Nikica Jelavic’s absolutely-stunning side volley may have been the final nail in the coffin for Alan Pardew at Newcastle United, and Mohamed Diame’s left-footed laser seemed to lower it into the ground.
But Papiss Cisse, often unused by Pardew, may have saved the manager’s job with a brace in relief of starting forward Emmanuel Riviere, as Newcastle and Hull drew 2-2 at St. James Park.
Cisse revealed an undershirt message of “Always looking forward Jonas” for his teammate Gutierrez, who revealed cancer struggles earlier this week.
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A fifth-minute rush spearheaded by Yoan Gouffan came to a disappointing conclusion when Riviere couldn’t turn his header all the way on goal.
The sixth minute, however, found a bit of a distraction. Loads of supporters at St. James Park held up “SackPardew.com” signs in a obvious show of distaste for the Premier League’s second-longest serving manager.
Remy Cabella had a chance denied him from a solid Hull tackle, but the majority of the half saw little from either team. Both Newcastle and Hull would walk to the locker room knotted at nil.
Then came Jelavic, hammering a cross home after Jack Colback gave the ball away inside the 18. Jelavic left his feet to stroke the ball past Tim Krul
Allan McGregor made a strong stop on Cabella in the 54th minute to deny the Magpies an equalizer.
Hull could’ve doubled their advantage in the 61st minute off a free kick, but Stephen Quinn was judged to be offside.
And then came Diame, allowed to meander to the top of the 18 before lashing a left-footer into the upper 90. Krul had no hope on the startling shot.
But hold on! Cisse got onto the end of a Cheick Tiote pass to slot home in the 73rd minute, bringing Newcastle within one. Cisse lifted his shirt to reveal a message of hope for Jonas Gutierrez, the Magpie who revealed this week that his testicular cancer had spread.
Then, a series of corners continued to give hope to the Magpies, as Fabricio Coloccini had a bullet deflected out in the 79th minute.
And then Cisse struck again. The oft-unused and recently-injured Senegalese striker pushed home a headed pass from Yoan Gouffran to tie it (oddly enough still a slight on Pardew, maligned for player selection).
Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Dummett, Coloccini, Williamson, Tiote (Sammy Ameobi, 85′), Colback, Sissoko, Gouffran (Perez, 90+4′), Cabella, Riviere (Cisse, 69′)
Goals: Cisse 2 (73′, 87′)
Hull City: McGregor, Davies, Huddlestone, Hernandez (Aluko, 56′), Livermore, Diame, Jelavic (Meyler, 81′), Dawson, Robertson (Rosenior, 88′), Elmohamady, Quinn
Goals: Jelavic (48′), Diamé (68′)