Newcastle United’s Pardew hails Gouffran’s graft

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NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew hailed grafter Yoan Gouffran after the forward set the Magpies on the way to an unexpected victory.

Gouffran’s strike, which opened the scoring, took his goal tally for the season to three.

But it wasn’t Gouffran’s record in front of goal that earned him his place in Pardew’s starting XI.

It was instead the graft that he brings to the wide areas.

“When you look at sides like Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, you say to yourself ‘OK, your wide players nowadays need to work’,” said Pardew.

“They need to work really, really hard at the top level, and you have to put him in that category.

“My goodness, Gouffran worked his socks off.

“He couldn’t move at the end when I subbed him. He literally couldn’t even walk out. It’s that kind of commitment, I think, our fans love.

“We are a working-class city and they love flair, but what they really, really want to see is that hard working grind and a day’s work.

“He did a day’s work today and more.”

Coming off the back of the 2-1 reverse at the Stadium of Light and the midweek Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Manchester City, victory over Chelsea was a massive boost for Newcastle and Gouffran.

Asked how tough the week had been, Gouffran said: “It was really, really difficult. It was an exhausting match for us against Manchester City. We lost in extra-time, so we had to play that much longer.

“Coming off the back of a derby defeat, we were very disappointed. We know we could have done a lot better in the week.

“It was disappointing to have lost it and we had to go out there and show a really different side of ourselves on the pitch and really make it up to the fans, and we did that.”

For half an hour or more, Newcastle had to fight tooth and nail to keep Chelsea at bay as the Londoners dominated possession and threatened to overwhelm their hosts.

However, apart from a 13th-minute John Terry header which crashed against Tim Krul’s crossbar, they failed to convert pressure into chances and the Magpies grew in confidence as a result.

The opening goal eventually arrived with 68 minutes gone and it was Gouffran who sparked delirious celebrations among the home fans when he dived to head compatriot Yohan Cabaye’s delicious free-kick past the helpless Petr Cech.

The former Bordeaux player said: “It was magnificent. The fans made one hell of a noise.

“I really just wanted to go and slide. I hurt my knees a little bit and got some grass burns, but it was really nice and a wonderful feeling.”

But for a smart reaction save by Krul, substitute Willian might have dragged Chelsea back into the game, but Loic Remy was to have the final say when he thumped home Vurnon Anita’s pull-back off the inside of the post to seal victory at the death.

Gouffran said: “At the beginning of the match, the manager told us we had to stay solid as a defensive unit – even the attackers had to make sure they stayed solid in our half.

“In the second half, Chelsea had to come forward. They needed to try to score and that’s when we were able to go forward and take our chances.

“We were fantastic from the first minute until the very end. We were really solid defensively as a unit and we took our chances when we needed to, and it has given us a really good confidence-boost.”

Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Sissoko, Cabaye, Tiote (Anita 53), Gouffran (Obertan 85), Remy, Shola Ameobi (Cisse 62). Subs Not Used: Ben Arfa, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier. Booked: Sissoko, Remy. Goals: Gouffran 68, Remy 89.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard (Schurrle 70), Mata (Willian 62), Oscar, Hazard, Torres (Eto’o 62). Subs Not Used: Mikel, Schwarzer, Cahill, Azpilicueta. Booked: Luiz, Ramires.

Att: 51,674 Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).