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Cisse keeps Magpies flying high

Swansea passed the ball 914 times at the Liberty Stadium yesterday but the best two passes, and the two that mattered, came from Newcastle -- from the boot of Yohan Cabaye.

Twice he picked out Papiss Demba Cisse and twice the ball ended up in the Swansea net.

It was that clinical and, with it, Newcastle climbed to fifth in the Premier League, three points ahead of Chelsea and just two behind Tottenham and Arsenal, having played one game more and with six matches to go for them -- including a trip to Stamford Bridge.

Can a Champions League place be achieved? Possibly, especially with Cisse, who scored goals of outstanding quality to take his tally to nine in just eight matches, with six of those having come in his last three appearances.

Cisse's first was stroked home with the calmness of a natural goalscorer; his second was a breathtaking execution of improvisation as he dinked the ball over the forlorn Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm. World class.

Cisse arrived in January for £9m from German club Freiburg and the Senegal international has quickly established himself as one of the most predatory finishers in the Premier League.

For his nine goals, he has had just 17 attempts. It is an incredible return and, armed with manager Alan Pardew's astute tactics, Newcastle are quickly turning into the most progressive club in England.

"He's not a mystery," Pardew said of Cisse, who wears that symbolic Newcastle No 9 shirt. "He has pedigree." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent