The positives and negatives for Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle United on Saturday night
In the aftermath of Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1, writer Richard Jones looks at the positives and negatives for Newcastle fans as we head into December.
Away fans: I could hear you loud and clear on the telly from start to finish, awesome and a credit to us all.
Away goal: At least we scored at a ground which hasn’t been kind to us and when we pressed in the final third we made them look shaky in the first quarter of the game. Shame we didn’t follow it up once we took the lead (see below).
Jacob Murphy: Another decent game, a couple of decent runs and passes, plus he didn’t hide, keep going bonny lad. I look forward to Murphy & Atsu as wingers and Ritchie in the No.10 role.
Karl Darlow: Made some good blocks and not at fault for any of the goals in my view, should keep his place in the team.
December: Nearer to finally seeing the back of Ashley hopefully – new recruits in the transfer window and the dead wood in the squad moved on.
Midfield: Too slow and no steel, got overran, why Diame started and Hayden on the bench is beyond me.
Low in confidence: We were almost apologetic when we took the lead.
It took me back to the Tyson v Bruno fight and Harry Carpenter shouting “Go on Frank, hit him!” after Bruno landed a corker of a punch early on in the fight. We just sat back and waited for the repercussions from scoring, instead of putting them under pressure with our early goal, particularly with their Hooray Henry crowd who expect a handsome victory every home game.
We smelled blood and did nowt about it. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and fight lads (Tyson went on to knock Bruno out BTW young ‘uns).
Passing: I can’t be the only person who’s noticed that when we pass it’s usually to the side of our player toward our goal rather than in front of a teammate, unless the receiving player has his back to the opposition’s goal or a 50/50 hump up the pitch.
Too negative and slows down our attacks. Contrast that with Chelsea who did the opposite, ball played for the receiving player to run on to, facing our goal. Plenty of stray passes in this game too.
Ritchie finding himself at left back: He’s not a natural defender and we shouldn’t be expecting him to make last ditch tackles. I don’t blame him for giving away the penalty. Overall he had a quiet game and that was a detriment to us.
Shelvey and Hayden subs: Hayden should have started and putting Shelvey on at 3-1 smacked of desperation – if you think he can get you two goals then start the guy.
Mitro: I think he would have terrified their defence yet didn’t start. Perez again…
December: We are now into our worst month historically for points, with tough games ahead.
Sky commentary: Maybe they could have been a bit more pro-Chelsea but I doubt it!
Merry Christmas everyone!
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)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)
(Danny Murphy can’t believe this Newcastle player can’t get in the team – Read HERE)
(Mikel Merino speaks after the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge – Read HERE)
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