Updated: Feb 22, 2021
Timo Werner breaks 14-game goal drought, launching Chelsea back into the top 4 of the Premier League.
Winning 2 out of their last 6 games, Newcastle arrived at Stamford Bridge looking to continue their quest towards Premier League survival.
Steve Bruce’s injury woes however looked set to continue, as he remained without a host of players including top scorer Callum Wilson, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury.
Chelsea begun their match with the whole squad to choose from, excluding the absence of midfielder Kai Havertz.
Thomas Tuchel listed a starting 11 which saw Kepa Arrizabalaga start his first Premier League match since October, in addition to Timo Werner who returned from his brief stint on the side-lines.
A win for The Blues was crucial, with 3 points being enough to lift themselves back into the top 4 and continue their unbeaten run under Tuchel.
The two sides had previously met 25 times at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, with Chelsea winning 18 of those games – losing just once in May 2012.
The first half started positively for The Blues, who tested Karl Darlow in the opening minutes of the game through a powerful strike from Marcos Alonso.
Chelsea enjoyed a flurry of corners on the 6th minute, coming close to finding the opener as César Azpilicueta’s header was cleared off the line. Newcastle attacker Dwight Gayle was in the right place at the right time, preventing his side from conceding an early goal.
Just under 10 minutes later, a brilliant pass from Mateo Kovačić found an onside Tammy Abraham, who was through on goal and set to find Chelsea’s opener. The striker was then stopped in his tracks by a brilliant Jamaal Lascelles tackle, who did excellently to diffuse the Chelsea attack.
Tammy Abraham seemed in some discomfort following the challenge, and was eventually replaced by Olivier Giroud on the 20th minute.
The Frenchman’s involvement marked his 100th appearance as a substitute in the Premier League, and he celebrated the occasion with a goal – as Chelsea broke the deadlock on the 31st minute.
The move was led by Timo Werner, with the German doing a brilliant job to beat Krafth on the left-hand side and work a ball into the box. His cross was palmed away by Darlow, who ultimately put the ball on a plate for Giroud as he converted from point blank range.
The German stood out for Chelsea in the first half, and after missing a chance or two himself – he eventually ended his troubles in front of goal by making it 2-0 to Chelsea on the 39th minute.
The goal stemmed from a Chelsea corner, with The Magpie’s failing defend the cross that worked its way to Werner at the back post. The German’s shot was saved, but the ball was clearly over the line before Darlow made contact.
Werner’s goal was his first in 14 games for Chelsea, and a goal that ensured his side a 2-goal lead going into the break.
When leading at half time by 2 goals in the Premier League, Chelsea have won 127 out of 130 games since 1992. The task looked a tough one for Bruce’s side, who needed to give it their all to work their way back into the game.
The visitors however did begin the second period brightly, with both Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey testing Arrizabalaga – who denied both efforts with a relative amount of comfort.
There was no doubt that Newcastle was playing better football in the second half, however, it seemed that they were still lacking the firepower to cause Chelsea any real bother.
In fact, it was Chelsea who still looked the more likely to score – as they edged closer to a all-important third goal on the 58th minute through Mateo Kovačić.
The Croatian went for goal after being set up by Callum Hudson-Odoi on the edge of the area, yet struggled to keep his effort down as the opportunity went begging.
Chelsea remained in control, they were seeing a lot of the ball and continued to look dangerous in the final third.
On the 74th minute, Arrizabalaga was called into action again – this time denying Joe Willock who saw his header saved by the Spainard. Newcastle begun to apply some pressure to The Blues, who saw their best chance of the game arrive on the 82nd minute.
Andy Carroll was brought on in an attempt to bring The Magpies back into the game, with the striker did excellently to find Miguel Almirón – who should have done better with his effort inside the penalty area.
After the whistle:
Overall, Bruce’s side lacked potency in front of goal – something that he hopes to change if he is to continue to steer Newcastle away from relegation this season. The Magpies are next in action on Sunday evening, as they travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the Premier League.
On the other hand, it also seems fair to say that the score line reflected the performance – Chelsea was comfortable throughout the game, and did well to ensure another victory and clean sheet under Thomas Tuchel.
The Blues are still yet to allow any of their opponents to score against them since Tuchel’s appointment. This is something that they will hope to continue on Saturday at noon, as Chelsea hope to make it 6 wins in a row as they face Southampton at St. Mary’s.
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle.
- Giroud (31’).
- Werner (39’).
Man of the match:
Timo Werner (Chelsea).
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta ©, Christensen, Rüdiger; Hudson-Odoi (78’), Jorginho, Kovačić, Alonso; Mount (70’), Werner, Abraham (20’).
- Subs: Giroud (20’), Kanté (70’), James (78’).
Newcastle United: Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles ©, Clark, Lewis; Willock (79’), Hayden, Shelvey, Gayle (64’); Almirón, Saint-Maximin (72’).
- Subs: Joelinton (64’), Fraser (72’), Carroll (79’).
Chelsea (66%) vs Newcastle United (34%).
Chelsea (18) vs Newcastle United (10).
Shots on target:
Chelsea (5) vs Newcastle United (4).
Chelsea (10) vs Newcastle United (5).
Chelsea (9) vs Newcastle United (13).
- (statistics via BBC Sport).
- (video via Sky Sports Football).