Chelsea produced a master class of attacking football to tear down a robustly organized Newcastle side , winning the encounter by two-goals-to-one in a Sunday Barclays Premier League match played at Saint James Park.
Knowing fully well the quality of the side his team was about to play , Raphael Benitez employed an ultra-defensive tactic against the more star-studded opponent from London.
The first half of the came turned out to be a classic case of attack versus defense , with the Blues having majority of the ball possession , more successfully completed passes and more attempts at goal-scoring. In spite of Newcastle’s’ defensive style , they occasionally threatened their opponent with dangerous counter-attacking play.
Solomon Randon had a chance to put his side ahead in the half hour mark , but his powerful header flew away from the goal-post.
Eden Hazard became the object of both cynical and fair tackles as it took it upon himself to prize upon the tightly knit Magpies’ defensive structure.
During the last five minutes of the opening half , Pedro Rodriguez had two chances to score for Chelsea – the first was a shot from the eighteen yard box which he fired far from the goal-post and the other one was a shot which goalkeeper Martin Dubravka saved.
Alvaro Morata inadvertently deflected Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal-bound shot from its target , as Chelsea sought for the opening goal.
Newcastle continued with their defensive tactic in the second period of the game , in a half that eventually produced three goals.
The Blues continued to pile pressure on their opponent in their half of the field , but found it extremely difficult to make inroads into the Magpies’ final third owing to the tangle of opponent’s legs acting as impediments.
Chelsea’s new recruit , Jorginho , passing skill stood out in strong relief as he distributed passes of different lengths and shapes to his team mates as they team assayed to breach the opponent’s defense line.
The Blues’ Central-back Antonio Rudiger almost scored for his side when his powerful shot from outside the eighteen yard box ricocheted off the crossbar.
Marco Alonso conned referee Paul Tierney into awarding a penalty kick to his side in the seventy fifth minute of the game .The left full-back was racing with the ball into Newcastle’s’ six yard box and Fabian Schar swept the ball from his feet with a sliding tackle and his legs collided with Alonso who immediately fell to the floor.
Eden Hazard scored the resultant penalty kick.
Second half substitute Joselu equalized for the home side with a powerful header of the ball from DeAndre Yedlin right-flank cross with less than ten minutes .Television replay showed that Yedlin had actually plunged his elbow into Olivier Giroud’s face before he crossed the ball to Joselu.
Few minutes after Newcastle’s equalizer , Yedlin deflected a Marco Alonso’s shot into his own net in a crowded eighteen yard box.Yedlin own goal shot Chelsea into the lead for a second time in the match.
Ayoze Perez wasted a chance to equalize for the home team in the last minute of the game when his shot from the front of the eighteen yard box missed its target.
Chelsea with this victory have now recorded a hundred percent win in all their league matches , and now second to Liverpool on the league table , having the same points but with an inferior goal differential.