English Premiership

Sissoko sends Magpies fifth

2013-11-30 21:52
Moussa Sissoko (AFP Photo)

Newcastle - Moussa Sissoko scored a spectacular goal to give Newcastle United a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday that catapulted them to fifth place in the Premier League.

The France international midfielder rippled the West Brom net with a soaring long-range drive in the 57th minute, after Yoan Gouffran's opener had been cancelled out by visiting skipper Chris Brunt.

Sissoko's strike gave Newcastle a fourth consecutive league victory and left Alan Pardew's side a point behind second-place Liverpool and third-place Chelsea, both of whom play on Sunday, and fourth-place Everton.

West Brom fall to 12th, meanwhile, and have now won just once in eight league fixtures, having previously let a 2-0 lead slip in a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa on Monday.

With Newcastle in such fine form, manager Pardew elected to make just one adjustment to his starting XI, with right-back Mathieu Debuchy coming in for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa after serving a suspension.

Full-backs Liam Ridgewell and Billy Jones returned to the West Brom side after injury, while midfielder James Morrison was also drafted in by Steve Clarke.

West Brom began with purpose and saw Brunt extend Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul with a 30-yard free-kick before Debuchy had to block from Stephane Sessegnon at the resulting corner.

Newcastle slowly took control, however, and after top scorer Loic Remy had miscued with a header from Debuchy's right-wing cross, they took the lead in the 36th minute.

Yohan Cabaye's left-wing corner was met by an unconvincing punch from goalkeeper Boaz Myhill that succeeded only in sending the ball looping into the air, and Gouffran had the relatively simple task of heading into an unguarded net.

Things might have got worse for the visitors shortly before half-time, but last man Jonas Olsson's sly tug on Remy's jersey went unnoticed by referee Phil Dowd despite animated Newcastle appeals.

The pattern of the match looked set to continue when Myhill had to save at Remy's feet early in the second half, but in the 53rd minute West Brom drew level.

Shane Long narrowly avoided making contact with Morgan Amalfitano's inviting right-wing cross, but the ball fell to Brunt at the back post and he thumped a lusty half-volley into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

Newcastle might even have fallen behind had Olsson's downward header not narrowly eluded the lurking Long, but a minute later Sissoko restored their lead with a memorable goal.

Remy nodded the ball into his path 25 yards from goal and the former Toulouse man adjusted his feet before crashing a glorious drive beyond Myhill's fingertips and into the top-right corner.

Newcastle had a strong penalty appeal for handball against Jones waved away by Dowd, while Debuchy shot straight at Myhill following a loose pass from Brunt, but Sissoko's strike proved a fitting winner.


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