Perseverence and patience paid off!
Chelsea took on Newcastle at St.James Park with Newcastle sitting 19th in the table. Newcastle stuck with the formation we had predicted, a 5-3-2 of sorts. Tuchel was forced into making some changes. Mendy started in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. James and Chilwell started as the wing backs with Kante, and Jorginho in midfield. Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, and Havertz started up front. Mount missed out due to falling ill in the final moments before the game. A strong XI regardless and a chance for players like Ziyech to make an impact.
It was all Chelsea from minute 1. Newcastle were pinned back by Chelsea’s press and the likes of Silva, Rudiger and Christensen were playing well into Newcastle’s half. Ziyech had quite a few chances with a shot being saved, one being disallowed, and one chance where he sent the ball over the bar. It was a frustrating half watching Ziyech because he has so much quality but its just not working out at the moment. The half ended goalless though and Newcastle were happier of the two teams.
The 2nd half was more of the same for Chelsea with Hudson-Odoi seeing a shot saved early on and Ziyech’s shot hitting the post from a distance. Loftus-Cheek and Barkley then came on for Kante, and Ziyech in the 65th minute and Chelsea continued to apply the pressure. The first goal came soon after, Hudson-Odoi delivered a looping cross form the left hand side and it found James who took it down and volleyed the ball in with his left foot. Chelsea had the lead and the game opened up. The 2nd goal came in the 77th minute as Chilwell, Barkley and Havertz combined well down the left and played the ball into Reece who laid the shot off for RLC. RLC’s shot was saved and Reece volleyed in the rebound with his right foot to make it 0-2. The 3rd goal came in the 81st minute as Havertz ran through on goal and was brought down by Darlow. Jorginho stepped up and made it 0-3. A comprehensive victory for Chelsea against a team we usually struggle against.
Chelsea Team Review
Another clean sheet for Mendy in a game he had very little to do. In the 2nd half during the final stages Newcastle did have a small chance to get a consolation goal and Mendy along with the defence were fuming. A good but relaxing game for Mendy.
Another clean sheet for our back three and our wing backs. Christensen was dominant in the back 3 and once again played brilliantly. Rudiger was playing as a no 10 at times that’s how high our back line was. Silva was a calming presence and elegant as ever. Reece James got the two goals and makes it 4 in the league this season. Reece along with Chilwell are doing very well and are probably the best full backs in the league at the moment. It is great to see.
The usual from Kante and Jorginho in this game as they controlled the tempo and Jorginho particularly is the pivot in with which the whole team functions at times. RLC and Barkley came on in the 2nd half and both made an impact. Barkley looked lively and was important for both the 2nd goal and the pass that sent Havertz through on goal to draw the penalty. Loftus-Cheek’s runs were again a problem for Newcastle.
Ziyech was involved and maybe was unlucky to not leave the pitch with a goal but he did frustrate at times. I think he is that type of player but one hopes that he can gain form and at least show the fans the quality he has. Hudson-Odoi had another brilliant game on the left wing and got an assist as well. Havertz was a constant threat up front and his runs caused Newcastle several problems.
Tuchel get’s another three points especially in a game where he didn’t have Lukaku, Werner, Mount, Pulisic, and Kovacic. Newcastle has always caused Chelsea problems and the trip away has been an arduous one at times. A good win and a positive performance yet again.
St.James Park indeed with Reece James getting the double and Chelsea now sit 3 points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table and 5 clear of City. Another solid step in the right direction and next up is a trip to Malmo.