Cisse Strikes Again – Swansea City 0, Newcastle United 2.

Posted on April 6th, 2012 | 26 Comments |

Papiss Demba Cisse.
Papiss Demba Cisse - He Scores When He Wants
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
Date: Fri 6th Apr 2012.
Kick-Off: 16:30.
Referee: Howard Webb.

Newcastle United cruised into 5th place in the English Premier League on the back of this victory. Both Tottenham and Arsenal are now looking over their shoulders at the Geordie charge, and Chelsea are playing catch up. And with two home games to come, against Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City, do we dare to dream?

This was United’s fourth win on the trot – 12 points out of 12 – and what a time to go on a run like this, at what the media luvvies refer to as “the business end of the season”.

Those of you who have read my drivel before will know that I don’t hold a lot by statistics. The plethora of statistics which are spouted by the media and (sadly) bloggers alike these days. To me, the only statisitics which matter at the end of the day are goals. And if ever there was a game which proved my point about statistics, this was it.

Swansea City had the ball for 77% of the time. Here’s where I make myself unpopular with any welsh folk reading this. It’s easy to have 77% possession if you largely pass the ball sideways or backwards in an attempt to keep hold of it. Ray Wilkins (Chelsea and England) made a career out of it – “my word!”.

United had obviously practiced their response to this predictable Swansea tactic, and basically just waited around for Swansea to stop tippy-tappying around and finally try to come forward again – only competing for the ball in the middle and final thirds, and thus not falling into the trap of the energy-sapping chase game that the welsh team hope their opponents will get sucked into. Well done Alan Pardew and the coaching team – got it spot on there.

Of course when United got the ball, we immediately did our incisive attacking thingy – and who wouldn’t with the midfield and forwards we’ve got!

First Half

United kicked off with the Toon Army in the end behind them, and with the 4-3-3 formation that has brought so much attacking success in recent weeks. There were only 4 minutes and nineteen seconds on the clock when Jonas put a ball through the middle to Yohan Cabaye, who hit it forward first-time straight into the path of Papiss Demba Cisse, who scores when he wants – and he did! A right-footed majestic stroke of the ball which Vorm dived and got his fingers to, but couldn’t stop rolling into the net. Swansea City 0 Newcastle United 1

Five goals in his last 3 games for Papiss – The Swansea crowd looked stunned. We didn’t – we all know by now that all you have to do is give him the ball in front of goal, and our rampant number 9 will bury it. His smile was as wide as the Tyne Bridge is long.

United pressured for another couple of minutes, then Swansea went into their tippy-tappy game, without really any penetration, and with the Toon players clearly well-drilled and keeping their shape with plenty of players behind the ball. The Swansea “possession” was typified in the 9th minute when Caulker passed back to Vorm even though there wasn’t a United player near him. You can play in your own third all day lads – suits us!

On 15 minutes Sky TV informed us that Swansea had enjoyed 75% posession. Aye – and they’d attacked our goal once – see my earlier point about stats!

I’ve looked at my notes but really, it’s difficult to say there was anything exciting going on – United were dealing effectively with anything Swansea threw at them. Obviously, the early goal had settled us. I’m blatantly filling here, I know, but how many times can a blog writer say “Swansea were passing it around sideways and backwards and getting rave reviews from the people who compile stats”?

On 21 minutes, the Sky commentator said “good pressure this from Swansea” – and I remember thinking “he’s confusing pressure with possession – they’re not the same thing”. Might just be me, I suppose.

On 29 minutes we finally saw Swansea have another attempt on goal, with Sigurdsson lashing a vicious shot from outside the area, with Tim Krul leaping to push it round the post. Then more lovely passing around of the ball in the first two thirds by Swansea. Lovely to watch – especially if you were a United fan. Just keep it there lads!

38 minutes and Mike Williamson was carded for a tackle on Moore in which he clearly won the ball, but it was from behind. 39 minutes and Sigurdsson hit a long free kick which again Krul covered well.

