Barclays Premier League
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At The Liberty Stadium
Swansea City 0
Newcastle United 2 (Cisse 5, 69)
Papiss Cisse netted yet another double as Newcastle recorded a 2-0 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Good Friday.
The Senegalese international striker took his tally to nine goals in just eight appearances since arriving in Tyneside in January, with a strike in each half as the Magpies climbed to fifth place in the Premier League table - for the time being at least.
It was Cisse's third brace in United colours, following on from wins over West Brom and Liverpool. His first, after just five minutes, was relatively simple - a composed side-foot finish into the far corner after Yohan Cabaye had played him in.
But Cisse saved the best for after the break. Again set-up by Cabaye, the prolific front man lifted an audacious lobbed finish over Swansea keeper Michel Vorm to nestle in the back of the net.
The hosts had plenty of possession throughout but were restricted to mainly long-range efforts, with midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson their main threat.
Inside two minutes Swansea had created the first opportunity. Ba was robbed of possession just outside his own area by Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played a neat one-two with Nathan Dyer but was unable to keep his low shot on target as it flashed across the face of goal.
But United broke the deadlock just three minutes later. Cabaye's through ball found Cisse in space 15 yards out and the former SC Freiburg man let it run into his path before placing a shot past Michel Vorm and into the bottom corner.
The hosts attempted to hit back, and Dyer's step-over allowed full-back Angel Rangel the chance to strike first time but, under pressure from Ba, he was unable to keep his effort down
Joe Allen went closer still in the 16th minute, warming the palms of Krul with a low shot from outside the box which was pretty straightforward for United's Dutch international stopper.
But it wasn't all pressure from the Swans, as Newcastle broke at pace, with Ba outpacing Steven Caulker, only to see his drive well blocked by centre-back Ashley Williams.
Hatem Ben Arfa had made a quiet start to proceedings by his high standards, but the wide man sprung into life on 23 minutes. Receiving the ball on the halfway line, he put it through the legs of full-back Neil Taylor, running round to take control again and promptly drove towards the penalty area, cutting inside and drilling a low shot on target which Vorm did well to gather.
Swansea were playing the sort of attractive, passing football which has earned them plenty of plaudits in their first season in the top flight, and a lovely, flowing move almost ended with an equaliser for the hosts on the half-hour mark.
Only the fingertips of Krul prevented Sigurdsson's long-range strike from finding the top corner, with Caulker sending a free header over the top from the resulting corner.
Krul was again the scourge of Sigurdsson when Swansea's Icelandic midfielder tried his luck direct from a free-kick with five minutes of the half remaining, but the big stopper was well-placed to stoop and gather his effort.
Swansea had enjoyed 71 per cent possession in the first half, and made an impressive start to the second period, with that man Sigurdsson forcing an early corner with a deflected shot.
Ryan Taylor had been introduced at half-time in place of Cheick Tiote and he almost gifted the home side a leveller on 53 minutes. Taylor's weak clearance fell straight to Joe Allen, who picked his spot and forced a save from Krul which was unorthadox, with the keeper relieved to see the ball end up past his post for a corner.
United's chances were few and far between as they were forced to soak up constant Swansea pressure and possession, but Cisse had the chance to double their advantage in the 65th minute. Ben Arfa fed the in-form front man as the visitors broke at pace, but Cisse dragged his shot wide of the far upright.
The hosts reacted by making a double change, replacing Dyer and Moore with Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair, and the latter almost made an immediate impact, cutting in from the left to fire wide via a slight deflection.
But Newcastle headed straight back up the other end and made it two thanks to an outstanding finish from Cisse. Another counter-attack saw Ben Arfa carry the ball down the right before knocking it inside to Cabaye.
The French midfielder played in Cisse on the left-hand side of the box, and he still had plenty to do before lifting a brilliant finish over Vorm and into the far corner. On first glance it looked to have got a deflection off the Swansea defender who was challenging him, but in fact Cisse just picked his spot superbly and executed it even better.
From then on it was a case of seeing the game out for United, who were again superb at the back thanks to excellent displays from Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch and, in particular, Davide Santon.
Swansea provided no more threat aside from a late Sigurdsson free-kick which was easily dealt with by Krul, and the visitors were left to celebrate three huge points on their travels, taking their 100 per cent run to four games.
Swansea City (4-3-3): Michel Vorm; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams (c), Steven Caulker, Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson; Nathan Dyer (Scott Sinclair 66), Luke Moore (Danny Graham 66), Wayne Routledge
Subs not used: Gerhard Tremmel, Alan Tate, Garry Monk, Josh McEachran, Mark Gower
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon; Yohan Cabaye (Dan Gosling 73), Cheick Tiote (Ryan Taylor 46), Jonas Gutierrez (c); Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba (Shane Ferguson 59)
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Mehdi Abeid, Shola Ameobi
Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)