FULL TIME: Chelsea lose. Not good enough.
90+4min: Newcastle have a late corner, and while Chelsea clear, Newcastle have a second cross and Rüdiger is isolated 2-v-1. He still should clear, he doesn’t, and it squirms past Kepa as well. Goal. 1-0, Newcastle.
90+1min: CHO tries his luck from the top of the area; not very close.
90min: Kanté chips towards Michy, but he can’t quite knock it down for Willian. 4 minutes added on.
89min: Batshuayi nearly gives the ball away in a terrible area, but the Newcastle man’s touch is almost as bad and Emerson can retain the ball. Hudson-Odoi then drives the box, but is blocked off.
88min: Newcastle’s first coherent bit of passing in ages sees Joelinton snatch a shot miles off target.
86min: A short corner from Chelsea sees the ball go to Barkley and his cutback produces some danger in the crowded box, but Newcastle eventually clear by drawing a foul.
84min: Emerson’s good-looking corner is cleared but Chelsea win the ball back. Emerson this time drives the box and tries to win a penalty by throwing himself down. The referee isn’t fooled and dishes out the yellow card to the Chelsea man. The other Longstaff is on in the meantime for Shelvey.
83min: Chelsea with space to attack but Willian’s cutback is behind everyone. But here comes Emerson! His shot is deflected just wide of the top corner.
82min: A lovely cross by CHO looks destined for Michy’s head, but he mistimes his jump and the chance is gone. Abraham could’ve used that one.
80min: Abraham’s reward for almost scoring is to be replaced by Batshuayi.
79min: Off the line by Newcastle! Azpilicueta’s header across looks to be out of the reach of Abraham, but somehow he gets a long leg to it. Dúbravka gets a piece but it’s still heading towards goal ... but not fast enough as a defender is able to clear.
76min: Emerson’s first involvement is to win a corner, which Hudson-Odoi takes. He swings it in, but Shelvey clears at the front post. Chelsea win the ball back, but can’t create an opening.
74min: James clears the ball, but he’s clearly in great discomfort. Emerson’s ready to come on.
72min: James is able to carry on, but he doesn’t look too comfortable. His first touch is a wild cross in fact. But Chelsea win the ball back and get lucky as the ball deflects off a defender and into the path of Abraham. But the angle and the space is very tight, and he can’t quite work the ball around the goalkeeper. Unlucky.
69min: Clark and James collide and the Chelsea man comes off worse as his right leg is stopped in its tracks. Concern about damage and James gingerly gets to his feet, assisted by the physios. Meanwhile, S.Longstaff is on for the home side, Krafth making way.
67min: Ross Barkley arrives, Mason Mount leaves.
64min: Hudson-Odoi’s latest corner is a flat delivery towards the penalty spot, but no one in Blue can get a foot to it.
63min: Willian’s pass is cut out and Jorginho is beaten in midfield, but fortunately Krafth’s ball is terrible otherwise Chelsea’s would’ve been in danger.
62min: Hudson-Odoi goes for another run, but this time it’s Clark who wins the fight with a well-timed tackle. Azpilicueta stops the counter and gets away with no yellow card.
61min: Another long free kick for Newcastle as Christensen’s called for a foul on Joelinton. It’s flighted in towards the box but Azpi’s there to clear.
60min: Hudson-Odoi getting into things as he beats his man and puts in a good cross. But it’s awkward for Abraham and the effort is well off target. Probably should’ve left it for Mount, coming in behind him.
59min: Newcastle have a slow counter through Joelinton, which leads to a Shelvey long range effort. Kepa makes the easy save.
58min: Kanté tries his luck from 25 yards, but a deflection takes the power out of it and Dúbravka can collect easily.
56min: Hayden chops down Mount from behind and earns the game’s first yellow card. Free kick 25-30 yards out, just left of center. Mount, James, CHO conference over it. A bit of deception from James and Mount leads to a chance for Jorginho to shoot. But he opts to play it wide against expectation, include the Chelsea man out there, who was Christensen, of all people due to the set piece setup. He’s not quick enough to catch up to it and the chance is gone. A bit overplayed, that.
55min: Azpilicueta goes for a piledriver from 20 after a square ball from Mount, but Dúbravka makes the straightforward save and hangs on.
53min: Good ball from CHO in to Abraham, who chests it down for Mount. He switches to Willian, who’s in space. He drives the box, goes let, takes aim, but misses the far post. Possibly Chelsea’s best attack so far.
51min: Great press from Mount to win the ball, but Chelsea can’t make the opportunity count as Mount’s shown onto his left foot and Willian eventually just plays it back.
49min: Kanté and Abraham press well and win the ball, but Mount chooses the riskier option in trying to find Hudson-Odoi and Newcastle cut out the pass.
48min: Willian cuts inside a couple times from the left, creating space for a shot, but it’s blocked. He doesn’t quite look in full flow.
46min: No changes at the half, but there’s word that Willian’s having some sort of groin problem. Pedro’s ready to come on, but for now, it’s Willian as Newcastle restart the match.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea with most of the possession, Newcastle with most of the best chances. Improvement needed.
45+5min: Good combinations initiated by Willian lead to a shot by Willian himself, but it deflects off of a heel for a corner. That’s easily cleared again, and the referee blows for the end of the half.
