Another rollercoaster day in the life of Newcastle United and Mike Ashley was there to witness it.

The Chelsea goalkeeper having cost far more than the entire Newcastle United team and yet the visitors unlucky not to get something.

A squad small on numbers and quality, then further hit by injuries, loan issues and international commitments.

Rafa Benitez still somehow putting out a makeshift team that deserved to get at least a point.

After the match the manager said that he had been told that Mike Ashley was at the game but that the club’s owner hadn’t bothered to make contact after the final whistle.

Newcastle now in the relegation zone and the manager not allowed any January reinforcements so far, the situation is critical.

Rafa Benitez happy with Chelsea display but not result and his final analysis… ‘Next week against Cardiff will be massive.’

With Man City at home and then Spurs and Wolves away after that, the Premier League could end up looking horrendous in a month’s time if there isn’t three points against Cardiff.

Current Premier League table:

rafa benitezRafa declared: ‘We have to be better than three teams and if we play like we did today then we will do it.’

Looking for three clubs to hopefully finish above, Huddersfield are definitely one, Fulham need to be another, whilst Cardiff are the stand out to make it three.

The term ‘must win game’ is used far too often but if Newcastle aren’t above Cardiff next Saturday night, that will be some mountain to climb.

Rafa Benitez asked about Mike Ashley turning up at Stamford Bridge:

“I was talking with Lee Charnley before the game but I didn’t see Mike (Ashley) after (the match)…but I knew he was here.

“We conceded a goal we could avoid (after nine minutes) but then after that we were fighting for every ball.

“These players care and you could see that.

“We were working so hard against a good team, we were doing well.

“It’s a pity but a piece of quality from a player (Willian) with quality made the difference (with the winner) at the end.

“We finished the first half being the better side. That, for me, was clear.

“In the second half they started moving the ball with more pace and you are getting tired, it’s not easy, but we finished with a corner, so we couldn’t do more.

“You could see a lot of positives with the performance but no points.

“We knew that they would keep the ball and so we had to maximise what we did when we got the ball.

“We had some chances on the counter but our final pass wasn’t there.

“What I can see is that we have to stay calm because it is a long distance race….next week against Cardiff will be massive.

“We have to win more games, we have to do well in the rest of the games.

“I have confidence in the team if they continue to work as they did today.

“We will have chances to get points against teams who will be closer to us.

“We have to be better than three teams and if we play like we did today then we will do it.

“Rondon didn’t have much power (with his late headed chance hat went past the post) but at least we were there.

“The point for me is that the team was working so hard and they fight for each other, they fight for every ball, they try until the last minute.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1

Goals: 

Chelsea: Pedro 9, Willian 57

Newcastle: Clark 40

Possession was Chelsea 66% Newcastle 34%

Total shots were  Chelsea 10 Newcastle 9

Shots on target were Chelsea 6 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Chelsea 8 Newcastle 5

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 82), Lejeune, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Longstaff, Perez (Murphy 82), Atsu, Rondon

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Joselu, Schar, Fernandez, Sterry

Crowd: 40,491

(David Pleat reviews the match HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1 HERE)

(Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players v Chelsea HERE)

(Maurizio Sarri says his players thought it was too easy – Read HERE)



  • Rev

    So Rafa you can play it two ways … go for a nil-nil, sit back and hit them on the break, or try to win it by battering them and getting the crowd behind you. Massive as you said.

    • Mr_Kinnear

      I dont suppose Cardiff are terrified of playing NUFC , especially at SJP.

      • Rich Lawson

        Probably even welcome it ?

  • Rev

    Massive, two choices Rafa, play for 0-0, sit back, gift them the midfield and hope to get a goal on the break, or, batter them and get the crowd behind you. Whats it to be?

    • Leazes.

      You sound sensible.

    • Carverlier football

      There’s a glitch in the matrix…

  • KRS1

    As always Rafa will do what is best for the club in direct contrast to the FCB.

  • Kenny

    He has to go for it against Cardiff and i think he will.

    • Leazes.

      oh dear….. we went for it against West Ham….. it didn’t end well.

      • Wezza

        They spend money, have better players, simple.

    • Mr_Kinnear

      Then what? Just beating Cardiff does not gurantee staying in tbe PL

      • Wezza

        Exactly then if we stay in the PL then same again next year.

        WHERE HAS THE MONEY GONE?

  • Leazes.

    Charmley, Ashley and Bishop all at Stamford Bridge….. they’ve either had a meeting or are going to have one….

