Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United: Pedro and Willian goals give hosts victory

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Willian

Chelsea moved one point behind third-placed Tottenham with a victory over a Newcastle side who are now in the relegation zone.

Pedro gave the Blues an eighth-minute lead when he collected David Luiz’s ball over the top, took a touch, then shot past Martin Dubravka.

But Newcastle equalised through Ciaran Clark’s powerful header when he got between Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz from Matt Ritchie’s corner.

Willian won it for Chelsea in the second half with a fine curling finish after being played in by Eden Hazard.

The result leaves Maurizio Sarri’s side fourth, six points clear of Arsenal, who they face at Emirates Stadium in their next game on 19 January.

Sarri’s side do enough for the three points

Chelsea had failed to score in their previous two league matches at Stamford Bridge – a 1-0 loss to Leicester and a goalless draw with Southampton – but they netted early on with Pedro’s seventh goal of the season in all competitions.

However, with Eden Hazard again featuring as a ‘false nine’ with Olivier Giroud on the bench and Alvaro Morata left out of the squad, they struggled to create further clear-cut chances before Clark equalised five minutes before the break.

There were boos heard inside Stamford Bridge at half-time, but Sarri’s side were greatly improved in the second half, with Hazard a much more prominent threat.

The Belgian led Chelsea’s attack, which resulted in their second goal as he ran at the Newcastle defence, offloaded to Willian who, from a tight angle, cut inside onto his right foot and curled a beautiful effort past Dubravka with the ball going in off the post.

With nine minutes left, 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi, the subject of a £35m bid from German champions Bayern Munich[2], came on for only his second Premier League appearance.

The home fans chanted “we want you to stay” in the direction of the talented winger, who was part of England’s Under-17 World Cup triumph in 2017 and has 18 months left on his current Chelsea deal.

Newcastle drop into the bottom three

Newcastle started the day 15th in the Premier League, but wins for Burnley and Southampton – along with Cardiff drawing – leaves Rafael Benitez’s side in the bottom three.

Benitez won the manager of the month award in November, but since then they have only won one match in 10 in all competitions.

With the Spaniard unlikely to be given any money to make further signings – amid ongoing uncertainty about a possible takeover – there are real concerns that the club could drop into the second tier after only two seasons back in the top flight.

Before the game, Benitez said that the club’s “reality” was “having to compete in a division when we cannot compete against Bournemouth, who are spending money”.

At Stamford Bridge, Newcastle had late chances to snatch a point, but Ritchie shot over the bar and Salomon Rondon headed a chance wide.

Newcastle face a hugely important home game against Cardiff in their next league match, before tough assignments against Manchester City and Tottenham.

Man of the match – Pedro (Chelsea)

Pedro

Another Newcastle failure against a top-six side – the stats

  • Chelsea have only lost one of their 12 Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge this season, drawing four and winning the other seven.
  • Newcastle’s total of 18 points from their opening 22 matches is their lowest tally at this stage of a top-flight season since 1988-89 campaign (17 points), with the Magpies going on to be relegated under manager Jim Smith.
  • Chelsea (played four, won three and drew one) are on their longest unbeaten league run since losing none of their opening 12 league games under manager Maurizio Sarri (played 12, won eight and drew four).
  • Newcastle have now lost 10 straight top-flight matches away from home against sides starting the day in the top four, last winning such a match back in November 2010 against Arsenal (played 26, won none, drew three, lost 23 since).
  • Rafael Benitez has now lost six of his eight away league games against former employers Chelsea in the Premier League (won one, drew one), including his two as Newcastle boss.
  • Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has both scored (10) and assisted (10) at least 10 goals in league games this season – the only other player within the top five European Leagues to have also done so in 2018-19 is Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (16 goals, 10 assists).
  • Pedro has now scored three goals in his two Premier League starts against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge – against no other side in the competition has the Spaniard netted more goals for Chelsea (three, level with Bournemouth).
  • Of players with at least 10 Premier League goals, only Ugo Ehiogu (84%) and David Wetherall (87%) have scored a higher percentage of their goals via their head than Newcastle’s Kieran Clark (83%).

