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CISSE"I'M SO HAPPY.

Byline: LEE RYDER

TOON hero Papiss Cisse revealed his last-gasp strike against Anzhi Makhachkala was his "most important yet" in a Newcastle United shirt.

He also admitted the Magpies hold no fear about taking on any of the remaining sides in the competition.

The Toon No 9 pounced in the dying stages to send United into the last eight of the competition and plunge a dagger into the hearts of the Russians.

His strike was the cue for ecstatic scenes at St James' Park too with the goal coming so late Anzhi did not even have time to restart what had been a fraught contest.

Cisse told the Chronicle: "I am so happy - we have won again and I have scored again.

"It was very important, probably the most important goal yet.

"For me, though, the most important is the team wins and goes through. I have scored in the last minute again."

The game had looked certain to go into extra time after Anzhi battled bravely with 10 men and almost won the game when Mbark Boussoufa cracked a late free-kick off the underside of Rob Elliot's goal.

Even then Cisse knew the game was not done and dusted.

The Senegal ace said: "A striker must always keep his concentration. The tie was not finished and the game was still alive. I think the game was not finished.

"Only when the referee blows is it over - so I knew we still had time. I always felt we could still score in normal time.

"I saw Sylvain and knew he had one last ball in him.

"He put in a perfect ball for me, and luckily I scored."

Cisse had been left feeling agonised after Newcastle's last European tie on Tyneside when he had two goals chalked off for tight offside decisions. When asked if the goal made up for his previous disappointment, he said: "It does. "I had just one chance and I scored it. "Sometimes they fall better for you, sometimes they are difficult to come by, but that is football." Cisse looked emotionally drained after scoring for the second game running in the last few seconds. He added : "I am a little tired, but the goal will help me rest." The strike took his tally to 10 goals for the season and with nine Premier League games left and two more Europa League ties he has a great chance to bolster that figure even more - starting at Wigan on Sunday. Cisse has had no problems taking the goalscoring responsibilities from Demba Ba. He said: "Ten goals is great but I will be trying for more. The season is not finished." United went into the last eight of the competition with Tottenham, Chelsea, Lazio, Rubin Kazan, Basel, Benfica and pre-season opponents Fenerbache. Yet Cisse said: "Whoever we get I will be trying my hardest to do my job. My job is to score goals and the team's job is to win."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2013
Words:493
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