Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Newcastle United 1-2 Chelsea: Blues end wretched run at St James’ Park in controversial clash

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Chelsea ended their terrible run at St James’ Park as they stole a late 2-1 win against Newcastle United on Sunday evening.

Mauricio Sarri’s Blues were dominant in possession throughout the afternoon but struggled to get beyond a well-organised Magpies’ defence until Eden Hazard opened the scoring in controversial fashion from the penalty spot. Joselu equalised in the closing stages with a thunderous header. However, the hosts were to claim no points as DeAndre Yedlin put through his own net in the 87th minute.

Sleepy football at St James’ Park

The football failed to really ignite for some time in the Bank Holiday clash. Jacob Murphy tested Kepa in the Chelsea goal before Antonio Rudiger let fly after penalty box pinball but put his effort wide of goal as chances became a premium in the opening stages.

Eden Hazard, though, did brilliantly to dribble his way through the Newcastle midfield but put his shot just wide of the upright. The brilliant Belgian then tried again from the edge of the area but the ball was again off-target.

Chances come and go

Salomon Rondon spurned the best opportunity of the first period as he found acres of room in the penalty area. Federico Fernández did well to recycle a free-kick to pick out the Venezuelan for a free header but he nodded wide from only ten yards out.

Both sides were beginning to create chances as the half wore on. Ki Sung-yueng was guilty of not clearing his lines, gifting the ball to Pedro. The Spaniard aimed for the top corner but the ball looped harmlessly over the crossbar.

The former Barcelona man was then denied by Martin Dubravka as he was teed up by Hazard but the Slovakian held his low shot excellently. Hazard should have scored after he was played through by Kante but delayed his shot and was eventually crowded out by numerous Newcastle bodies.

Chelsea dominance but no breakthrough

Mauricio Sarri’s men dominated position throughout the second-half but struggled to break through the disciplined Newcastle defence. Cesar Azpilicueta should have done better with a rare opportunity as he was picked out by a clever cut-back from Pedro. However, he put a tame shot straight at Dubravka.

In an effort to claim the lead, the Blues introduced Olivier Giroud and Willian. The changes almost paid off immediately, albeit through an unlikely source. German defender Rudiger let fly with a thunderous effort from 30 yards out but the ball was just inches too high as it cannoned off of the crossbar.

Controversial penalty edges Chelsea ahead but Joselu replies

Just as it looked as though the Blues would leave St James’ Park with a frustrating point, they were given the chance to open the scoring from the spot. Marcos Alonso attempted to dribble through the penalty area, only to be tripped by Fabian Schar. Despite the Newcastle man appearing to get a touch of the ball, the referee awarded the spot kick.

Hazard stepped up and powered the ball beyond the Dubravka to claim the lead for Chelsea.

The controversy continued on Tyneside as Benitez’s troops scored a shock equaliser. DeAndre Yedlin appeared to elbow Giroud but the referee played on to the dismay of the French striker. The ball was tossed into substitute Joselu who duly headed the ball beyond Kepa as it crashed into the net.

Late show from Chelsea

Despite Newcastle’s extremely late show, Chelsea were to claim victory. Alonso managed to wriggle free in the penalty from a free-kick and fired towards goal. The ball looked to be drifting wide before it took a nick off of Yedlin and trundled into the net.

Ayoze Perez fired an effort from the edge of the area but the ball flew over the bar. As a result, Chelsea claimed a hard-fought victory in difficult circumstances.

Final Thoughts

It certainly was not pretty from Chelsea, but on the balance of play, the victory was probably deserved. The Blues were not at their best and were marshalled well by Newcastle but they were able to strike at the perfect time to take the points and continue their perfect start to the season.

Meanwhile, Benitez could be disappointed that his side only fell due to a disputed penalty and an own goal. They are still winless in the Premier League but can now focus on their Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest in midweek.

Match Report

Newcastle United: Dubravka (7); Dummett (6), Clark (6), Schar (6) (Muto (N/A), 79′), Fernandez (6), Yedlin (6); Ritchie (7), Diame (6), Ki (6), Murphy (6) (Perez (6), 73′); Rondon (5) (Joselu (7), 62′).

Chelsea: Kepa (6); Alonso (7), Luiz (6), Rudiger (7), Azpilicueta (6); Kovacic (7) (Barkley (N/A), 79′), Jorginho (7), Kante (7); Hazard (8), Pedro (6) (Willian (5), 69′), Morata (5) (Giroud (5), 66′).

Goals: Hazard PEN (76′), Joselu (83′), Yedlin OG (87′)

Referee: Paul Tierney

Yellow Cards: Kovacic (40′), Schar (65′), Fernandez (68′), Ritchie (70′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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