Papiss Cisse scored twice as Newcastle beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 to move level on points with fifth-place Chelsea in soccer’s Premier League.
Hatem Ben Arfa also got a goal at the Hawthorns yesterday as the Magpies ended a run of two straight away defeats. Shane Long replied for West Brom.
“To have the same points as Chelsea at this point is phenomenal really,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Sky Sports. “We had a real good control of our passing and our movement was terrific, our best players stepped forward.”
Chelsea and Newcastle have 50 points, five fewer than Tottenham, which holds the last spot that secures qualification for the Champions League. Manchester City and Manchester United have 70 points, with City ahead on goal difference, and Arsenal is on 58. Seventh-place Liverpool has 42 points.
Fifth position guarantees a spot in the second-tier Europa League, while as many as two extra spots could be available depending on whether the domestic cup winners qualify through their league positions.
Cisse, signed from Germany’s Freiburg in January, got the opening goal after six minutes. The Senegal striker converted a close-range shot from a cross by Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa doubled the visitor’s advantage six minutes later following a quick counterattack, firing a powerful shot past goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Peter Odemwingie had an effort ruled out on 32 minutes because West Brom strike partner Marc-Antoine Fortune was offside. Within two minutes Newcastle had scored its third goal.
Cisse finished with his left foot for a fifth goal in six games for the Magpies.
“If we keep this momentum going anything can happen,” Newcastle defender Mike Williamson told Sky Sports.
West Brom made two changes at halftime, introducing Chris Brunt and Long, while an injury to Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini saw him replaced by Davide Santon.
Long got his team’s goal on 52 minutes following a mix-up in Newcastle’s defense between Williamson and goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Cisse was carried off the field on a stretcher with 12 minutes remaining.
West Brom’s James Morrison suffered a leg injury in the 82nd minute and was unable to continue, leaving the Baggies with 10 men after using all three of their substitutes.
West Brom, in 14th spot, is now on a three-match winless run.
“We were 3-0 down at halftime from their counter-attacks, I don’t think we dealt with that very well,” West Brom manager Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports. “All we could do was try to make a game of the second half.”
Two days ago, Manchester City was held to a 1-1 tie at Stoke City. United can take a three-point lead if it wins against Fulham today.
Arsenal beat Aston Villa 3-0, Chelsea drew 0-0 against Tottenham, while Liverpool lost 2-1 at home against Wigan. Wolverhampton Wanderers are last in the 20-team standings after a 2-1 defeat at Norwich, Bolton beat Blackburn 2-1, Everton won 2-0 at Swansea, and Sunderland defeated Queens Park Rangers 3-1.