We are 45 minutes closer to the end of the Rafa Benitez era (fingers crossed), and hopefully 45 minutes closer to the return of an entertaining brand of football as well. Say what you will about that first half, but it was certainly low on quality from Chelsea. Chelsea looked generally awful throughout the first half again, and are fittingly down 1-0 at the break.
We really should have been up a goal midway through the half, when Ashley Cole picked out Frank Lampard after a beautiful ball from Juan Mata. Lampard didn't finish it well at all though, almost launching the ball out of the stadium with his volley. Demba Ba also missed a pretty clear chance to put Chelsea up a goal on the half hour, and got kicked in the face for his trouble. He's probably got a broken nose and quite possibly a concussion, and the ever-classy Newcastle fans booed him off the pitch after his injury. Good form idiots...good form.
Ramires also got himself in a bit of a spot on about 30 minutes, sliding into a challenge that earned him a yellow and probably has him on very thin ice with Howard Webb. That will be something to watch in the second half, and we really don't have a good replacement for him.