Sissoko, he's magic, you knoooow!

Posted by Marc Duffy

Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesNew arrival Moussa Sissoko was superb in notching a brace during Newcastle's thrilling 3-2 win over Chelsea.

You'll never get past Sissoko! A new hero was born at St James' Park on Saturday with one of the best home debuts ever witnessed at the Gallowgate.

- Lythell: Chelsea's soft centre exposed
- Sissoko's brace lifts Newcastle


Moussa Sissoko was one of Newcastle's five Ligue 1 imports from the January transfer window, and on this display he could prove to be the best €2.2 million the club have ever spent.

Sissoko is physically dominant, athletically superior and very good technically. Does he need more time to bed into a new league? Maybe not. Two games, two outstanding performances from the French international midfielder.

Newcastle came flying out of the blocks against the visiting European champions, but once Chelsea weathered the storm, they began to take control of possession without any real urgency.

The first big chance of the game fell to Papiss Cisse. Gallowgate End eyes were temporarily diverted from the game by a lost supporter fully dressed as a Thundercat until Sissoko found Cisse with a through ball that the Senegalese number nine should have buried.

Ten minutes later, Ramires picked up a yellow card for a two-footed challenge on Jonas Gutierrez. No danger of a red with Howard Webb in charge though -- this is the man who penalised Nigel de Jong with a yellow in the World Cup final after he kung-fu kicked a man five feet from the ground. Webb deemed the Ramires tackle no worse than a James Perch tame kicking away of the ball, which also drew a yellow.

Frank Lampard lifted a shot over the crossbar into the Leazes End before a deflected Yohan Cabaye shot fell to Cisse, who missed a sitter, shooting straight at Petr Cech.

Newcastle took the lead with a brilliant goal. Cabaye drilled a ball out to the overlapping Davide Santon, who delivered a perfect cross to the long-haired, aerially dominant Andy Carroll. No, wait! This was Gutierrez arriving! And he buried it, planting the header past Cech's left hand. 1-0.

As the players lined up to kick off, Demba Ba was forced off the pitch after failing to recover from a kick to the face applied by Fabricio Coloccini moments earlier. There wasn't a great deal of sympathy for him; it was nothing serious.

The discussion among the lads at halftime was what danger Newcastle would face following an Alan Pardew halftime talk -- the "Pardew effect" after the recent second-half performances against Reading and Aston Villa.

Those fears seemed to have foundation as Chelsea began the second half far more positively. Less than 10 minutes in, they were level courtesy of an excellent Lampard strike. Six minutes later, the visitors took the lead when the fantastic Juan Mata curled one into the top corner.

With Pardew never having come from behind to win a game in any of his previous 100-plus games as Newcastle manager, the writing looked to be on the wall, but not so.

The crowd kept its faith, and the atmosphere was magnificent. Sissoko kept on driving Newcastle forward, and every attack featured Cabaye.

The tireless Yoan Gouffran burst forward and ran clear of a very slow Chelsea back four. His shot was deflected out by Cech, and Sissoko was on hand to score his first Newcastle goal. 2-2.

From that point on, it looked as if only one team was going to win the game, and it did. In the 90th minute, Santon again broke down the left and pulled the ball back to Sissoko, who placed it through a crowded area past Cech for Newcastle's third goal, his second and the match winner.

This was a marvelous game. It was fantastic to watch as a Newcastle fan and equally as entertaining for the neutrals in the stadium.

Sissoko was absolutely outstanding. From his two goals to the moment he chased down a Gouffran clearance, overlapping Ashley Cole in the process and winning a corner from the shot at the end of it -- breathtaking.

The press wondered how Newcastle would manage to integrate so many new players so quickly. Six points in five days is a darn good start.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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