Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 2 December 2017 12.30pm
We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:
“Hate to admit it but we were outplayed in all positions today.
“Worrying signs when you look at the fixtures to come.
“Rafa seems to be tinkering in ways he hasn’t done before (for whatever reasons – I hate to think it is to prove a point to the owner) and it just isn’t working…”
“It won’t be the last time one of the big/expensive clubs beat us.
“Hazard is class.
“We work hard.
“On to the next one.”
“This game in itself was not the end of the world, some bright moments against the champions in the sort of game you pretty much write off anyway.
“Defending was shoddy on first two Chelsea goals and it could have been a terrifying score but for the goalie.
“I’ve always liked Darlow and hope he gets a decent run before Rafa inevitably sniffs round another goalie next month.
“You don’t need to be a genius to realise that 1 point from 18 is relegation stuff. Leicester next week is shaping up as a must win.”
“I think we all knew we were gonna be in for a tough day at the office today, similar to the game at Old Trafford a few weeks back.
“Like that game we have got off to a great start only to be undone by individual errors – it’s the hope that kills you.
“Chelsea took it upon themselves to punish us for our earlier audacity to score a goal, maybe if we’d made more of our couple of breaks on the counter you never know, but there only looked like one team were going to win it.
“No shame again today, I think the way we’re set up is good and we work so hard, but the lapses in concentration have been costing us of late.
“Probably got what we expected in terms of result but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow, but we live to fight another day, let’s get at Leicester next week!”
“No surprises. The little Flemish git always sticks it to us and he could gave easily had a hat-trick today.
“Three at the back? Five at the back?
“We could have had thirty five at the back and done nowt with the way we are collectively defending. Experiment ‘X’ with Magic Hat at Left Back may not see light of day again.
“Keep repeating it but get the Captain wheeled back onto the park on a stretcher if needs be. The stretcher might make a couple of blocks.
“Let’s get this straight mind – we’ve lost here with much, much better teams than this current side.
“I feel like I’m repeating myself but we really just are not fit for purpose.
“A Cyclops with an eyepatch could see we needed serious reinforcements in the summer and even last January, yet still the business brain of Britain nailed his wallet shut with all the club cash in it.
“Who ever would have thought that would come back to bite us Mr Ashley? You massive balloon knot.
“Rafa can still only do so much with this squad, so should not get crucified.
“However his picking of Diame, who is as much a footballer as I am a unicycling Walrus, makes my aorta splutter.
“I’m off to ram bamboo splinters behind my finger nails for some light relief.
“Another Rafa team selection that throws up many talking points.
“Did he get it wrong today with that side? The answer is erring on the side of ‘yes, he did’.
“It was all a bit deja vu from Old Trafford too.
“Gayle edging us ahead but the home side surging back with a vast array of quality at their disposal.
“Defeat was always the likely outcome here, highlighting the growing need for investment at NUFC.
“For now we’re okay in mid-table but the manager and the team will need to find some wins soon.”
“There is something mind numbingly depressing about watching that typical result, performance and goals conceded. 25 years of the same thing over and over again.
“The only time we have won at Stamford Bridge is when Chelsea were not bothered and thinking only of the Champions League final they had coming up. Plus Cisse had to score two worldies.
“Much like with Old Trafford, I didn’t really celebrate Gayle’s opening goal. A two goal lead and then we have a chance. But we were always going to give away the lead in a soft fashion.
“The 2nd goal was a joke and then Ritchie diving in was as predictable as Hazard disrespectfully dinking it down the middle for the third.
“The only positive from today was Rafa played with wing-backs. It worked to a certain degree and may be used again against easier opposition.
“As for Mitro not getting a kick and Diame starting the game…”
“Don’t play our top Premier League goalscorer?
“This is getting annoying when we need goals.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Gayle 12
Chelsea: Hazard 21, 74 Morata 33
Possession was Chelsea 66% Newcastle 34%
Total shots were Chelsea 23 Newcastle 8
Shots on target were Chelsea 9 Newcastle 2
Corners were Chelsea 11 Newcastle 4
Referee: Kevin Friend
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Lejeune, Mbemba, Ritchie, Diame (Shelvey 75), Merino (Yedlin 85), Murphy, Perez (Hayden 62), Gayle
Elliot, Joselu, Mitrovic, Aarons
Crowd: 41,538 (Newcastle 3,000)
(Alan Shearer gives honest assessment on Chelsea defeat HERE)