PLAYER RATINGS – Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle: 7’s, 6’s and one frustrating 5

A resilient display with the odd positive to take, but our failure to create at the other end meant one goal was enough for Chelsea to take all three points here.

Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with our marks out of 10:

STARTING 11:

Dubravka – 7 – Almost made a howler as his first half clearance was hit straight at Abraham, but made a few solid stops to deny Mount, Pulisic and Willian.

Yedlin – 6 – A few good recovery blocks to stop crosses, but generally struggled to handle the pace and trickery of Hudson-Odoi. Wasteful on the ball too, with a few loose passes and overhit crosses. That said, he made one of the best goal-saving blocks to deny a certain goal for Tammy Abraham . Without that I would’ve given him a 5.

Schar – 7 – Unusually wayward on the ball at times, but he was the one defender trying to get the ball into good areas in the final third. Defended well in an organised back 5.

Lascelles – 7 – Read play well and generally kept Tammy Abraham very quiet – even if he did concede a few free kicks after coming through the back of 6ft 4′ striker in the air.

Clark – 7.5 – Probably our best defender today for me. Made several key blocks, clearances and well timed challenges to frustrate Chelsea’s attack, and came as close as anyone to scoring with a decent header late on.

Willems – 6 – Didn’t get forward nearly as well as he did against Man Utd two weeks ago, but stuck to his task at the other end – even if he did look a little leggy late on.

M. Longstaff – 6 – Never stopped running, covering a lot of ground and remaining busy in midfield throughout. Had more loose touches and misplaced passes than he did in that dream debut vs Man Utd, but by no means looked out of place against a strong Chelsea side.

S. Longstaff – 6 – Like his younger brother, he put in a big shift. Had some nice moments on the ball in the first half, setting up counter attacks and whipping in one dangerous cross moments before the break, but drifted out of the game and began chasing shadows in the second 45 as Chelsea dominated possession.

Almiron – 6 – Full of energy and a useful outlet for us in the second half, but failed to deliver that killer pass or get anywhere near the goal to score. His effort levels and enthusiasm in attack can’t be questioned, but he doesn’t look comfortable on the right hand side, often wanting to cut in.

Saint-Maximin – 7.5 – The Frenchman was a constant threat on the counter in the first half, showing an impressive mixture of skill, speed and strength on the break. Chelsea couldn’t contain him early on, but he faded in the second half and appeared to tire. He was without doubt our most dangerous attacker however and looks like a player we may be relying on in forward areas over the coming weeks.

Joelinton – 5 – The Brazilian backed in and used his strength well at times, but didn’t hold the ball up well enough in the second half – losing possession and going down too easily just moments before Chelsea’s winner. He’s getting very little service aside from long balls and rarely has a Newcastle player within 20 yards of him, so I have some sympathy, but he’s got to stop throwing his arms in the air and going down too easily. It’s a thankless task playing in such a defensive side, however he’s got to do the basics better as a ‘£40m’ player.

SUBS:

Carroll – Put himself about as you’d expect, but very little fell for him, with Chelsea in dominating possession against a tired NUFC when he came on.

Atsu – Played one decent ball into Ciaran Clark late on, but, again, he found it hard to make an impact in a side that looked out on its feet and short of ideas.

Gayle – Couldn’t do much with the long balls that were often hoisted his way, being forced to feed off scraps when we flung it into the box late on.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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