Noticeable in this half that Both Cisse on the left, and Ben Arfa on the right were both putting in good defensive shifts tracking back, but breaking forward quickly when we got the ball, with Ba staying up as the lone striker.

Second Half

The second half started with a bit of a worry for United, with Ryan Taylor having to come on for Cheick Tiote, who had reported a hamstring issue at half time. Taylor slotted straight into midfield.

Swansea started the half brightly, with Sigurdsson shooting just wide of the post after only 32 seconds. They continued in this vein and had obviously been given instructions to be a tad more direct in this half. Gradually though things slipped back to the same pattern as the first half, with United defending well, and hitting Swansea on the break.

On 52 minutes Allen hit a dangerous one from just outside the area which Mike Williamson got a boot to, but luckily didn’t deflect too much – and it bounced off Krul and somehow went behind. That was a pretty scary moment for Newcastle, as in truth, it could have gone anywhere. This bit of pressure finally got the Swansea crowd stirred up – they’d been strangely quiet up to that point. Did anyone else notice that whenever we hit a long ball forward, the Swansea fans booed? Strange that!

57 minutes and Williams was booked for wrestling Cisse to the ground whilst they were both chasing a United long ball. Before the free kick could be taken, Ba was substituted for Shane Ferguson – and it has to be said Demba did not look happy about it. Meanwhile Sky TV pointed out that Swansea were now down to only 65% possession (for those of you who care about statistics!).

Ben Arfa cut in from the right on 63 mins and looked as if he was going to create something but unfortunately just ran it out of play.

Cisse was at it again in the 64th minute. Taylor fed Ben Arfa who raced forward and fed Cisse. His right foot shot was only marginally wide of the Swansea goal. Soon after this, Swansea made a couple of changes with Moore being replacent by Gateshead-born Danny Graham, and Dyer being replaced by Sinclair – who almost immediately had a chance to shoot on goal, with his shot being deflected behind for a corner.

A couple of minutes later, and Newcastle increased their lead. Again it was Cabaye the provider and Cisse the scorer – somehow lobbing the keeper even though he looked off-balance. If you haven’t seen this goal – you really must have a look at it in the highlights posted by WorkyTicket! Swansea City 0 Newcastle United 2

Sinclair had another ranging shot on the 70th minute mark, but again the ever reliable Tim Krul was there to deal with it. A minute later Britton chipped it into the area and the ball appeared to fall for two Swansea players but somehow United managed to get it clear. At this point, Alan Pardew decided to pull Yohan Cabaye – obviously with Monday night’s game in mind. He was replaced by Dan Gosling.

Cisse almost got his third after 77 minutes, when going for the same ball as Vorm. The keeper hit the ball and it bounced off Cisse and back towards goal, but sadly went wide! Another good save from Krul a couple of minutes later.

As the game reached it’s conclusion, the travelling Legions of the Toon Army could be heard singing “There’s only one Alan Pardew”. How times and opinions change.


A great result for United. Pardew’s tactics and preparation were spot on again, and it was an excellent all-round performance from everyone involved – with a few “squad players” maybe proving yet again that perhaps we are stronger in depth than we thought. Four straight wins with two home games coming up. Hope everybody’s enjoying this roller-coaster ride as much as I am!

The statistics that mattered? Newcastle United two goals, Swansea City Nil Goals!

Teams, stats etc

Swansea City (4-3-3): Michel Vorm; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams (C), Steven Caulker, Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Nathan Dyer (Scott Sinclair 66), Luke Moore (Danny Graham 65), Wayne Routledge.

Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Alan Tate, Garry Monk, Josh McEachran, Mark Gower, Scott Sinclair, Danny Graham.

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye (Dan Gosling 73), Cheick Tiote (Ryan Taylor HT), Jonas Gutierrez (C), Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba (Shane Ferguson 59).

Subs: Rob Elliot (G), James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Mehdi Abeid, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi.

