Moussa Sissoko


By Tom Easterby

 

We continue our review of the 2013/14 campaign, which saw Newcastle finish tenth in the Barclays Premier League. This week's instalment covers October and November, which saw some fantastic results including four consecutive victories...

 

OCTOBER

United kicked off October with a visit to South Wales to face Cardiff City - the first time the two clubs had met in the Premier League.

With Hatem Ben Arfa benched, it fell to Loic Remy to provide much of Newcastle's attacking impetus, and the loanee could hardly have wished to make more of an impact as his first-half brace put the visitors in command.

His first, a marvellous individual run followed by a convincing low finish, was matched by his second, placed perfectly from the edge of the area.

Though Remy had a hatful of further opportunities to grab himself the matchball, Peter Odemwingie pulled one back for the hosts with half-an-hour remaining to make the scoreline look a little less comfortable than the reality.

Next up was a daunting fixture at home to a revitalised Liverpool, who boasted the prolific duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front.

Despite this though, it was Yohan Cabaye who broke the deadlock at St. James' Park, drilling home another long-range strike past the despairing ex-Black Cat Simon Mignolet.

Steven Gerrard tucked away a penalty to equalise just before the break, and with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa having been red-carded for bringing down Suarez for the spot-kick, the clever money appeared to be on a second-half Magpies collapse.

That didn't materialise, however. Paul Dummett, on as a substitute, slotted home his first goal for his hometown club to put United back in the lead, but the numerical disadvantage eventually told when Sturridge headed the leveller with less than 20 minutes left on the clock.

Buoyed by positive results against Cardiff City and Brendan Rodgers' men, the Tyne-Wear derby looked to have come around at the right time for Newcastle.

In front of more than 46,000 at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland upset the form book as Steven Fletcher rose above Dummett to put his side in front and, despite Mathieu Debuchy netting his maiden Newcastle goal in the 58th minute, Gus Poyet's side clinched it with five minutes remaining.

On-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini took aim from outside the box and fizzed a swerving drive past Tim Krul to cap a thoroughly miserable day on Wearside.

Three days later, Manchester City were the opponents for the second time in under three months. Goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko in extra-time at St. James' Park ended United's interest in the Capital One Cup for the year, but they could look back on two good results and the promising start to Loic Remy's time on Tyneside at the end of the month.

Goal of the month

Paul Dummett's first for Newcastle against Liverpool will be one that lives long in the Welsh international's memory, and Yohan Cabaye can be considered unlucky not to pick up another gong for his bouncing 30-yarder in the same match.

However, Loic Remy's speedy run from the halfway line and arrowed shot past David Marshall into the corner of the Cardiff City goal is a worthy winner of October's prize.

 

NOVEMBER

Recording four wins out of four, November proved to be the perfect month for Newcastle United.

An impressive 2-0 victory over Chelsea at home - sealed by a Yoan Gouffran header and a Loic Remy left-footer - set the tone, with Jose Mourinho's title-chasers well and truly dismantled.

Tottenham Hotspur were next to face an in-form United, but it was Loic Remy - again - who won the game, rounding Hugo Lloris with ease and tapping in the winner at White Hart Lane.

It would be unfair, however, to overlook the contribution of goalkeeper Tim Krul in this victory. The number one pulled off a string of fantastic saves to keep Spurs at bay, and the Dutchman's fine performance complemented a resolute, solid display from his team that demonstrated that they weren't going to be pushovers on their travels.

Remy was on the scoresheet again against Norwich City on 23rd November, heading home Yohan Cabaye's corner after just 115 seconds for his eighth of the season and, incredibly, the first goal United had scored from a corner in over two years - the last coming from Demba Ba at Wolves on 1st October, 2011.

Yoan Gouffran added a second later in the half, prodding Shola Ameobi's goalbound header past John Ruddy. Though Leroy Fer pulled a goal back for ex-Magpies' boss Chris Hughton's struggling Canaries, it seemed nothing could stop Newcastle's march up the table this month.

And so it proved. West Bromwich Albion were the next side to be dispatched, as Moussa Sissoko's screamer, coupled with another Gouffran header, rendered Chris Brunt's second-half consolation meaningless as the Magpies wrapped up their fourth win on the trot, securing a 100 per cent record for November and gifting Alan Pardew and Tim Krul the Barclays Manager and Player of the Month respectively.

Goal of the month

Moussa Sissoko's rocket against West Brom is a clear winner of the November goal of the month.

Swerving past Boaz Myhill into the top corner, the former Toulouse battler's thunderbolt was the finest goal seen at the Gallowgate End in the 2013/14 campaign to date.

The sheer ferocity of the strike make it a worthy winner, although both Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran weighed in with some priceless goals this month.