THERE are goals. And there are goals. And then there are the goals that Papiss Demba Cisse’s capable of scoring.
Left foot, right foot, head – it doesn’t matter.
Cisse knows where the back of the net is, as Chelsea found out to their cost last night.
Berlin’s ‘Take My Breath Away’ was the country’s No1 single the last time Newcastle United won at Stamford Bridge in November 1986.
And Cisse’s two strikes certainly did that.
Talk about a Top Gun.
As Newcastle’s players inspected a patchy Stamford Bridge an hour or so before kick off, the travelling fans heading to the stadium would have probably settled for a draw.
But not his team. Not this manager.
The game started at a frenetic pace, and Fernando Torres latched on to a lofted ball in only the second minute.
The striker couldn’t make the chance count, but it was seemingly a sign of things to come from Chelsea.
Cheik Tiote was soon booked after clipping Torres’s heels, but there was a resilience about United that hadn’t been there at the DW Stadium four days earlier, a willingness to work and graft individually and collectively, and the initiative was slowly wrestled from Roberto Di Matteo’s side.
Chelsea, by contrast, had a lethargy about them. Passes were misplaced, and shots misdirected.
And Newcastle, and Hatem Ben Arfa in particular, were looking increasingly dangerous on the break as the half wore on.
In the 19th minute Davide Santon played in Cisse, and the striker did the rest.
Cisse, stood just inside the box, lifted the ball with his right foot and swung his left, the ball’s flight taking it beyond a helpless Petr Cech.
Chelsea never got their early momentum back, and Demba Ba struck the crossbar on the stroke of half time.
United were in control, and the crowd were edgy.
Juan Mata was sent on for the second half, the midfielder replacing the largely ineffective Daniel Sturridge, and Didier Drogba followed him on to the pitch.
United’s first change was enforced, with John Obi Mikel catching Tiote with a stray elbow which left him prone on the pitch.
Both sets of players stood and watched as Tiote was treated, the midfielder eventually leaving the field with his neck in a brace and wearing an oxygen mask.
United’s players, having seen their colleague head off the pitch, had to quickly turn their attention back to the game, and Di Matteo soon threw on the last of his blue-chip brigade, Frank Lampard.
Pardew replaced Ba with Shola Ameobi, the scorer of a dramatic winner at Stamford Bridge in the Carling Cup last season.
And Ameobi would later have a say in this game, too.
It would be unthinkable for Chelsea not to be in next season’s Champions League, and Di Matteo’s side – who knocked Barcelona out of the competition eight days earlier to reach the final – pressed Newcastle back in the latter stages of the game.
Chances came and went, and Santon stopped a John Terry header on the line two minutes from time.
When fourth official Andre Marriner held up a board showing 10 minutes of added time, a few of the travelling fans tucked into one corner of Stamford Bridge must have feared the worst.
That was until Cisse’s late intervention.
Substitute Ryan Taylor’s throw-in was chested to Cisse by his fellow Ameobi.
Cisse clipped a fierce outswinging shot with the outside of his right foot which flew over Cech and into the far corner of the net.
Game over. It was a goal to take anyone’s breath away.