Score: Swansea City 0, Newcastle United 2.
Goals: Papiss Cisse (4, 68)
Yellow cards: Mike Williamson (39), Ashley Williams (58).
Red cards: None.

Possession: Swansea City 76.95%, Newcastle United 23.05%
Territorial Advantage: Swansea City 60.3%, Newcastle United 39.7%.
Shots on target: Swansea City 8, Newcastle United 3.
Shots off target: Swansea City 6, Newcastle United 1.
Corners: Swansea City 7, Newcastle United 0.
Passes: Swansea City 914, Newcastle United 271.
Fouls: Swansea City 10, Newcastle United 9.

Full match video link

Swansea City v Newcastle United full match video, highlights and post match interviews.

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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26 Responses

  1. Not sure about the rest of you but I’m just simply enjoying every single minute of this campaign. This season so far is a vintage to say the least!

    For the last 6 years or so we’ve all endured some tragic/demoralising stuff and as I get a bit older (bloody hell I sound like my Dad) I’m appreciating just how good our team is this year.

    We’ve had some really amazing highs and some really torturous lows over the last 20 odd years (I got my 1st season ticket in 1986) but now I can see that this current squad is something special.

    We have spent nowt comparitively (for a change, historically) compared to these so-called top 4-5 teams and yet we are genuinely looking like we could beat most of them on our day.

    Its stuff of dreams to be honest and anyone who still has the odd negative dig ever now and again must be under the age of 6 or a little bit “special”.

    Well done NUFC! I’m an ultra-proud Geordie and to have your allegiance/patience paid off with the effort the lads have put in this last year is fantastic.

    If we don’t qualify for Europe this season its a travesty but we deserve it full stop.

    An OUTSTANDING continuous effort by the lads and the coaching staff! :D

  2. and another solid effort from perchinio who is starting to silence his critics (me included i’m afraid to say )

  3. I’ve been out of the loop for the past 10 days but came back to read this result! Glory days! The trick now is to keep this squad together, especially the “flair players”, and even improve on it!

  4. Another canny away win inc. clean sheet.

    Their coach looked suitably sheepish afterwards in stark contrast to recent glowing interviews & that said it all.

    Super Cisse-9/8.
    Probably the most deserved ‘owner’ of the no. 9 shirt we could’ve dreamt up!
    The patience shown by the club to award the number has been justified, yea?

    Well worth the wait!

  5. Paul,
    it’s as much to do with the ‘squad players’ stepping up when required, ain’t it?
    It’s team effort…Players, manager, coaches, not just down to our ‘favourites’.

    Howay the Lads!

  6. Clint Flick says “it’s as much to do with the ‘squad players’ stepping up when required, ain’t it?
    It’s team effort…Players, manager, coaches, not just down to our ‘favourites’.”

    I fully agree Clint, but I think the ‘squad players’ up their game when they feel this much excitement in the club, and that is being provided by the “flair players”. It’s also good to have squad players like Guthrie, Perch, Raylor, even Williamson, who are (presumably) not too disgruntled to be squad players as opposed to automatic first team choices; i.e. the lack of ego being replaced by busting-a-gut to wear the black and white is excellent and hard to get right.

  7. Paul,

    aye man,
    Some players ‘are’ squad players, but have to come in at the drop of a hat & keep the team ethic up. Ours have done that.
    That in turn keeps the regulars confident & firing.
    Even our Captain is a stand in atm.
    We are proving to be a very focussed & yet very adaptable squad.
    It’s almost pointless having ‘so called’ big names sat on the bench whining, squad players are magnanimous, bide their time & attempt to grab their chance when it comes, either through injury, suspension or rotation/loss of form.
    & we sometimes play in orange!

  8. UTD,

    i reckon swansea have gotten so sucked into their own hype about possession football in recent times, that they forgot to have a cutting edge. They were way too happy to have the ball, so we let have it.

    Then scored when we wanted to?

