Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle: Michy Batshuayi and Marcos Alonso strike twice to send us through

Us : A reasonably strong side today, thanks to the draw against another Premier League side. Caballero still deputises for Thibaut, whose...

Us: A reasonably strong side today, thanks to the draw against another Premier League side. Caballero still deputises for Thibaut, whose ankle was slightly mashed in training by one of our own academy players. Big day for Michy. Absolutely had to have an impact on this game. 

Them: I only recognised Voldemort. (Shelvey) And some bloke up front who turned out to be Gayle. 

No matter who hates who in the Cuckoo’s Nest this week, everyone at Stamford Bridge from the boardroom down to Stamford the Lion could agree on one thing at kick off. For the love of GOD, please don’t stick us with a replay and make us travel the 900 miles to Newcastle midweek in the cold for a replay.

We started off all right in the opening couple of minutes, but then they started running at us. It was a typical subdued early kick off, with a lot of transient cup fans too, so like the players the crowd took a while to get going. Hazard was hacked down on the edge of the box by Chancel Mbemba, whoever he may be, on 16 minutes and the free kick was the highlight of the game for us so far. Until it hit the wall, but we were just about accelerating out of third gear at this point. The Toon were gobby as always today, mostly preoccupied with whining at the ref over every decision he wouldn’t give them but there was the occasional diversion. It sounded like “You fat cockney b*stard get out of our club,” though last time I checked Buckinghamshire wasn’t within the sound of Bow Bells. Still, fair sentiment. Aside from a bit of hair-raising defending we were playing better, even if it wasn’t dazzling. 

Voldemort forced a save from Big Willy on 25 minutes, before Zappacosta (I think) made a storming run up the pitch to reverse the play. A scramble in the goal mouth, a near miss and it eventually bobbled out for a goal kick. I was just moaning that we hadn’t fashioned a single shot on target in the first half an hour when Hazard brought down a long ball in the box, flicked it across the box, where Alonso stabbed it through to Michy to set him up with a tap in. 1-0. Christ what is that growing out of the top of his head? As if we haven’t given the Red Swarm enough fodder this week he has to come out with that hairdo. 

And the nappy sh*tters were off. First they were complaining that they were bored. Go home then, you won’t be missed. Then it was a Bakayokofest. He’s sh*t. Apparently. He wasn’t even playing. He wasn’t even on the bench. So shut up. After a hairy moment at our end, a minute later we broke and Hazard laid it off to Michy, who made a pretty weak shot out of it. However, Lascelles was unlucky enough to see his block fly up over his keeper and dip in under the crossbar for a second goal for the much-maligned striker. Had the defender left it, probably would have been better off. Another unlucky one for Newcastle. Oh well, sh*t happens. They did their best to get back in it before half time, but heroics from Caballero kept them out and he flicked and palmed their efforts away from the goal. 

Shortly after the break Rafa’s barcodes had commenced arguing amongst themselves. We had strains of one of “Harry Potter, he’s coming for you,” aimed at Shelvey and his luminescent head. Alonso almost scored a stunning goal with a left foot volley across the box that took a slight deflection, but it was well saved by the keeper on 55 minutes. Eden could have had one too shortly afterwards, when Michy knocked it on to him but his fellow Belgian had made his run just too soon and was caught offside. Tenacious Double D had his fair share of long range shots today too, but his range was off and the all seemed to be hooked to the right. 

Rafa, who I don’t care about to the extent that I am never going to waste my time singing about him, tried to inject a now lacklustre Newcastle with some of the will to live by beginning his substitutions. It didn’t help. Hazard strung together a couple of good corners that were well defended, but they had little inspiration in the way of going forward. On 70 minutes Zappacosta won a free kick in prime Alonso territory. TDD, Cahill and Pesto (f*ck off autospell) all stuffed themselves in the wall and ducked at the right moment, leaving the way clear for Marcos to thump one of his specials into the top corner. Never in doubt. 3-0. 

Barkley got his home debut and both Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi got a runout as the clock ran out. Ampadu played a blinding ball forward for Pesto, but it just ran off the end of his foot when he brought it down. Hudson-Odoi made a couple of strong runs across the middle of the field, weaving in and out of the barcodes in the little time that he had. Newcastle weren't shit. They weren't very potent but there was an utter lack of conviction about them in the second half that made the winding up of this game a formality. Michy did a fair amount of ball-hogging in the closing minutes, desperate for a third goal. The only man in the place screaming for him to miss was shortarse (special alias) who had a bet on 3-0, the first one he's placed for 20 odd years. The nappy sh*tters behind us had moved on to TDD now. He's sh*t too. Apparently. He was far better than the last time we saw him today. 

Refwatch: Kevin Not-My-Friend. Didn't even notice the linesman flagging offside in the first half but mercifully anonymous. It’s amazing how good jobbers like him have started to look since we have seen the impact of the Virtual Puppets. 

So: Another match won, despite the Lord of the Flies rhetoric in the red rags. Well done Michy, back that up on Wednesday with another good showing and you’ll be giving Conte a little bit more to think about. None of the drama about this round that we endured in the Norwich tie. Draw is tomorrow evening, and let’s hope for something interesting. Apart from the announcement of two Roma players I would really like to enjoy blissful silence coming out of the Chelsea press room this week, so we can all concentrate on football instead.  

AC - Alex Churchill from the fantastic Chelsea Blog - A Girl Who likes Balls

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