90+5min: FULL TIME! Chelsea win!
90+4min: Newcastle win a corner; Alonso clears.
90+1min: Barkley wins a free-kick to slow things down.
89min: Newcastle win a free-kick in a dangerous area, but Ki wastes it. 5 minutes of added-on time for some reason.
87min: GOAL! Yedlin scores an own goal, after Giroud and Alonso fashion a chance. 2-1, Chelsea!
83min: GOAL. Yedlin elbows Giroud in the face to win the ball, crosses, Joselu runs across David Luiz and scores. 1-1.
79min: Barkley on for a tired Kovačić
75min: PENALTY! Chelsea have a bit of space to exploit for once and Alonso doesn’t have to be asked twice. On the eventual underlap, Alonso gets the ball back from Hazard and gets taken out from behind by Schär. Hazard makes no mistake from the spot. 1-0 Chelsea!
74min: Chelsea win a corner, but no luck.
72min: Rüdiger almost breaks the bar from 40 yards out! Ayoze Perez comes on for Newcastle.
70min: Ritchie with another Newcastle booking after taking out Hazard. Jorginho draws the ire of the crowd after a delayed crumbling to the floor from a bodycheck.
68min: Fernandez collects another booking, taking out Kovačić as Chelsea saw some rare space ahead. Willian replaces Pedro.
67min: Kepa touches the ball for a second after Newcastle venture over the halfway line.
65min: The Azpi cross makes an appearance, just eluding Morata’s head. Schär collects Newcastle’s first, long-overdue booking. Giroud on for a disappointed/disappointing Morata.
62min: Joselu comes on for Rondon as Newcastle make the game’s first change.
61min: Clark takes out Azpilicueta; no foul, not even a yellow?!
60min: A couple crosses recently from Chelsea to switch things up, looking for Morata’s head. Nothing doing.
56min: Lovely 1-2s as Jorginho conducts the attack, eventually finding Morata inside the area, but his touch is just a bit long and he can only poke the ball goalwards. Needed better there from the big man; Giroud is sent to warm up.
55min: Newcastle come forward for once, but Rüdiger cuts out Yedlin’s cross. Alonso wins a free kick to end the brief pressure.
53min: Hazard wastes the free kick, but Chelsea retain possession and work the ball to the other side. Morata’s chipped cross is caught by the goalkeeper.
52min: Morata wins a free kick just outside the near-side corner of the penalty area.
50min: Wonderful cross-field pass from Hazard finds Pedro, his layoff finds Azpilicueta, but his shots only finds Dúbravka’s gloves.
49min: Chelsea maintain possession, but Newcastle maintaining strong lines. Same as in the first half.
46min: And we’re back under way. Newcastle called offside and Chelsea resume the possession.
HALF-TIME: All the possession in the world, but no goals yet. A few good opportunities have been wasted, but otherwise Newcastle have been organized and strong in their deep defending. Pedro has had a couple shots, Hazard has caused some panic; just have to stay patient and look for our shots.
45+1min: Hazard causes havoc, but still no luck for Chelsea, who may be guilty of overplaying it that time.
45min: Hazard breaks down the left but his cross only finds a Newcastle head. But the clearance only goes as far as Azpilicueta, who strikes it sweetly. It seems to be heading in, but hits Morata instead.
43min: Chelsea win a corner, after Hazard takes the free kick. He then takes the corner, which is headed wide by Rüdiger.
40min: Kovačić first to go into the book for a tackle from behind on Yedlin. Given all the fouls on Hazard, seems harsh. Chelsea clear the free kick for a corner, then for another corner, and then for another corner, and then Chelsea can break out from which Alonso wins a free kick in a decent position.
37min: Kanté gives the ball away, but Chelsea recover.
35min: Pedro misses a good chance as he and Kanté combine on the right. Shot from 8 yards out flies just high and wide of the far top angle. A minute later, another Pedro shot goes to waste after Hazard dances through half the defense on the left.
32min: Newcastle maintain a bit of possession thanks to a couple errant Chelsea passes. Alonso gives away a free kick, level with the penalty spot on the left flank. Azpilicueta clears; but Newcastle maintain possession. Eventually, Rondón heads wide and normal service is resumed.
29min: Hazard has a go from distance, just wide. He continues to try, despite being clearly targeted by all the black-and-white stripes.
27min: Newcastle counter for once after a foul uncalled, but Chelsea recover well and win possession back. The attack goes through Morata, who holds up well before turning to receive from Hazard. A shot is blocked for a corner, which finds Rüdiger’s head. Goalkeeper saves easily.
24min: Hazard finds a brief opening for a shot in between seven defenders, but it doesn’t have the required bend and it flies wide.
22min: Jorginho has played more passes than all of Newcastle combined. But it’s working so far, as Hazard’s crowded out in the center on a run.
20min: Hazard down for treatment after Diamé stepped on his calf. Chelsea’s possession stands in the low 80s.
15min: Rüdiger has swinger after a brief corner scramble; wide. As the commentary says, Chelsea are essentially playing against a flat back-9. P
14min: Hazard dances through a few, with as many kicks to his ankle to match. Cleared for a throw before he could create/have a shot.
10min: Some nice combinations between Hazard and Kovačić, but unable to break through Newcastle’s massed ranks so far. The “home side” have 10 men inside of 20 yards of goal.
5min: Newcastle with a couple early, harmless opportunities as Chelsea warm to the task. Passing machine is starting to whir up.
KICK-OFF: And here we go.
Chelsea have won a Champions League more recently than we have won at St James’ Park.
No one in the current squad remembers that December 2011 day; and how could they, they weren’t there! last win at St James’ Park. Gary Cahill comes closest, and he’s no longer a starter these days. Perhaps he can cheer from the bench.
Either way, it’s time to end this sad streak of sorries at St James’s. Savvy?
Sarri has chosen a most full-strength line
COME ON, CHELSEA!
Newcastle United starting lineup (5-4-1?):
Dúbravka | Dummett, Clark, Fernandez, Schär, Yedlin | Murphy, Diamé, Ki, Ritchie | Rondón
Substitutes from: Darlow, Sterry, Longstaff, Atsu, Muto, Pérez, Joselu
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Morata, Pedro
Substitutes from: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Willian, Giroud
Date / Time: Sunday, August 26th, 2018, 16:00 BST; 11am EDT; 8:30pm IST
Venue: St. James’ Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Referee: Paul Tierney
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: SKY GO Extra (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); audio commentary now available in the official Chelsea app as well, The 5th Stand
Be excellent to each other.