    ….the last time coincided with a game too….. and was followed with leaks to compliant media…. in fact whenever they meet on Ashley’s Manor there’s a leak…. Staveley’s supposed due diligence by Chris Mort was another….(I’m not denying he did it…. I’m cynical about his motive, he’s a neighbour of Ashley from the same village Totteridge Green)

    Simon Bird of the mirror (media partner) was obviously targeted and came out first…. followed strangely by Mark Jensen of the Mag and then Mark Douglas of the Chronicle.

    …. The january window is just over 2 weeks hence… the season ticket renewals are 2 payments away…..Rafa’s contract is nearly done….

    EXPECT SPIN

    The guess has to be from which source Bishop has chosen this time.

    Whatever happened to that takeover nearing completion?
    Why does Charnley hide?

    • Wezza

      Yes there will be spin, there may even be fake stories to put the heat on Rafa:
      ‘We couldn’t sign players unless Rafa signed and after all he has done, he let the club down’

      Anything to take the heat off the FCB. Remember what they didn’t wkth Shay Given and the Monk bought the lie. Disgraceful.

    • Rich Lawson

      Was Steve Watson so ashamed that he had to leave and go and manage a club near the bottom of a division below where he was ?

  • Paul Patterson

    It’s a disgrace that the owner didn’t even talk to the manager before or after the game.

    • Leazes.

      The owner doesn’t talk to the press excet through his PR…..he’s certainly not going to discuss anything with Rafa because he’s just about the only person at the club officially obliged to be in contact with the media…..

      Is Wendy Taylor still there?….. she used to stop Pardew answering questions……

      This is a very clandestine group running our club.

      • Fiddler

        She dons the ‘ crisis communication ‘ hat when she’s cocked up any or all of the above .

        • Leazes.

          strange for an organisation to expect a crisis.

          • Rich Lawson

            Even Colin who constantly defended him and spoke with a NE accent was from Sunderland !!

      • Paul Patterson

        I wouldn’t want that job. There’s a constant crisis at this club and it’s deliberate.

      • Wezza

        So another 1 person on a multi title job to save money!

      • Rich Lawson

        Red Adair would have his hands full with our current situation !

  • Steven05

    Sky Sports are asking where the money has gone…… at Arsenal! 😂

    • Paul Patterson

      On their £40m+ strikers . .

      • Big Al 1967

        Arsenal have a net spend of £88 million this year and will not spend in January yet questions are asked at Sky Sports where the money has gone.
        Meanwhile at Newcastle we have a net profit of £25 million with no signings on the horizon yet not a peep from the same channel!
        Go Figure!

    • Leazes.

      Oh boy….. you know the milking of this club started with Hall and has been accepted by the chronicle as right and proper now……. and has continued totally without criticism by Douglas and Ryder…..

      ….it was the chronicle of course who helped him into power.

  • X,WHY,Y MAN.

    I don’t know how he has the brass neck to show his face after the embarrassment and shambles he has turned his own club into !
    Why bother ?, I would say in the circumstances because he is not bothered or interested in Newcastle United.
    He must have been there to watch the real love of his life, Chelsea Football Club !

  • KennyS

    I love the excitement of a close finish chaos reigns … love it!
    Onwards and backwards I’ve grown to absolutely f###n love it.

  • Mr_Kinnear

    What sort of owner goes to a game and does not speak to the manager. Incredible.

    • Leazes.

      Same type as one who went silent on the clubs fans 12 years ago and appoints people within who don’t communicate.

  • Wezza

    Beggars belief. No conversation. FCB AND Charnley hide from Rafa.

  • Phildene

    Who the hell do they think they are? A fat gutter level tradesman and a tea boy!!! Talk about total ignorance!

  • Rich Lawson

    Just surprised he wasn’t pictured wearing a Chelsea scarf. If he is going to attend matches in his suit why does he not wear a club tie ?

  • F .T. M SHIIIIIIIIIIIT

    HE HAD A SUNDERLAND SHIRT ON UNDERNEATH HIS SUIT AND TIE F.T.M

    • Glockas

      You hangry? Get some cheesy chips and wash it down with panda pop you makem tramp.

  • Blackburn1066

    Raffa is gone if we get beat next week. even the fat Twa- will push him out

  • 1ewis

    We are getting relegated, can’t see otherwise.

  • Squintytoonarmy

    Fattie is a bit of a lad who likes a drink, doesn’t dress or act like a normal owner. If he had put his mind and a bit of money (nothing daft just a reasonable amount) to Rafa he had the potential to put right all the wrongs. Like the early days when he drank with the away support I could see him trolleyed in the Bigg Market after Rafa has won him the FA or Carabao Cup. It would need a bit of investment but nothing too costly to get NUFC easy mid table so we could go for one of the cups. I can’t fathom why he don’t see it – he can still make money as well.