‘We slept for 20 minutes’ – what they said

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri speaking to BBC Sport: “Today was very important to get points. We started well but after the goal we slept for 20 minutes, so by the end of the first half we were in trouble.

“We were better in the second half. I’m very happy with the result but we need to improve mentally and technically because we lost a lot of the ball in a stupid way.

“I think our wingers attacked the space better than in the last five or six matches but we need to attack the box better.”

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Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez speaking to BBC Sport: “We conceded a goal we could avoid but after that we were fighting for every ball. These players care, you could see that.

“We scored and then controlled the last few minutes of the first half so it’s a pity, but a piece of quality made the difference.

“You could see a lot of positives with the performance but no points. We knew that they would keep the ball and we had to maximise what we did when we got the ball. We had some chances on the counter but our final pass wasn’t there.”

What’s next?

Next up for Chelsea is an away game at Arsenal on Saturday, 19 January (17:30 GMT).

Newcastle play their FA Cup third-round replay against Championship side Blackburn on Tuesday, 15 January (19:45 GMT), before returning to league action on Saturday when they host Cardiff City (15:00 GMT)

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 30David Luiz
  • 3Alonso
  • 7Kanté
  • 5JorginhoBooked at 63mins
  • 17KovacicSubstituted forBarkleyat 63'minutes
  • 11PedroSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 81'minutes
  • 10E HazardSubstituted forGiroudat 87'minutes
  • 22Willian

Substitutes

  • 8Barkley
  • 13Caballero
  • 18Giroud
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 27Christensen
  • 33Emerson
  • 44Ampadu

Newcastle

  • 12Dubravka
  • 22YedlinSubstituted forManquilloat 82'minutes
  • 20Lejeune
  • 6Lascelles
  • 2Clark
  • 11RitchieBooked at 24mins
  • 17PérezSubstituted forMurphyat 82'minutes
  • 36Longstaff
  • 14Hayden
  • 30Atsu
  • 9Rondón

Substitutes

  • 5Schär
  • 7Murphy
  • 18Fernandez
  • 19Manquillo
  • 21Joselu
  • 25Sterry
  • 41Woodman
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
40,491

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home6
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea 2, Newcastle United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Newcastle United 1.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by David Luiz.

Attempt blocked. Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Javier Manquillo.

Offside, Chelsea. Marcos Alonso tries a through ball, but Willian is caught offside.

Jorginho (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United).

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Javier Manquillo.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Christian Atsu (Newcastle United).

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Olivier Giroud replaces Eden Hazard.

Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Javier Manquillo with a cross.

Offside, Chelsea. Jorginho tries a through ball, but Callum Hudson-Odoi is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Javier Manquillo replaces DeAndre Yedlin.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Jacob Murphy replaces Ayoze Pérez.

Attempt missed. Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by DeAndre Yedlin with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Callum Hudson-Odoi replaces Pedro.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match David Luiz (Chelsea) because of an injury.

David Luiz (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).

Offside, Chelsea. David Luiz tries a through ball, but Pedro is caught offside.

Attempt missed. David Luiz (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United).

David Luiz (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) because of an injury.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.

Attempt saved. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Luiz with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Ross Barkley replaces Mateo Kovacic.

Booking

Jorginho (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jorginho (Chelsea).

Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Chelsea. Pedro tries a through ball, but Eden Hazard is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Chelsea 2, Newcastle United 1. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

goal

References

  1. ^ Relive Chelsea v Newcastle as it happened (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ £35m bid from German champions Bayern Munich (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ Line-ups (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ Match Stats (www.bbc.co.uk)
  5. ^ Live Text (www.bbc.co.uk)

BBC Sport – Football