Belfast Telegraph

Cisse strike pleases Pardew

Manager Alan Pardew was thrilled to see his big-money investment pay off at the first opportunity as Papiss Cisse fired Newcastle to a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on his debut.

The 26-year-old Senegal striker came off the bench to clinch the points which took the Magpies back into fifth place in the Barclays Premier League table and fully justified Pardew's faith in him. Cisse cost the club approaching £10million when he joined from German side Freiburg last month, and he could hardly have launched his career in England in better fashion.

Pardew said: "In my career, I have been lucky with strikers in debuts, and that's struck again today. I am really pleased because it's a big investment for the club."

He added: "While Mike [Ashley] sanctioned it and Mike is the owner and [managing director] Derek [Llambias] had to see the deal through, it's fans' money.

"I have got to spend fans' money here - if we don't get anyone coming into the stadium, we haven't got any money, so I like to spend it well.

"We have worked hard on that, we have taken our time and we hope we got it right. He has had a great start today, [but] that's all at the moment."

Cisse claimed the headlines in spectacular style with a fine 71st-minute strike - a fitting way to end a hard-fought encounter which might have gone either way.

He controlled Jonas Gutierrez's left-wing cross on his chest before smashing a left-footed volley high into keeper Shay Given's top-right corner to confirm himself has a rightful successor to the famous number nine shirt.

The Senegal international had earlier passed up a series of opportunities after replacing the injured Leon Best as a 14th-minute substitute, but did not fluff his lines when his big chance arrived.

Newcastle had taken a 30th-minute lead, against the run of play, when Demba Ba drilled home his 16th goal of the season from close range. But Robbie Keane levelled deep into first-half stoppage time and Villa might have snatched a point at the death but for fine saves from Tim Krul to deny first Ciaran Clark and then substitute Gary Gardner.


From Belfast Telegraph