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Cup gathers importance after Magpies win
GOAL SCORER: Newcastle’s Yoan Gouffran, scorer of the second goal, fires the ball beyond Leeds’s Scott Wootton during last night’s Capital One Cup tie
Full-time: Newcastle United 2 Leeds United 0
ACCORDING to members of the St James' Park boardroom, Newcastle United do not take the Capital One Cup too seriously. After a routine victory over Leeds United sealed a place in the fourth round, it could well be the time to.
Papiss Cisse's first goal since April and a second half stunner from Yoan Gouffran guided the Magpies through to the last-16 just 48 hours after club officials suggested cup competitions are not a priority during a forum with the club's fans.
But Newcastle sit just three wins from Wembley this morning and there could even be a few of the most optimistic of supporters thinking about a first domestic cup success since 1955.
Leeds, of the Championship, might have battled on in front of 6,000 travelling supporters high in the Leazes End, but Newcastle never looked in any serious danger once Cisse had put them ahead just after half an hour. During the meeting with the fans on Monday there was a suggestion cup ties were also an opportunity to look at the squad as a whole and hours later Pardew obliged.
While fielding a strong line-up which still should have been good enough to get the job done, there were six changes to the team which started Saturday's defeat to Hull City.
Among those left out were Hatem Ben Arfa, who was included on the bench, and Loic Remy, meaning an opportunity for Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux to shine on the flanks – and they did.
Even before Ameobi teed the opener up for Cisse, Leeds had to be aware of the pair showing plenty of intent to impress against full-backs Sam Byram and Stephen Warnock.
Leeds showed plenty of purpose going forward too. Even after Ross McCormack, who had been on Middlesbrough's radar throughout the summer, had found the upright with a delightful chip from 25 yards, Brian McDermott's team got deep in to the Newcastle half on a number of occasions.
That was the first of a number of chances at both ends. Leeds striker Matt Smith cleared a header from Fabricio Coloccini off his own line shortly after a touching tribute by both sets of fans for Gary Speed, who played for both clubs, on 11 minutes.
Another header from Coloccini had the opposite end almost ended up in his own net when it bounced off Smith, but Krul got down well to his left to turn behind for a corner.
But there was no stopping another header. The one from Cisse.
Marveaux started the move from the right full-back position, playing inside to Coloccini. The switch continued to the left, where Paul Dummett's fine ball in to the corner was ideal for Ameobi to chase.
The Newcastle winger left Byram behind and he volleyed a brilliant first time cross in to the area where Cisse arrived on cue to place his header in to the centre of Paddy Kenny's net.
Cisse, who has looked short of confidence so far this season, took his goal like the £9m man who could not stop scoring at the start of his Newcastle career, even if Ameobi's ball had done most of the work for him.
But Leeds still looked capable of finding an equaliser. There were a few occasions where they got in to decent positions only to waste.
When they did get a good delivery in to the box from the right, Smith's towering 6ft 6in frame edged ahead of Coloccini but Krul was equal to the header early in the second half.
But when Leeds introduced wide-men El-Hadji Diouf and Aidan White in an attempt to force the game to extra-time, Newcastle hit a sensational second to wrap things up.
It was a another move which started from inside the Newcastle half. Ameobi – after Cheik Tiote, Coloccini and Dummett all contributed – claimed a second assist by rolling into the feet of Gouffran.
The Frenchman's first touch took the ball from out under his feet and away from marker Scott Wootton and his second was a quite sublime right-foot curler which was both powerful and precise to find the inside of Kenny's far post.
After that Newcastle hit cruise control and could have had a third when Rodolph Austin gifted possession to substitute Gabriel Obertan. But the former Manchester United winger, now on the periphery of things on Tyneside, was denied by the legs of Kenny.
The former Sheffield United goalkeeper also denied Obertan with the last move of the match, but Newcastle had already made the game safe by then and the whistle soon followed.
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