PAPISS CISSE finally ended his 11–match goal drought with a soaring finish to send Newcastle into the last 16, in which they face Manchester City next month.
By: Niall Hickman
Cisse's strike partner Yoan Gouffran netted a memorable second goal midway through the second half as Newcastle enjoyed a first–ever domestic cup success over Leeds United.
Newcastle's win, four days after they were beaten at home 3–2 by Hull City, was a welcome return to form for manager Alan Pardew, who had been scathing over his team's display against the Tigers. But he can still point to four wins from his side's past five matches.
Cisse at last found his scoring boots for the first time since a 1–1 draw with Benfica in the Europa League on April 11 – and it was a beauty of a finish from England Under–21 international Sammy Ameobi's inch–perfect cross.
Pardew said: "It was a super performance although I am still hurting from Saturday. All the players who came in did terrifically well, but I'm not going to get carried away as we are only in the last 16, which a club of this size should be.
"Papiss had a couple of big chances before the goal and snatched at them. Hopefully, that will settle him down because he had not been as powerful as he can be.
"Gouffran's goal was a fantastic hit and one of the best I have seen at that end. Leeds certainly played their part and I was impressed with the two sets of fans, especially the supporters from both sides who sang for the memory of Gary Speed. That was a memorable moment for me.
"We have shown a good offensive look about us and we were a lot better in defence. The back door was shut against Leeds and that's what we need on a regular basis."
It was a super performance although I am still hurting from Saturday
Pardew delivered a tongue–in–cheek reaction to the draw, which sees his team play City at home for a place in the quarter–finals. He said: "It's a home tie and I have a 100 per cent record at home in the cup this season."
Leeds almost took the lead inside five minutes as Ross McCormack pulled clear of his marker and raced towards goal before a wonderful chip beat Tim Krul but smacked against the angle of post and crossbar.
Cisse twice hit fresh air with chances before applause rang around all four corners of the stadium as Leeds and Newcastle fans stood and paid tribute to Gary Speed in the 11th minute, the number which the Welshman wore with such distinction for both clubs.
Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini and Gouffran all went close before Matt Smith saw a brilliant close–range header clawed around the post by Krul.
It was a crucial save because with Newcastle's next attack they took the lead as Ameobi picked out Cisse with a tremendous cross and the Senegal international headed past goalkeeper Paddy Kenny for his first goal in five months. Leeds attempted a response as Smith again went close, then had a penalty appeal turned down after a clumsy challenge by Mathieu Debuchy.
Just as Brian McDermott's side were building up a head of steam, Newcastle pounced to finish them off as Gouffran netted his second goal of the season.
Ameobi was again the provider as Gouffran, in a flash, turned Scott Wootton and fired an unstoppable drive past Kenny and into the roof of the net. That broke Leeds' resistance, and Gabriel Obertan should have extended Newcastle's lead with two late chances, both of which were saved by Kenny.
McDermott said: "I was pleased with a lot of what I saw and in the first half. We had chances, especially McCormack's chip. Their two goals were great finishes, but we were always right in the game. Smith had a certain penalty turned down at 1–0 and that was just when we needed a break. I was happy with the performance and those Leeds supporters deserved something. Newcastle fans could see what terrific supporters we had, with 6,000 cheering us on."