Sissoko praised after two debut goals in Newcastle's victory over Chelsea

Manager Pardew, who signed five players from France in transfer window, praises his new 'giant' after two-goal home debut sinks Chelsea

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 3:30am


Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes Moussa Sissoko will help the Magpies take a giant step forwards after the French midfielder's double inspired a dramatic 3-2 win over Chelsea.

Pardew recognised Sissoko's qualities when he first watched him play in Ligue 1 more than a year ago and finally landed the Toulouse player just before last week's transfer deadline.

The move paid instant dividends as Sissoko transformed Saturday's clash with the European champions by netting the equaliser and then the stoppage-time winner on his home debut to lift Newcastle away from the relegation zone.

"Moussa walked in here like a giant and played like a giant," Pardew said. "He has a strength of character and power in his game that we've been searching for this season.

"I watched him play for Toulouse about 14 months ago and came away thinking he was definitely one for us.

"He has paid us back handsomely and his winning goal signalled his entrance to the Premier League. Our fans are intelligent. They know their football and know a good player when they see one. He will give us a lot more than just goals."

Pardew signed five players from France during the January window and Sissoko wasn't the only one of Newcastle's imports to impress against Chelsea.

Yoan Gouffran gave a composed display on his home debut, while Mathieu Debuchy was a major influence on the game, as was Yohan Cabaye, who has been at St James' Park a little longer than his compatriots.

"It was a win with a French feel," Pardew said. "There were some really good performances from all our French players. Perhaps there was a question mark about whether they would battle, but you could see the answer.

"Yohan Cabaye was magnificent and played like a true French international. There are only two players I was desperate to get. One was Cabaye, the other was Sissoko - and we got them both."

Sissoko's double came after Chelsea had staged a fightback to lead 2-1 through Frank Lampard and Juan Mata's goals.

Earlier the Blues had lost Senegal forward Demba Ba after an incident which upset his manager Rafael Benitez.

Ba, signed from Newcastle last month, suffered a broken nose in a collision with Fabricio Coloccini as he headed wide in the 32nd minute.

"For me, it was a penalty and red card," Benitez said. "If it was in the middle of the pitch, it would have been a free-kick.

"I didn't see it from the bench, but it's very clear after watching the replay. A player with a broken nose and bleeding for five minutes is the evidence."

But Benitez was still upbeat despite the defeat. He said: "The second half was fantastic and I was pleased with the reaction of the players. We scored two great goals and had more chances, but we let them counter-attack.

"We are still looking upwards, though. We are in the top four and aiming to finish fourth or third. We have players coming back, more options and perhaps fresh legs on the pitch."