Cisse scores twice as Newcastle tops Liverpool 2-0

Papiss Demba Cisse scored two goals for the second straight

weekend to guide Newcastle to a 2-0 win over 10-man Liverpool on

Sunday, maintaining his team’s unlikely challenge for European

football next season.

The Senegal striker kept up his stunning form since joining

Newcastle from German side Freiburg in January, taking his tally to

seven goals from seven games with well-taken strikes in the 19th

and 59th minutes at St. James’ Park.

The win kept Newcastle level on points with fifth-place Chelsea

and reduced the gap to third-place Arsenal to five points with

seven matches remaining, a situation which appeared highly

improbable at the start of the season after losing Jose Enrique,

Joey Barton and captain Kevin Nolan in the summer.

”If someone said, ‘You are going to be in the Europa League,’ I

would snap their hands off,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew

said.

To add to Liverpool’s misery, the visitors had goalkeeper Jose

Reina dismissed late on for appearing to headbutt Newcastle

defender James Perch. The Spain international will now miss the

next three games – including the FA Cup semifinal against

Merseyside rival Everton at Wembley Stadium on April 14.

The fallen giants of English football have lost six of their

last seven matches to slip to eighth place in the standings, behind

Merseyside rival Everton, to pile more pressure on manager Kenny

Dalglish.

”The boys have shown frustration and that’s probably why Pepe

Reina was sent off. It was the frustration of being behind,”

Dalglish said.

The home fans derided Dalglish at the end of the match, singing

”You’re getting sacked in the morning,” and the Scottish manager

wasn’t the only person to be roundly jeered by Newcastle’s

notoriously vocal fans.

Andy Carroll, who moved to Liverpool from Newcastle for a

club-record fee of 35 million pounds (then $56 million) in January

last year, was booed throughout by the home supporters with those

jeers intensifying when he was booked for diving after rounding

goalkeeper Tim Krul in the 19th minute with the goal at his

mercy.

”He said he never went down, he stumbled over. It wasn’t a

penalty,” Dalglish said. ”We don’t have any disagreement with

Andy going down and with the Pepe Reina decision either.”

While the England striker’s poor goalscoring run continued, the

same cannot be said of the man who replaced him as No. 9 at the

northeast club.

Cisse couldn’t have made a better start to life on Tyneside and

he endeared himself even more to the supporters by heading home a

cross from Hatem Ben Arfa at the far post to put Newcastle

ahead.

Mike Williamson struck a shot against the post in the 47th for

the hosts before Cisse grabbed his second, collecting a pass from

international teammate Demba Ba before rounding Reina and stroking

home from six yards (meters).

Cisse should have been flagged offside for that goal, increasing

Liverpool’s frustrations which boiled over in the 81st when Reina

was given a straight red card.

The goalkeeper reacted badly after being clipped by Perch’s

outstretched leg after making a routine save, turning round and

aiming a headbutt at the center back, who fell to the ground

theatrically.

”He’s done something you can’t do as a professional footballer.

He put his head in one of our player’s faces,” Pardew said.

With all Liverpool’s substitutions having been made, left back

Enrique ended up in goal for the final 10 minutes.