  9. Aye Clint, that Brendan Rodgers, what a mug. He’s right to look “sheepish” after getting sucked into all that stupid “hype”. He has the second cheapest squad in the Premiership and he’s only eleventh, a place higher than we were last year after we were promoted. Sack the bigheaded bastad.

    He always looks “sheepish” BTW, because he’s very modest about his achievements.

  10. worky,

    now now,

    if that’s what i’d meant mate, i’d have just come straight out & said he was a c*nt.

    He did not want to be at that interview, i’ve seen plenty of his too. I detected a very different attitude man. He had been ‘found out’ today & it didn’t sit well with him.
    If there was anything to extrapolate from what i wrote, it was more to do with the media hype of swansea’s virtues.

  11. 5th !
    Ha’way 5under1and & Wigan – slaughter the cockneys & make sure we stay there !

    Bolton – buy some new brown underpants

  12. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 7, 2012 at 12:23 am

    “He had been ‘found out’ today & it didn’t sit well with him.”

    He wasn’t “found out” at all, Clint, and no one likes losing, especially after dominating the game like that. You do get a little bit carried away with your Shadenfreude sometimes. It’s better to be gracious in victory. ;-)

  13. workyticket says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm
    UTD111, despite everything you wrote about stats in the piece, I’ve just added a few at the bottom.

    Nice report BTW.


  14. Newkie says:
    April 7, 2012 at 1:53 am
    Good to see Pards getting the credit he deserves!

    Aye Newkie – but I’ll bet there’s still a few who’ll have a pop!

  15. Strange how each fan see’s the game in a different light?
    Obvious you were watching a different game to me.
    Yes we won, but were lucky to have done so, as the statistics which you conveniently left out will concur.
    Their problem was getting it in the net,which they should have, cosidering the number of opportunities they had.
    They were by far the better side and played us off the park.
    Sure we reverted to a cattenaccio defense in the second half defending deep and at times desperately.
    But to conclude we were by any means the better side, and could have done better against their possession game is self delusion.

  16. I would take Rodgers as a manager anyday, certainly replace Mr. Hoofball with him, why ?
    Obviously he’s a student of the game, plays a very modern style of football, very reminicent of Barca-ball.
    If you were paying attention, you may have noticed, unlike Krul who constantly hoofed the ball upfield, their goalie only gave it to one of their defenders.
    They play a possession game and like Barca are on you like a pack of terriers when they lose it.
    I was very impressed and if most of you admitt it, they were the best side on the park by far.
    Hey ! not saying you cant welcome the three points and enjoy the win, me too, but i’m not into self delusion.
    And anyone who claims we let them have the ball and refused to chase it, was’nt watching the same game i was.

  17. By the way Workey posted the match stats @ the end of the previos blog, in case anyone wants to see how one sided the game actually was.

  18. Chuck

    Like I said in my write up – possession is just possession, nobody ever got points for it.

    Goals win points. Alan Pardew admitted in his after match interview that we deliberately conceded possession in the areas where they wanted to play their tippy-tappy footy – areas like playing it around the back where they clearly weren’t going to hurt us. The alternative would have been to play into their hands and chase every ball all over the park, just like they would have liked us to – and end up knackered ahead of Mondays game.

    Pards had obviously done his homework and come up with a strategy that worked. In this scenario, possession stats are worthless – contrast the possession with how mant times they seriously endangered our goal.

  19. AP knows brendan rogers from reading, is it?

    When he was in fact AP’s assistant, wasn’t it?

  20. worky,

    merely stating what i witnessed mate, as a committed anthropologist like.

    I actually like rogers, he’s great, & a breath of fresh air, not too dissimilar to martinez.
    Respect to both from little ‘ol me.
    To be fair, the swans have been known for playing football the correct way for some time, haven’t they?
    Wasn’t martinez there first, then paulo souza (spelling?)

    Good team, deserve to be where they are.

    My schadenfreude spiel is way more in ya’ face man.

    Although i do appreciate that it’s sometimes difficult to get a point across with the correct meaning intact via blogging, without an essay!