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Chelsea vs. Newcastle United, FA Cup: Half-time report

Chelsea comfortably in the lead thanks to two poachers’ finishes from Batshuayi.

Chelsea v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

A bit of a limp first half was punctuated by a very nicely worked goal, created by a delicious long ball from Pedro, which Hazard controlled and (infuriating passed up his own shot to) set up Alonso, who made the extra pass to give an unmarked Batshuayi an easy tap-in at the far post. Batshuayi’s 9th goal of the season, continuing his trend of scoring at a fair clip in limited appearances.

Very nice of Hazard to play for a Michy goal after telling Conte that we don’t need another striker.

Hazard then set up Batshuayi again on the counter to double Chelsea’s lead with just a couple minutes to go in the half. Michy did get a bit lucky on this one, with a big deflection off the sliding defender looping the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. But the initial shot looked on target, so Michy should get the credit, putting him into double-digits for the season.

Chelsea have not impressed too much otherwise, with Drinkwater especially asleep at the wheel, Hazard not nearly as involved as he should be, and plenty of sloppy play in all phases. Caballero has been solid at least, making a couple good saves and a couple good punches on crosses.

But, two goals to the good, Chelsea just have to stay solid and smart and see this one out. No need to reinvent the wheel today.


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