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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0

6 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0.

A match where Chelsea dominated all of the stats, apart from the most important one.

Isaac Hayden coming up with the only goal of the game in the final seconds.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Jamie Smith who has the honour…:

POSITIVES

Great games come in all shapes and sizes

I have been privileged in a way to have been brought up seeing Keegan’s Newcastle play, have been there through the Robson years and seen the various ups on the NUFC rollercoaster down the years.

For all the disappointments, this has delivered some truly classic games I’ll never forget.

However, there’s something uniquely special about the shi.housery of pinching a game like this, deep into injury time, when all the pointless meaningless statistics point to the opposition having had the best of it. Chelsea being one of those opponents it’s very easy to dislike, didn’t hurt either.

You’ve got to have enjoyed that one, even if you’re the bloke who’s pods Ritchie pinged the corner flag into.

Home comforts

Last season we actually lost 10 of our 19 home league games.

For context, we’d have to lose every remaining match from now to equal that.

Not wanting to jinx anything here but we have five very winnable games next, with Spurs and Liverpool the only clubs from the top half to visit in the final pair of matches.

With 29 points on the board home form could well guarantee safety and give a platform for possible loftier targets (dream).

Squad

It seems the injury crisis from a couple of weeks back has abated, with the returns of Ritchie, Saint-Maximin and Lascelles all huge boosts.

The break in a couple of weeks even allows a bit of swapping and changing for the coming cup tie. I have to admit I was bemoaning Bruce for not withdrawing ASM on his comeback from a hamstring but it paid off with him creating the injury time winner.

NEGATIVES

Goals

Joelinton has one of his better games I thought, hitting the bar with a good effort and battling away against multiple Chelsea defenders.

He’s still not the striker we need though and with Carroll having one of his trademark sit-outs (was it worth fetching him on at 3-0 vs Rochdale?) and Gayle out for the foreseeable, there was no forward back-up on the bench, which is bad enough even when your one striker is prolific.

I would love to think we can bring in a difference maker this window but something tells me otherwise

Last line

The defence today was outstanding, giving a platform for the win without even relying on heroics from Dubravka.

We have a real strength at centre half with five excellent players sharing the duties. However, I fear that this will become a problem in the mid-term.

Fernandez, Clark, Lascelles, Schar and Lejeune have all had pretty even game time due to the fact that there are often opportunities to step into the team due to injury. All have been fine servants to the club, with the regularly unsung Clark the pick of the bunch today in another stellar performance.

I fear that wage trimming will see this unit dismantled in the summer and leave us very vulnerable to an injury or two creating havoc back there. Sign them all up.

Jetro Null

It was an obvious problem when Jetro Willems collapsed under a nothing challenge early in the game.

With rumours of the dreaded ACL bouncing around, it is very possibly the end of Willems season and as a result, his loan at Newcastle.

This would be a crying shame because this bloke has been class for us, sturdy in defence but a huge contribution going forward this year as well.

I doubt a risk will be taken on a permanent move if the injury is a serious one but I honestly hope there will be some way he’ll end up back in a United shirt at some point. Best wishes Jetro, whichever way things go.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Saturday 18 January 5.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Hayden 90+4

Possession was Chelsea 70%, Newcastle 30%

Total shots were Chelsea 19, Newcastle 7

Shots on target were Chelsea 4, Newcastle 2

Corners were Chelsea 10, Newcastle 1

Crowd: 52,217 (3,200 Chelsea and 10,000 free NUFC season ticket holders)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle team v Chelsea:

Dubravka, Krafth (Sean Longstaff 71), Lascelles, Clark, Fernandez, Willems (Ritchie 12), Hayden, Shelvey (Matty Longstaff 85), Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Schar, Lejeune, Atsu

(Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 : If plan was to bore everybody to death and score in last minute – It worked! – Read HERE)

(Match of The Day running order announced after Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Read HERE)

(Frank Lampard finds Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 tough to take “We dominated every aspect of the game…” – Read HERE)

(Must see Alan Shearer celebration when winner goes in at Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Video – Watch HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s victory – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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