The game started slowly but the visitors didn’t look overrun after moving back to their 4-4-2 formation which they’ve not played a full 90 minutes with for about 6 games now. Newcastle started to take control and they then took the lead after Davide Santon played the ball in to Papiss Cisse who teed himself up then struck a sumptuous volley into Petr Cech’s top corner.
Chelsea then came back with a couple of chances of their own, first Florent Malouda ghosted in and headed a Fernando Torres cross wide of the goal. Branislav Ivanovic also put a headed chance just wide from a corner, but Newcastle went through the half pretty much without worry.
It was Newcastle who come closest to stretching their lead at the end of the first half when a clever corner along the ground found Demba Ba, whos effort struck the bar, no pun intended, that was what really happened.
Half time came and went and Di Matteo changed his side and replaced the anonomyous Daniel Sturridge with Juan Mata, who didn’t offer Chelsea much more I’m being brutally honest.
The game went without incident mainly until Jon Obi Mikel elbowed Cheik Tiote in the face, I’ve watched it again, and I think it could have been deliberate, it seemed in reaction to a tackle Tiote did earlier. Mikel escaped a card and Cheik Tiote left the pitch tied to a stretcher, at this point I was very worried. Tiote has spoken to Pardew and despite a 9 inch gash and stitches, he’s happy to play at the weekend. Commitment.
A 7 minute delay meant there was time for Chelsea to bring on their big guns, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard were both introduced during the break or slightly after, and it looked like it’d be a long last half an hour for Newcastle.
With 3 minutes of normal time to go John Terry rose highest from the corner and his brilliant header was cleared off the line by Davide Santon who was perfectly positioned on the post, that’s when I really started to think it’d be our day and we had this one sown up.
And then, it happened, the greatest goal I have seen this season, and probably up there with the best I’ve seen in my whole life. Papiss Cisse. What a man. A long throw by Ryan Taylor which was knocked down by Shola Ameobi landed at the feet of Papiss Cisse who was about 25 yards out.
Cisse hit a right footed footed effort which swerved and bamboozled Cech before landing into the top corner of his net, an absolute stunner by Cisse. If you haven’t seen it, get on YouTube, the ball moves more than a goals width and drops perfectly into that top corner.
Pardew went mental. Cisse went mental. The team went mental. The fans went mental. A beautiful sight to behold.
I can hardly sum up how proud I am of the lads. Tim Krul, did everything well, didn’t have to do much, but didn’t let us down. James Perch in for Danny Simpson, excellent. Coloccini and Williamson in defence? They defended heroically. Davide Santon, quality going forward and made a goal line clearance which won us the game.
Cheik Tiote before he got injured ran the show, he was almost too good (disclaimer, he’s rubbish really, nothing to see here Chelsea). Yohan Cabaye was great again, passing the ball around well and linking up attacks. Jonas Gutierrez worked solidly as usual, back in his winger role. Hatem Ben Arfa, well, the young lad Ryan Bertrand won’t want to play against him next year, on the ball, he gave him a torrid time.
Demba Ba was the perfect foil for Cisse, he won header for him throughout the game and nearly even scored himself. Papiss Cisse, I’ll let you lot judge him, I really do not have anything else to say, other than, unreal.
Another cracking performance and a great bounce back from the disappointing Wigan game, people say that the last 10 games are important, well; we’ve won 7 and lost 1. We’re doing pretty well aren’t we? But, the big question is, have we played anyone?
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