Newcastle had a bit of luck last night, and after playing second fiddle to a very good Anzhi Makhachkala side in the first half, Newcastle got their act together in the second half and finally won the game in dramatic style.
Papiss Cisse heads home winner last night
And it didn’t hurt that Anzhi defender Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez was sent off for a second booking ten minutes into the second half.
Newcastle applied a lot of pressure in the second half, but the Anzhi team were very well organized and even with 10 men they were a threat, and the Russian side nearly won the game with three minutes to go, when Mbark Boussoufa hit the cross-bar with a superbly taken free-kick.
But it was that combination of Sylvain Marveaux and Papiss Cisse that got the job done for Newcastle for the second game running, and after three minutes of added time a beautiful right wing cross from Marveaux found Cisse free on the six yard box, and he headed the ball home in great style to win the game for Newcastle.
And before they could restart the game, the referee blew the whistle – there had been three minutes allotted for added time.
Alan Pardew admitted it was a close game, when he had this to say to the local press:
“We squeezed over the line, but I think we deserved it over the two games.” “It was a great cross from Sylvain Marveaux to set up Papiss who did it last weekend against Stoke and he did it again here.
“I am highly delighted because they were two tough games and we’ve kept two clean sheets. We showed great resistance.” “Their man being sent off was a massive influence on the game and it was a late challenge, so we were better in the second half and were able to exert pressure. When you do that you score goals.
“They had a free-kick which came off the bar, but I do think we deserved to go through. It’s a great night for the club.”
There will be three English teams in the quarter finals draw later this morning in Nyon, and that makes up just a little, for not having any English teams in the Champions League quarter finals for the first time in seventeen years.
Since the five Frenchmen arrived in January, Newcastle have now negotiated two tough Europa League ties against Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala, with two wins and two draws, and not conceded in the four games, and in the league we’ve won four of our six league games – not too bad.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org