45+3min: Willian releases Azpilicueta again; his cutback causes havoc and after a Willian shanked shot, Ritchie clears over the top of his own bar. Hudson-Odoi’s corner is way too long however. Chelsea recover and push on the right, but Willian’s good-looking cross is headed clear just ahead of an arriving Abraham.
45+2min: Azpilicueta’s cross is blocked for a corner, which Mount takes. He goes long, straight into the gloves of Dúbravka.
45min: 5 minutes added on, thanks to all the injury stoppages.
44min: Good combination from Willian and Mount on the left, but the latter slips just as he’s about to deliver his ball in, much to merriment of the locals.
42min: Jorginho wins a foul off Almirón, 20-25 yards out just right of central. Mount and James stand over it; Mount pulls rank, but can’t clear the wall. Hudson-Odoi takes the resulting corner, which is easily cleared by the home side.
40min: Hudson-Odoi in space wide right, goes for the quick sharp cross, finding Mount, but his strong header is well over the bar.
38min: Abraham’s called for a foul, which gives Newcastle a chance to load the box. Shelvey delivers and there’s another free header, but it goes well over the bar. Chelsea’s set piece defending is beyond atrocious so far today.
36min: Jorginho tries to go over the top towards Kanté, but he’s called for a high boot as he tries to win the ball.
34min: Back-to-back fantastic passes from James, the first for Kanté running behind — goes for goal from a tight angle; saved — the second for Abraham who’s just beaten to it by a brave intervention from the goalkeeper, who looks to have hurt himself in the process.
33min: Willian chips in a cross, finding Kanté, who flicks it on towards Abraham, who produces an absolutely audacious flick that unfortunately hits only the woodwork. Turns out Abraham was probably offside anyway, but that was nearly glorious.
31min: The referee stops the game so that Fernández can boot his boot back on. Huh?
29min: Saint-Maximin beats James, who dives in, but fortunately his through ball doesn’t find Almirón with Rüdiger in close attention.
28min: James’ next cross is just a bit behind Abraham. Chelsea starting to look a bit more coherent.
27min: Chelsea probe on the left; this time Willian beats his man but his cross is too strong. Jorginho puts in a cross from the other side, but Newcastle get a toe to it before Kanté could try a volley.
25min: Reece James with his first cross of the day. Out of the reach of Abraham. Willian collects on the far side but he can’t beat his man.
24min: A strong block from Rüdiger leads to a chance to counter, but Willian doesn’t release Abraham and eventually loses the ball.
21min: A Newcastle free kick from midfield is pumped long towards the top of the area. Eventually a cross comes in, finding Joelinton for a free header behind Christensen, but it hits the bar and James can hack clear.
18min: Almirón turns Azpilicueta on a quick counter and Newcastle can try a couple crosses, but the first is blocked and the second is punched half-clear by Kepa. Kanté completes the cleareance.
16min: A long ball over the top almost finds Hudson-Odoi, as Dúbravka is late off his line, but still gets there just in the nick of time. Meanwhile, Hayden’s now down for Newcastle, though he looks okay to carry on.
14min: A horrendous giveaway by Newcastle as Kanté pressures high leads to a Chelsea chance via Abraham, but Mount opts to take it to the byline instead of shooting. His cutback finds no one.
12min: Ritchie’s on for Willems, who’s absolutely distraught. He’s likely facing a long rehab and recovery with what looked like a knee ligament.
9min: Hudson-Odoi and Willems appear to clash knees accidentally, and the latter crumbles to the ground with a great yell, pounding the turf in frustration. Concern all around. Replays show that the Newcastle defender actually just got his studs caught in the turf. It doesn’t look like he will be able to carry on as the stretcher arrives.
8min: Azpilicueta tries his luck from 20-25, but it’s blocked without too much trouble.
7min: Mount goes long this time and Rüdiger gets a head to it, but so does Lascelles who half-clears. An offside from Abraham then ends the second phase.
6min: Good work from Abraham and Willian to win the game’s first corner. Mount takes it short to Hudson-Odoi, who finds Willian, who gives it back to CHO. He’s tackled for another corner.
5min: A poor header from Rüdiger leads to Almirón twisting and turning on the right flank, but Willian helps back and Chelsea half-clear. A hopeful cross towards the far post is too much from Saint-Maximin and he can only guide it wide of a goal kick.
3min: Chelsea pass it around with ease, but Jorginho’s entry pass is repelled with equal ease as the two teams settle in.
KICK-OFF: Chelsea, in all blue with white socks, get us underway. Newcastle in their traditional black and white strip as the capacity crowd begin in fine voice.
Chelsea have a great chance to open up an even bigger lead over fifth place than the five points at the start of the weekend. All we have to do is beat Newcastle, which we’ve failed to do in Newcastle in five of the last six tries.
Here we go!
Newcastle United starting lineup (3-4-3):
Dúbravka | Clark, Lascelles (c), Fernández | Willems, Shelvey, Hayden, Krafth | Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Almirón
Substitutes from: Darlow, Schär, Ritchie, Lejeune, Atsu, S.Longstaff, M.Longstaff
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta (c), Rüdiger, Christensen, James | Mount, Jorginho, Kanté | Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Willian
Substitutes from: Caballero, Zouma, Emerson, Barkley, Kovačić, Pedro, Batshuayi
Date / Time: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 17.30 GMT; 12.30pm EST; 11pm IST
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBC, Universo (USA); Start Sports Select HD1 (India); Canal+ Sport 2, SuperSport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Universo Now (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!