Sissoko: I gave everything
Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko announced himself on the Premier League stage in emphatic fashion, firing a second-half double to hand his side a stunning 3-2 win over Chelsea on Saturday.
Sissoko, 23, joined Newcastle from Toulouse in the January window and endeared himself to the St James' Park faithful in his home debut with a last gasp winner to ease the Magpies' relegation fears.
Superb strikes from Frank Lampard and Juan Mata cancelled out Jonas Gutierrez's opener, but Sissoko struck in the 68th minute to draw level before sending the crowd into a frenzy with the winner, although the France international was eager to divert attention from his own heroics.
"I gave 100 per cent, the very best I could," Sissoko told nufcTV. "I was signed to do that, to give everything, to fight from the first to the 90th minute - that's what I try to do.
"I'm very happy today but we can't forget that it was a team performance. The team worked together, played well, but it's a team effort. We came away with three points as a team and I hope we can continue to perform like that and continue to climb up the Premier League as high as possible."
The win moved Newcastle into 12th place, just three points from the top half of the table and a comfortable eight points clear of the drop zone.
Sissoko admitted the atmosphere of English football was a motivator in his decision to leave France, identifying the Chelsea scalp as one of the most significant moments in his career.
"It was a fantastic afternoon," he said. "Two goals and three points against Chelsea - a fantastic team - in front of a full-house, who supported us fantastically this afternoon. I couldn't be happier.
"I've never had so much encouragement and support. I always said I wanted to come to England to play in the Premier League and witness this sort of support.
"I'm delighted to be here at Newcastle. This is a great club and I hope we can continue to have fantastic games like that and continue to do well."
Two goals in six minutes from the Blues put Newcastle on the back foot, but boss Alan Pardew believes the resilience his side showed proved they have the potential to match it with the top teams.
"We came up against their best team today - Ivanovic at right-back, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Oscar," Pardew told nufcTV. "But we wouldn't let them settle and that was the message. You can't let the big teams settle.
"We did that at Manchester United and Arsenal this year but didn't have the power or pace to see it through. Today we did. We were always a threat, even when they had their great 20-minute period after half-time.
"When you concede two great goals like we did today, normally that knocks the stuffing out of you and you go down. But we answered another question today about French players not having fight. We answered that today.
"We stuck in there, ground it out, got another goal and were back in there. Then an unbelievable last goal really took the roof off this place."