Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle: Extended Highlights and Match Report.
Chelsea blew Newcastle away at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening with goals from Diego Costa, P...
Chelsea blew Newcastle away at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening with goals from Diego Costa, Pedro (2), Willian and Betrand Traore. The only negative is the injury to John Terry with PSG tomorrow!
The game looked like being a difficult one on paper with the signings that Steve McLaren had made and his team came to Stamford Bridge to have a go at Chelsea. Unfortunately for him, three goals in the opening sixteen minutes from a Chelsea side playing with confidence and a swagger in attack ripped apart his tactical plan.
It was a surprise from Guus Hiddink to not include Mikel or Oscar in the starting line up, choosing to play Fabregas and Matic next to each other in midfield with Hazard, Willian and Pedro playing behind Diego Costa. Maybe this was with PSG in mind but it worked.
Chelsea were playing fantastically well, players looked full of confidence, wanted the ball and looked to attack Newcastle at every opportunity. With Hazard and Pedro wide, Cesc Fabregas gave a masterclass in passing that Peyton Manning would be proud of from the Quarterback position in midfield. Chelsea now had options to attack down each side and to play the ball through the middle for Costa to chase all day long.
Willian had a big hand in the opening goal as he beat his man in midfield and laid the ball off to Costa who guided past the onrushing Keeper to make it 1-0. Pedro pounced onto a loose pass across the Newcastle back four to take it to the edge of the box, to then slot the ball passed the Goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Just sixteen minutes in, Chelsea win possession and the ball is played up to Costa who lays the ball off to Fabregas and spins away to make a run in behind. Fabregas spots it and again first time, plays the ball into the space and Costa is off on his bike. He gets hold of the ball on the edge of the box, waits and waits, then plays a slide rule pass across the box to Willian who is unmarked to slot home passed the Keeper to make it 3-0. Fantastic from the Blues!
Newcastle huffed and puffed in the game and created a couple of half chances but Thibaut Courtois or Gary Cahill prevented them registering. Chelsea also continued to do the same but couldn't capitalise despite playing some fantastic football.
John Terry had to be substituted late in the first half with what was later confirmed as a hamstring injury which is the second defensive casualty in two games. As a result, Branislav Ivanovic moved alongside Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta moved to right back and Baba Rahman came on at left back. At this point the game as won.
Chelsea's fourth was again textbook from Fabregas as he picks the ball up deep in our half with plenty of time and space. He looks up and floats a ball over the top to Pedro around thirty-five yards out. Steven Taylor tries to reach the ball but is unable as Pedro chests the ball down into his path and he is through on goal. As the keeper comes out, he slots the ball passed him for a second time to make it 4-0.
Our fifth is another demonstration of clinical finishing on the end of a great move. Azpilicueta passes inside to Hazard who plays a one-two with him and lays the ball into the space behind the Newcastle defender. Azpilicueta crosses the ball first time and Betrand Traore slides in to score his second goal in three weeks to make it 5-0. Andros Townsend scores a consolation for Newcastle late on which was a shame but you have to admit it was well taken.
This was a really excellent, impressive performance from the Blues and just what we needed heading to Paris tomorrow. The players look confident and are working hard for the manager and each other and it's good to see.
OK, Newcastle are not the greatest side in the Premier League but still a team that had to beaten. Chelsea did exactly that and exposed their defensive weaknesses time and time again to put them to the sword with the game virtually being won after sixteen minutes.
Let's hope we get more of the same tomorrow in Paris!