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Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle: Goal by Goal

There were some happy Newcastle fans as their team score four goals at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday
There were some happy Newcastle fans as their team score four goals at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday

1-0 Chelsea: A long ball is launched into the Newcastle box from the right. Sol Campbell collides with goalkeeper Tim Krul, but the ball pops out to Alan Smith before Gael Kakuta can take advantage of the fact that there are two players down in the box. Smith, under no pressure, lets lose a truly awful pass to Nile Ranger, who has to spend precious time reeling it in - Ranger then compounds his teammate's mistake by failing to see Patrick van Aanholt closing him down. The left-back nips in and takes possession, immediately feeding Kakuta. The winger drives wide, drawing the defence out of alignment, before beating a pair of challenges and turning provider. His pass back to van Aanholt, now stationed in the centre of the box, is perfect, and although the finish could have been much better, it beats Krul for the first goal. The key to the goal is Kakuta's work in his run to the left side of the box - it drags both Smith and the right back Ryan Taylor out of position, and since Ranger doesn't follow van Aanholt's run into the box, the Chelsea man is wide open. Fabricio Coloccini, who is theoretically a centre back, doesn't even show up in the box until after the ball is in the net. Strange.

Figure 1: Patrick van Aanholt scores the opener for Chelsea after superb work from Gael Kakuta

1-1 Draw: Newcastle are pinging the ball around the back before finally opening up a hole through which their left-back Shane Ferguson bursts through after a pass from Alan Smith. Although Daniel Sturridge is theoretically supposed to be picking him up, the striker is nowhere to be seen, and as a result Chelsea simply stand off, letting him drive all the way through to the penalty area. The cross isn't great, but van Aanholt assumes that John Terry will clear in the centre and takes a step upfield. The ball is missed by everyone in the area, which leaves Nile Ranger unmarked at the far post with Ross Turnbull stranded. An easy goal for Newcastle, and a ratherlong  list of errors from the young players. Also notable is Yossi Benayoun's attempted tackle of Smith - the midfielder gets caught out of position and so Jeffrey Bruma is forced to pick up a player outside the area. If Benayoun stays deep, Bruma is probably able to help Terry in the box.

Figure 2: Niles Ranger scores Newcastle's first goal from a simple cross and finish.

2-1 Newcastle: Jeffrey Bruma is forced to foul striker Shola Ameobi just outside the Chelsea area, tugging the Newcastle man's shirt and receiving a booking for his troubles. 22 yard free kicks are what every player worth their salt dreams of taking, and right-back Ryan Taylor strode up confidently before lashing the ball past the wall and into the net. Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull reacts very poorly, stepping the wrong way as the ball was struck - the free kick, while hit sweetly, is at head-height and maybe five feet to Turnbull's left, and should be saved. A goal that looks much better than it was thanks to some poor keeping.

3-1 Newcastle: Defenders need to be calm and collected with their passing, because a mistake often lets the opposition clean through. Paulo Ferreira, wearing the captain's armband after John Terry left the game in the 45th minute, is not calm and collected, threading a ball that may have been intended as a diagonal pass to Ramires straight into the path of Shola Ameobi. Chelsea's defence is out of alignment, and as the last man Alex can do little but attempt to deny Ameobi some space. However, he backs off too far, and the striker shoots from 25 yards, bending a low shot just inside the near post, Ross Turnbull's fingertips failing to make contact in a despairing dive. Ramires could do more to help Alex - if he gets back into defence Ameobi doesn't have had nearly as much space. It's still a very good finish, nicking the inside of the post as it finds its way in.

Figure 3: Paulo Ferreira gives the ball away in midfield for Shola Ameobi to slot home from 25 yards.

3-2 Newcastle: An extremely slick piece of play from 10-man Chelsea reduces Newcastle's lead to one. Yuri Zhirkov has the ball in the centre circle with Josh McEachran free to his left as his only real option. McEachran receives the pass and immediately releases van Aanholt down the left side. The young fullback bypasses the defence by playing a through ball to himself, outrunning his marker and picking up the ball again just outside the Newcastle penalty area. With bodies streaming back into the box, van Aanholt cuts the ball back for Nicolas Anelka, who's lurking dangerously just outside the area. Anelka hits the ball first time, guiding a gorgeous shot past Krul into the far corner. A classic case of the defence overreacting to a threat - the centrebacks drop deep without really needing to, opening up spaces for strikers to operate. Still, lovely goal; there were only four touches between Zhirkov's pass to McEachran and the ball sitting in the back of the Newcastle net.

Figure 4: Patrick van Aanholt and Nicolas Anelka combine for Chelsea's second goal.

3-3 Draw: Alex is in the Newcastle area in a desperate bid to score the tying goal. A pass is rolled to him and he controls with his back foot, popping the ball back out on front and twisting around to try and open up some space. His touch is a little heavy and there's some very weak contact from Mike Williamson, so rather than fight to stay up and lose the ball*, Alex elects to go down, winning a penalty. Nicolas Anelka steps up and rather nonchalantly rolls the ball into the net, tucking his shot just inside the left-hand post with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot and looking rather silly.

4-3 Newcastle: Jonas Gutierrez takes a corner from the Chelsea right, clipping a pretty neat cross in towards the centre of the penalty area. Ameobi has made a dangerous diagonal run and beats both Ramires and Jeffrey Bruma to the ball, glancing his header past a diving Turnbull and into the net. It's a very good headed goal, but both Chelsea men are slow to pick up the danger as Ameobi burst towards the six-yard box. I'd do an animation, but that takes forever.

*This is one of those situations where you can see that the clip knocks Alex off-balance, but you also know that he could have still ploughed on if he'd tried. However, that would have killed the opportunity, so he makes the most of the 'foul'. It's not a dive, but it's one of the softest penalties ever given.

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