Newcastle boss Alan Pardew hailed a match-winning contribution from new signing Moussa Sissoko as his side gained a vital 2-1 win at fellow Barclays Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.
Sissoko, a £2 million capture from Toulouse, set up the opening goal for Papiss Cisse and impressed in his central midfield role. Yohan Cabaye's stunning strike doubled the Magpies' lead and all Villa could manage in a second-half fightback was Christian Benteke's penalty.
Pardew, who also gave a debut to another French player in Yoan Gouffran, was surprised at how quickly the newcomers slotted into his side. And he said: "I was a little bit surprised myself, if I'm honest. I don't think we would have won the game without Sissoko. That's how important I think that signing was."
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