Wednesday 2 May 2012 7.45pm
Newcastle United 2 (Cissé 19,90+4)
The January signing put Newcastle ahead in the first half and then sealed the win in extra time with his second of two stunning goals, leaving Chelsea with no option but to win the Champions League final to enter the competition again next season.
Cisse’s Premier League record equalling 13 goals in 12 appearances since joining from German side Freiburg, has labelled him one of the signings of the season.
Alan Pardew’s men went into this game needing a result to keep up with Tottenham Hotspur, who won away at Bolton, and Arsenal in the race for third and fourth place in the Premier League.
Cisse’s first of the night, a half volley on the turn, was eclipsed by his second, another half volley but from well outside the box.
His 12th goal in as many games settled the Magpies after a nervy start. Gutierrez passed the ball to Davide Santon who challenged Jose Bosingwa and came infield. He then played the ball to Cisse who chipped the ball up with his right foot, turned and half volleyed the ball past Petr Cech just inside the box.
With one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool, Chelsea benched Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Juan Mata but all three saw action as they tried to pull the game back.
Newcastle looked a far cry from the side that was hammered 4-0 by Wigan on Saturday and contained Chelsea well in the first half as Roberto Di Matteo’s side struggled to find a foothold once going a goal down.
Early on he home side had almost caught out Newcastle’s defence in the opening five minutes with some balls over the top to Torres. Cheick Tiote was booked in the fourth minute after a foul on Ramires as Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini were tested early on.
Chelsea almost grabbed an equaliser through Florent Malouda’s header on the half hour mark only for the ball to sail just past Tim Krul’s back post.
Demba Ba, without a goal in over 1,000 minutes of football forced a fine save from Cech just before half time. He took on John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic and drilled his shot towards the far post but Cech managed to palm the ball out for a corner at full stretch.
From corners Newcastle almost found their advantage doubled on two occasions. Hatem Ben Arfa’s first cross almost caught Ryan Bertrand at the near post who had to stop the ball curling in, and with the second effort Ba smashed the ball against the crossbar and bounced out only for Tiote to shoot well wide from 35 yards out.
Needing a result, Di Matteo brought on Mata to replace the largely ineffective Daniel Sturridge at half time.
Chelsea rushed straight out of the blocks and tested Newcastle’s defence early on in the second period. Torres beat Fabricio Coloccini to a loose ball after a wayward pass, his cross was then brought down by Meireles into Mata’s path but his shot was blocked by Mike Williamson.
Yohan Cabaye was booked for allegedly bringing down Ramires as the Brazilian was hardly touched going down the right hand side but Mata wasted the ensuing free kick.
Drogba, a player who has caused Newcastle so many problems in the past, both for Chelsea and his old-club Marseilles, was brought on for Malouda.
Newcastle were dealt a huge blow on the hour mark when Tiote had to be stretchered off after taking an elbow from Jon Obi Mikel in mid-air. The midfielder jumped up for a header with Mikel who led with his elbow and came down with a bang. After receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch he was replaced by Ryan Taylor.
With so much at stake, both sides looked nervy going into the final 20 minutes but the two had opportunities to score. Torres skewed a shot over Krul’s bar inside the penalty area and Ben Arfa blasted one over from range.
Taylor gave away a free kick for a tackle on Ramires giving Chelsea the ball in a dangerous area. Drogba stepped up for the set piece and his shot from outside the box dipped and swerved as it fell into Krul’s arms. Drogba had a second chance after Ameobi handballed outside the box, but his effort sailed over the bar.
Santon came to Newcastle’s rescue just before the end of normal time after clearing John Terry’s goalbound header at the back post from Lampard’s corner.
With 10 minutes added time as a result of Tiote’s injury earlier in the game, Newcastle looked to be hanging on by a thread but for Cisse’s spectacular second goal.
Taylor threw the ball to Ameobi near the corner but the striker couldn’t bring the ball down to his feet, he instead chested it towards Cisse who lashed out on the half volley, beating Cech as the ball sailed over the Chelsea keeper.
The goal secured the win for Pardew’s side and just a point separates Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle with just two games left in the season.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ryan Bertrand, John Obi Mikel, Raul Meireles (Frank Lampard 78), Ramires, Florent Malouda (Didier Drogba 61), Daniel Sturridge (Juan Mata 46), Fernando Torres
Subs not used: Ross Turnbull, Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba
Newcastle United: Tim Krul, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa (Gabriel Obertan 87), Cheick Tiote (Ryan Taylor 69), Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba (Shola Ameobi 74), Papiss Cisse
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux
Referee: Mark Halsey