Belfast Telegraph

Cisse strike seals win for Magpies

Papiss Cisse rekindled Newcastle's challenge for Europe as Alan Pardew's side secured a 1-0 win over Norwich - their first in five Barclays Premier League games.

Cisse's 11th-minute strike, his third goal in four home outings, was enough to see off Norwich in a contest which remained in the balance until the final whistle.

The January signing produced a finish in keeping with the near-£10million fee the Magpies paid for him when he got ahead of defender Zak Whitehead to drill Jonas Gutierrez's cross instinctively past the helpless John Ruddy.

There were less than two minutes on the clock when Yohan Cabaye played the Senegal international in for the first time, and his cheeky lob was only just plucked out of the air by the advancing Ruddy.

Kyle Naughton made a vital block to prevent Cisse's 39th-minute volley from ending up in the back of the net, but he should have doubled his tally two minutes later when he ran on to Gutierrez's sumptuous pass, but could not beat the keeper one on one.

In the meantime, Ruddy had pulled off a fine reaction save to claw away Demba Ba's effort as it threatened to creep inside his far post, and Elliott Bennett have survived appeals for a penalty after Danny Guthrie's cross hit his hand.

But Norwich were in no mood to lie down and accept their fate, and the home side needed keeper Tim Krul to preserve their lead twice within seconds.

The Holland international first blocked Anthony Pilkington's shot at his near post and then tipped Whitbread's header over with the visitors pushing hard for an equaliser.

Substitute Steve Morison might have levelled at the death, but scuffed his shot straight at Krul under pressure from Fabricio Coloccini.

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