Newcastle faced their second game in 48 hours last night when they visited Stamford Bridge to face Roberto Di Matteo’s strong Chelsea side.
In this fixture last season Newcastle put on a brilliant performance and won the game 2-0 but today wasn’t their day and through the magic of Eden Hazard Chelsea were the ones celebrating a 2-0 victory.
The game started how you would expect at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea having the majority of the opening possession but they didn’t really pose much of a treat to Tim Krul’s goal. However as the game went on Newcastle started to come into the game a little more with Hatem Ben Arfa was causing Ashley Cole some problems down the right wing.
It took 14 minutes for the first shot of the game which happened to fall to the in form Eden Hazard but his shot from outside the box was straight at Tim Krul who saved comfortably. The first clear chance of the game came minutes later when a long ball over the top from Chelsea was controlled by Torres just outside the box who laid off the ball to Ryan Bertrand but his shot was once again saved by Krul.
Chelsea’s dominance was rewarded after 20 minutes when our new boy Vurnon Anita gave away a penalty after leaving a leg out and Torres didn’t miss the chance to fall over. Hazard stepped up to take the penalty and drilled it low into the bottom corner, Krul guessed the right way but the penalty was just too accurate and he couldn’t get there.
The first 30 minutes was predominantly Chelseas and Newcastle were on the back foot. Newcastle counter attacked and Cisse crossed the ball into Ba but his header sailed over the bar. Just after Jonas won us a free kick but Cabaye, as he did pretty much all afternoon, put in a terrible delivery again.
It was in first half injury time when Chelsea grabbed a second after Hazard weaved some more magic with a neat backheel which found its way to Torres on the edge of the box who toe poked it into the top corner. Chelsea went in at the break looking worthy of their two goal lead and Newcastle could have no complaints.
Newcastle came out with intent at the beginning of the second half and were looking the better team. Hatem Ben Arfa had an effort on 51 minutes but he dragged it wide of Cech’s far post, Gutierrez followed suit a minute later but his effort form a similar position went sailing over the bar.
Newcastle were creating a lot more chances then they did in the first half and on 58 minutes Demba Ba had a near post effort pushed away from Cech resulting in an Newcastle corner which Cabaye wasted by not beating the first man.
Ben Arfa went on a dazzling run in the 60th minute and won a corner for Newcastle, he looked to be the only threat going forward for us. Five minutes later Hatem went on another run and this time won a free kick on the left hand side which Ryan Taylor went over to take. He delivered a brilliant ball in but Cisse squandered a header from seven yards out.
Newcastle were trying to get back into things nearly got a goal back through Demba Ba who set himself for an acrobatic volley but messed it up, the ball still dropped to his feet inside the box and he should have scored with his follow up effort which was saved by Cech.
Chelsea took control of the match in the late period of the game and completed what was a pretty comfortable 2-0 victory for them.
Full time score Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle
Chelsea were always the favourites going into this clash as they have spent a lot of money in the summer adding big players to their squad. Eden Hazard was the stand out player today, everything he seemed to do on and off the ball was brilliant and he looks like he will set the Premier League on fire this season.
For us it was Hatem Ben Arfa was our best player today, he didn’t offer much in the defensive aspect of the game, but going forward he looked like the only Newcastle player with a bit of intent and the only one who looked like creating chances.
Overall we need to get the positives out of the game and swiftly move on and focus on our European tie on Thursday.
In Pardew we trust…
Chelsea: Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Ashley Cole; John Obi Mikel, Raul Meireles; Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Ryan Bertrand; Fernando Torres
Subs: Ross Turnbull, Michael Essien, Oriol Romeu, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Oscar, Daniel Sturridge
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Sylvain Marveaux, Romain Amalfitano, Gabriel Obertan, Ryan Taylor
Referee: Phil Dowd