krul’s crossbar and post. But the win was not without cost because, after Steven Taylor had agonisingly planted a header just over the crossbar in running on to a right-wing cross from Moussa Sissoko, Pardew’s injury woes increased further.
Already without a host of big names for the run in, the sight of right-back Davide Santon pulling up and clutching the top of his left thigh in the 15th minute will only have intensified Pardew’s anxiety.