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Newcastle's Elliot delights in 'fairy-tale' finish

Published: Friday 15 March 2013, 8.15CET
Newcastle United FC keeper Rob Elliot could not hide his delight after Papiss Cissé provided a rousing finale against FC Anji Makhachkala in a game João Carlos hoped to forget.
by Dan Ross
from St James' Park

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Published: Friday 15 March 2013, 8.15CET

Newcastle's Elliot delights in 'fairy-tale' finish

Newcastle United FC keeper Rob Elliot could not hide his delight after Papiss Cissé provided a rousing finale against FC Anji Makhachkala in a game João Carlos hoped to forget.

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot helped Newcastle United FC to a fourth consecutive clean sheet in the UEFA Europa League as they overcame ten-man FC Anji Makhachkala 1-0 at St James' Park. It was Papiss Cissé's round of 16 added-time winner that had the Magpies custodian waxing lyrical however, describing the moment as "like a fairy tale". Newcastle's delight was Anji's despair, though, and defender João Carlos bemoaned a disappointing night he hoped to "forget very quickly".

Rob Elliot, Newcastle goalkeeper
When something like that [Cissé's goal] happens, it's like a fairy tale. It was the last kick of the game – the winner in a European tie that gets us to the quarter-finals. It's a great positive going forward for the players, the staff and the fans.

We didn't start too well and Anji were excellent as we knew they can be. In the second half we just said 'we've got to have a real go', and all the pressure we built up led to the sending-off. Then, to get that last-minute goal, I've never experienced anything like it. The noise was absolutely fantastic. Until you're on the pitch experiencing that, you can't explain it. Whoever we draw, we're probably going to be underdogs, but with that crowd behind us we have every chance.

Papiss Cissé, Newcastle striker
I'm very happy. Yes, my goal was very important tonight, it was the goal that won the game, but I am happy because the team made it through to the next round. We played against top-class players tonight, names like Samuel Eto'o, and it was a really big thing for me to win a match against players like that.

All the matches in the Europa League are big matches – it is a top, top competition and you need to enjoy your time playing in it. We need to do everything now to win our next game.

Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle captain
We are still in the competition, which was our target before the game, so we are happy tonight. I came off injured and I was hoping the team would get through because it would be my first time playing in the last eight. It was hard out there – we knew if we conceded a goal, we needed to score two. Thankfully Papiss scored before extra time. 

The fans helped us and I have to thank them. The manager and all the players were happy, because the end was fantastic, but there was no dancing or jumping around. It is only the last eight and we must be focused.

João Carlos, Anji defender
It is a really big disappointment. We didn't deserve to concede this last-second goal when the game seemed finished. We played very well, even with ten men – everybody was focused for the 90 minutes. We were organised at the back so our forwards could keep the ball and we played good football. Now we have to go home and think about the Russian championship.

We are very proud. We are a new team in UEFA competition, but we came from the early rounds and step by step we eliminated good teams and qualified from a strong group. The disappointment is great and I hope to forget this very quickly.

Last updated: 16/03/13 0.12CET

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