Belfast Telegraph

Pardew going all out for top four

Alan Pardew insisted he would not settle for Newcastle finishing fifth in the Barclays Premier League after Papiss Cisse's breathtaking brace kept them in the hunt to qualify for the Champions League.

Cisse scored arguably the best double Stamford Bridge has ever witnessed in the Magpies' 2-0 victory at Chelsea on Wednesday night, keeping them level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. It also moved them to within a point of Arsenal and all but ended their opponents' top-four hopes

Newcastle have not qualified for the Champions League since 2002, and Pardew said: "It's not often in a professional career that you get an opportunity to actually break into the top four in this country. We've been in and around it all year, we've touched fourth placed and touched third a couple of times. We're going to give it everything."

He added: "If we miss out, it'll still have been a phenomenal season and I'm looking forward to the highlights video because some of the goals have been unbelievable, they really have."

Cisse's first goal was outstanding but football fans around the world will be watching his second for years, such was the jaw-dropping nature of the strike. The 26-year-old's 25-yard banana volley with the outside of his right foot brought back memories of Roberto Carlos' free-kick for Brazil against France 15 years ago.

Pardew said: "An astonishing goal. Cisse took a chance. You could see he meant it and he's hit it absolutely true."

Senegal star Cisse told Sky Sports News in an interview translated by strike partner Demba Ba that he went for goal because he was so tired.

He said: "I just saw the ball coming back from Shola (Ameobi) and I just wanted to shoot as I had no power, so I just shot."

Pardew declared Cheik Tiote would be fit for Sunday's final home game with title-chasing Manchester City despite the midfielder suffering a sickening head injury.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph