Dazed Tiote hails Cisse's wonder strike

Papiss Cisse's stunning strike at Chelsea will live long in the memories of his Newcastle team-mates - but not for Cheick Tiote.

That's a proper celebration!

The Senegal international produced a finish of breathtaking quality at Stamford Bridge last night as the Magpies re-ignited their hopes of Champions League qualification, while the Blues now probably need to win this year's competition to fulfil their own.

However, Tiote did not even see it after being pole-axed in an aerial challenge with John Obi Mikel which left him needing seven stitches in a gash above his right eye.

Cisse's wonder-strike came during the 10 minutes of stoppage time added on by referee Mark Halsey as a result of the lengthy treatment given to the 25-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder on the pitch, and he only learnt later how the points had been secured.

Tiote told the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "When I came off, I just took a shower and after that, sat in the dressing room, so I didn't see the goal - only on video.

"But it was a nice goal, a good finish and that's Papiss - he scores every time and it's good for us.

"Chelsea have good players and it was another great win, like the one against Manchester United.

"We did very well as a team. Everyone did their job and we got a fantastic win."

The victory sets up Sunday's visit of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City to Tyneside on Sunday perfectly as Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle battle for third and fourth places with only a point separating them.

Tottenham's resounding 4-1 victory at Bolton last night left them ahead of the fifth-placed Magpies on goal difference, and Alan Pardew's men know even wins over City and Everton in their final two games may not be enough to secure a top-four finish.

However, they will at least have their midfield general in the thick of battle once again at the weekend with Tiote refusing to allow the small matter of a cut head to sideline him.

He said: "I wanted to play on, but the doctor said it was not possible to come back on to the pitch, so I had to respect his decision, and the team finished the job, so I'm happy.

"It was painful, but that's football. I am okay and I'm just thinking about Sunday now.

"When I was down, my eyes were groggy and I couldn't see properly, but now I'm okay and I will be fit for Sunday."

The game was won with two strikes of competing quality from Cisse, the first a 19th-minute swish of his left boot which sent the ball speeding past Petr Cech and into the top corner, and the second his spectacular swerving late effort from an unlikely angle which left the keeper looking on in astonishment.

In between, Newcastle had given as good as they got against a side with one eye on Saturday's FA Cup final, although Davide Santon's goal-line clearance from John Terry's header spared them an even more tense finish.

The goals were former Freiburg striker Cisse's 12th and 13th in just 12 appearances since his near-£10million January move, a return which has helped to keep the Magpies' dreams alive.

Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Wigan represented a significant dent, but their response last night was just what Pardew had promised.

Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez said: "I think it was one of the best results of the season because we had three games to go and it was against a team we are fighting with in the table.

"It was magnificent and the team played very well. Now we have two games to go and we are in a good position.

"The squad and the staff are working hard to do our best for those games, starting with Sunday. We have to keep going and keep focused because we have two big games.

"Manchester City know what is expected of them: they have to win if they want to be the champions, so it will be a massive game."



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