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Newcastle 1-0 Fulham Prem31 The Sun

last updated Monday 08th April 2013, 10:08 AM
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David Coverdale at The Sun

Newcastle (0) 1 Fulham (0) 0

PAPISS CISSE is on a one-man rescue mission to save Newcastle's season.

Alan Pardew sent out an SOS by billing this game against Fulham the most important of Toon's entire campaign.

And Cisse answered the call in spectacular fashion with his THIRD injury-time winner in as many home games.

The Senegal hitman scored the deciding goal against Stoke four weeks ago.

He then fired Newcastle into the quarter-final of the Europa League with a last-gasp header against Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.

But this goal - his 12th of the season - could prove the most pivotal of the lot.

Cisse and Yoan Gouffran had already struck the post, while Vurnon Anita was denied by the bar.

But all the missed chances were forgotten as Cisse pounced on Yohan Cabaye's 25-yard shot and volleyed past Mark Schwarzer in the third of five minutes added on.

The goalscorer, Moussa Sissoko and Pardew all jumped into the joyous Geordie crowd.

And the celebrations said it all after a result that leaves Newcastle five points clear of the drop zone in 13th.

After three away defeats, Toon proved again there is no place like home.

They had returned from Lisbon battered and bruised after their second-half collapse against Benfica, which followed losses at Wigan and Manchester City.

But this was their fourth straight Premier League win at St James' Park and leaves them looking forward to Thursday's Europa League return leg and Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby with confidence.

For Fulham, this late defeat was their first loss in six and they have reason to feel hard done by.

They had chances of their own with Dimitar Berbatov showing glimpses of the form which had seen him plunder five goals in his last four games.

The Bulgarian used to idolise Toon legend Alan Shearer and slept in a Newcastle No 9 shirt.

And he nearly bagged the opener against his boyhood club, curling a 20-yard strike just over with the outside of his right boot.

Sissoko attempted to drive the hosts forward and his sharp run and cross down the right was met by Steven Taylor, who headed over.

Toon's injury woes ruled out Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Mathieu Debuchy, Fabricio Coloccini and Massaio Haidara.

And their crisis deepened when Davide Santon - keen to make up for his backpass blunder at Benfica - went off with a hamstring injury.

The hosts, though, continued to press. Cisse had a close-range strike blocked by Brede Hangeland and then curled over from just inside the box.

Berbatov fashioned a good chance for forward partner Bryan Ruiz but the Costa Rican's shot was blocked by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Then Tim Krul made his first save - getting down to keep out a Stanislav Manolev effort from a corner.

Newcastle finished the half on the back foot but they were within inches of scoring the opener after the restart. Anita's 25-yard strike took a wicked deflection off Fulham sub Emmanuel Frimpong and looped on to the bar.

Cisse and Taylor quickly forced Schwarzer to make a couple of saves.

Newcastle were furious when Marveaux's corner was met by Gouffran, whose header hit Sascha Riether's upper arm and then the post.

Ref Kevin Friend was unmoved as he then watched Cisse smash the rebound against the woodwork with the goal at his mercy.

If Newcastle felt hard done by, their misery was nearly compounded when Berbatov's header from John Arne Riise's free-kick was brilliantly tipped over by Krul.

But Cisse had the game's final say - brilliantly flicking up Cabaye's effort and burying the ball past Schwarzer.

Pardew celebrated as if Toon's Premier League status had just been assured. It might well have been.


NEWCASTLE: Krul 7, Simpson 6 (Campbell 5), Yanga-Mbiwa 6, Taylor 7, Santon 5 (Anita 6), Marveaux 8, Cabaye 7, Sissoko 6, Gutierrez 7, Cisse 7, Gouffran 6 (Ameobi 5).
Subs not used: Elliot, Williamson, Bigirimana, Obertan.

Booked: Gutierrez, Sissoko.

FULHAM: Schwarzer 7, Riether 7, Hangeland 7, Senderos 6, Riise 6, Manolev 6 (Rodallega 5), Karagounis 6, Enoh 6 (Frimpong 6), Duff 5, Ruiz 6, Berbatov 6.
Subs not used: Etheridge, Richardson, Hughes, Frei, Emanuelson.

Booked: Riise, Senderos.

REF: K Friend 7


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