Newcastle Club Focus – Cisse makes dream debut

Newcastle were indebted to their Senegalese strike force as they just overcame Aston Villa in a tight game. A goal apiece from Demba Ba and new signing Papiss Demba Cisse was the difference as the home side were far more clinical in front of goal. Fans will be confident that the new look strike pairing is the start of something special at St James Park. The win moves the Magpies just a point behind Chelsea in fifth place and strengthens their hopes of a European campaign next season.

Senegal’s loss has certainly been Tyneside’s gain with the two Dembas returning much sooner than expected following the country’s dismal performances at the African Cup of Nations. While the Blackburn Rovers game came about too early a home game against Aston Villa was an ideal opportunity for the players to come back into the fold. For Ba it was a case of continuing from where he left off with a trademark finish from inside the penalty area. In the three league games since Ba’s departure Newcastle have been able to stay in contention with two wins and a defeat. However the Magpies had appeared blunter in attack in that time with Ba’s deputies not in the same class as the league’s joint second top scorer.

Alan Pardew was probably planning on introducing Demba Cisse later than he did but was forced into an early change after Leon Best limped off the field in the first half. As far as debuts go it was a dream one for 26 year old as he scored the winning goal with a stunning strike in the 71st minute. On the evidence of the goal alone it appears the Magpies have a player worthy of wearing the number nine shirt that means so much to the fans. Other than the goal Cisse did well given the lack of time he has had with his new team mates. Similar to his countryman he is good both in the air and on the floor and once he adapts to the league should get even better.

Pardew hailed his new striker after the game which will have gone some way to showing that he is worth the high transfer fee. He told the BBC: “It was boys’ annual stuff, that goal. Any Magpies fan would’ve been nudging their mates and saying, ‘We’ve got a good ‘un here, he looks all right’.” He added: “I am really pleased because it’s a big investment for the club.”

The manager also confirmed that Leon Best could be sidelined for up to six weeks with a knee injury. There was better news surrounding Ryan Taylor after the utility player was stretchered off following the first goal with a nasty looking injury. An initial scan showed that there was no break or fracture with the player just suffering with severe swelling on his leg.

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