Aston Villa v Newcastle United - Premier LeagueSaturday 2 February 3pm
Newcastle United 3 (Gutierrez 41, Sissoko 68, 90)
Chelsea 2
Watch Match Highlights Here

Rafa might have only wanted to talk about the Coloccini/Ba incident but he needs reminding that ninety minutes brings with it all kinds of plusses and minuses and having to bring on a £50m replacement should hardly be seen as weakening the team.

Should Coloccini have been sent off? Who Cares?

What I do know is that like every match the Ba missed chance/broken nose incident is just one of many that can go either way and what I do know for sure, is that we didn’t get many other benefits of the doubt off Howard Webb.

The fact that Newcastle were in good enough shape to go toe to toe with one of the three best Premier League teams can only bode well for the future.

Every player did their bit and maybe more than anything, the new signings have helped energise some of our underperforming players, none more so yesterday than Jonas Gutierrez.

Alan Pardew has often talked in the past about needing pace in the team and when Sissoko left Ashley Cole trailing in his wake it was enough to make even the most pessimistic fan smile.

Gouffran really came into his own as well and the whole performance was built on a work ethic that meant Chelsea were pressured on the ball throughout the game, save for only short spells in either half.

Cisse should have done better with two great first half chances but his confidence will grow again with the kind of support he had today.

Jonas put the opening goal away and from that point I thought we looked so comfortable. Against top teams and especially top strikers of the ball it just shows that one, or two, breaks or lapses of concentration can hammer you.

Bang Bang, Lampard and Mata hit real quality goals and just how unfair did that feel at the time?

This though looks a reborn Newcastle and Cisse brilliant slipped Gouffran through and his pace from the halfway line meant nobody was going to catch him, Cech beat the shot away but turbo charged Sissoko had matched his French colleague and we were back to 2-2.

Fast forward to the ninetieth minute and Santon claims his second assist, the ball played back to Sissoko whose low strike is the way to hit the ball. He struck right through the ball as defenders moved top pressure him and gave the keeper no chance. All kinds of praise have flown around for Moussa Sissoko but I can safely say I don’t think I have seen a player hit the ball as cleanly since Alan Shearer.

Let us hope this is the beginning of something and not a tremendous result to a backdrop of pressure. The foundations are there.

Newcastle United: Krul, Debuchy, Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Sissoko (Mapou 90), Gouffran (Marveaux 84), Cisse

Unused Subs: Elliot, Bigirimana, Anita, Obertan, Shola

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Mata, Bertrand, Ba (Torres 42)

Ref: Howard Webb

Crowd: 52,314 (2,839 Chelsea)

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wor monga
wor monga 5pts

... Nothing like a bit of good old fashioned negativity to condemn a young player…of course he needs a seasoned ‘old’ professional Centre Half with a good footballing brain alongside him…I’ve never known any inexperienced CD that didn’t…and he’ll be no different…

...Walker was certainly the exception, and very few have gone on to reach his standard, before or since, but Clough knew exactly from the start that good defending would be done by the unit not by any one outstanding individual… probably makes more sense to compare Mbemba with Walker, seeing as he is also young, but an able reader of the game…and although not the tallest can get up and beat taller players, he understands positioning and marking, and is quick and precise into the tackle…

...but even so a lot will still depend on those around him!!

1957 5pts

It's sounds like the future of both of these depends on the coaches at the club being able to develop them and their attitude.

In terms of Lascelles he clearly isn't one for this season, he needs to come into a team where he has an established partner to help him along, hence the need for another CB this season rather than/as well as a forward. Darlow from what I seen of him on tv looks like he's on a par with Elliott. If Woodman develops as he looks like he will he is more likely to be our next first choice, but who knows our next GK coach might bring Darlow on.

It's good to get the view of someone who has seen them in the flesh.

ncncnc 5pts

most centre halves need the right partner next to them, hopefully the right mix will be found and he'll kick on.

out of the ones we have so far i'd go with mbemba and taylor to start with - looks like they might be a good blend, colo and mbemba look a little similar (as was mbiwa and colo) 

we need what 90% of premier league teams need - a strong commanding centre half who does all of the simple things well, unfortunately 90% of premier league teams need one too and they seem in short supply.

v0ices 5pts

From what the guy has shown pre season we will be lucky if he reaches the level of titus he may have lacked concentration but for 75 or 80 minutes of a game he could be world class.