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The Newcastle forward's magnificent finish against Roberto Di Matteo's men at Stamford Bridge has earned the crown of the greatest strike in the English top flight this term

COMMENT
By David Lynch

To say that it has been a season of the unexpected in the Premier League might just be something of an understatement given the absurdity that has at times transpired.

This insanity has been no more evident than in the circumstances and style with which several goals have been scored this term.

Beanpole striker Peter Crouch's dipping volley against the soon-to-be league champions for unfashionable provincial club Stoke City is a particularly fine example.

Serial woodwork-hitter and 'average finisher' Luis Suarez capping a hat-trick with a lob over England's third-choice goalkeeper from just beyond the halfway line was no doubt another.

"It was a wonderful goal. It was the best goal of my career - I was so happy to score it. When the ball came to me, I was only thinking about scoring. It was an instinctive finish"


- Papiss Cisse

For all the brilliance, and madness, of those goals, though, it is only right that a club and a player who have typified the league's unpredictability should receive such an award.

With Papiss Cisse's first goal against Chelsea on the night of May 2, his 12th in as many appearances for the Magpies, the Senegalese forward's potency was essentially confirmed.

This was proof that the 26-year-old was no flat-track bully or lucky bluffer, that he could do this on the biggest of stages and when the stakes - Champions League qualification, in this case - were high.

Yet his second on the night defied such logic. It defied any logic. It did not just bend the rules of physics, it smashed them.

In fact, the theories of Isaac Newton might have been vastly different had he been at Stamford Bridge on May 2, 2012, instead of sitting under an apple tree in 17th-century England.

One swing of pure talent brought about a goal which fans, commentators and 21 of the players on the pitch had not seen coming two seconds prior; a beauty which arced over a helpless Petr Cech and into the far corner.

The swerve still does not look right on replays, but it gave birth to the type of finish that would have fans of any club standing and applauding.

It announced that Cisse and Newcastle were for real, ready to step up to the gauntlet and battle with the traditional Premier League giants.

Though the fight for fourth eventually ended in disappointment, Newcastle will not be done a disservice thanks to the genius of that strike in west London.

Sure, they will be praised for Alan Pardew's organisational skills and their work-rate, but Cisse's goal ensured that they will remembered for their quality too. It is a worthy winner of Goal.com UK's Goal of the Season award.
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