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Cisse lifts Newcastle over West Brom
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 03 - 2012

Papiss Demba Cisse scored twice as Newcastle delivered a first-half masterclass in a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion Sunday that maintained its unlikely push for a finish in the Champions League places.
The Senegal striker finished off well-worked moves either side of a solo effort by French playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa, virtually securing victory for Newcastle by the 34th minute at The Hawthorns.
West Brom's performance improved after the break, with substitute Shane Long reducing the deficit in the 52nd after a defensive mix-up, but Newcastle held on to move level on points with fifth-place Chelsea with eight matches left. Tottenham is five points ahead in fourth.
Cisse has scored five goals in six matches since joining from Freiburg in January.
Lazio strengthens grip on third
Lazio strengthened its grip on third place in Serie A and a Champions League qualifying spot with a late win over Cagliari Sunday while challenger Napoli squandered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at home to Catania.
Mobido Diakite struck in the 88th minute, heading in from Cristian Ledesma's free kick, to give Lazio a 1-0 win over the Sardinians, leaving it with 51 points from 29 games and a three-point cushion over Napoli and Udinese.
Blerim Dzemaili and Edinson Cavani scored in a seven-minute spell to put Napoli in command against Catania only for Nicolas Spolli and Davide Lanzafame to reply following corners in the final 20 minutes. Swiss midfielder Dzemaili opening the scoring just after the hour with a powerful right-foot strike and Uruguayan forward Cavani scored at the second attempt after his first shot hit the post.
It was all in vain as Spolli headed in from a corner in the 74th minute and substitute Lanzafame scrambled the equaliser with five minutes to play to leave Napoli on 48 points, level with Udinese which drew 1-1 at Palermo Saturday.
AC Milan, 2-1 winner over AS Roma Saturday, leads with 63 points, seven more than Juventus.
There was little change at the bottom with a flurry of draws keeping Lecce, Novara and Cesena as firm favorites for the chop.
Lecce, 18th in the 20-team table, has 27 points, five adrift of safety, after a goalless draw against Novara, which is three points and one place behind it.
Cesena is a further six adrift at the bottom after a 2-2 draw with 17th-placed Parma (32 points). Siena, which drew 1-1 at Chievo, and Fiorentina, held 2-2 at Genoa are both on 33 points.


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