It was all Chelsea in the opening 45 minutes at St James’ Park, though most of the our possession was in midfield and consistent of u-shaped passing around Newcastle’s massed ranks in defense — a line of five, and a line of four, with the striker often dropping behind the ball as well.
Still, Chelsea created enough chances to put the game to bed a couple times over. Frustratingly, only one of those chances resulted in a goal, and that thanks to Federico Fernández making an absolute mess of a clearance and putting the ball into his own net under pressure from Chilwell.
Both Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner spurned most excellent chances, with the former’s header from a perfect Ziyech cross too close to the goalkeeper, and the latter’s shot on a wide open chance rolling wide of the post.
That pattern of play continued in the second half, though with Newcastle being a bit more adventurous themselves, and Allan Saint-Maximin always posing a problem. Fortunately, his supporting cast is poor.
After wasting a couple more opportunities, Chelsea calmed our nerves by scoring a second finally, Tammy finishing off a counter led by Turbo Timo.
The rest of the match played out in welcome fashion, without too much untoward drama.
- No surprise in Lampard’s starting lineup, which pretty much matched the preferred lineup, including in Rüdiger deputizing for a rested Thiago Silva. Chilwell recovering from his back injury in time to start was more than welcome.
- Like-for-like changes in Hudson-Odoi (for Werner), Emerson (for Chilwell), and Giroud (for
AbrahamZiyech). So not exactly like-for-like with that last one, with Abraham pushing wide right and Giroud central for the final few minutes.
- Kanté continuing to play the base of the midfield three, with Chelsea looking to create from the wings, especially the James-Ziyech combo on the right.
- Abraham with his 3rd Premier League goal of the season, 4th in all competitions. Back-to-back league games with a goal for the big man. Werner picks up the assist.
- Back in the clean sheets, 6th in our last 7!
- Unbeaten in twelve. Five straight wins!
- Just our second win at St James’ Park since 2012.
- Chelsea move top of the table, temporarily at least, ahead of Leicester City on goal difference.
- Next up: Rennes away on Tuesday in the Champions League.