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Steve Bruce reflects on Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 “Talk about smash and grab or whatever you want…”

11 months ago

Steve Bruce watched on as his team put in an excellent defensive performance.

Only Liverpool had a better away record this season than the 22 points Chelsea had gathered in their first 11 Premier League games on the road this season.

As for goals, only Man City and Leicester had scored more than the 25 Chelsea had managed in their 11 away games.

Newcastle had rarely ventured out of their half with any serious intent, never mind into the opposition box.

No corners at all whilst Chelsea had 10, though ironically Newcastle had come closest to scoring with their only serious effort of the 93 minutes, Joelinton seeing his header from Krafth’s cross rebound off the bar with Kepa beaten.

The 94th minute saw Newcastle win their first corner and when it was cleared, Allan Saint-Maximin crossed from round 40 yards out, Isaac Hayden made the run and glanced the ball home off his face it appeared.

In previous games where Newcastle have somehow won despite only one serious effort on target, Steve Bruce has bizarrely claimed his side had carried far more of a threat had more control of the game than reality told us.

This time though even Bruce had to admit that Newcastle had carried massive luck, in terms of winning despite carrying almost zero threat: ‘Of course we have nicked it and sneaked it, or whatever you want to call it…’

The NUFC Head Coach rightly keen to praise his team’s defending and commitment though.

As for the ultra-negative tactics, Steve Bruce stated that has no choice against the ‘big boys’ such as Chelsea, though of course it doesn’t explain why the same over the top defensive tactics are used against pretty much every team, wherever they are in the Premier League.

An important and potentially vital win after only one point from the previous four games and the clubs below starting to close.

Newcastle fans hoping now we can start looking up the table and fingers crossed, a little bit more attacking intent.

Steve Bruce:

“Talk about smash and grab or whatever you want to call it but the one thing we did do, you can’t fault them, was we defended really well.

“They worked so hard.

“Of course we have nicked it and sneaked it, or whatever you want to call it, but when you are playing against the big boys…

“You can’t fault them to a man with their effort and endeavour.

“The support here is the envy of most and they are unique for their loyalty and the way they support their club.

“This club is everything here…

“So when we score in the last minute with all the work that we have done, then of course it is great and it takes the roof off.

“There are a couple of times we’ve done it against the big teams, which is always nice.

“I can’t fault my players for the way we defended.

“The big thing that we need to do better is look after the ball and cause more of a threat.

“Today we didn’t seem to carry a threat but one great ball or delivery, you may call it smash and grab, but it is good to see.

“We can’t press from the front like Chelsea do.

“If we did that then we would come a cropper.

“We have to do it our way, a way that suits the squad we have got.

“We can get better but we have had results against the top teams, they find it difficult to play against us and that is what we try to do.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Saturday 18 January 5.30pm



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

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Read HERE)

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

(Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0 – Watch dramatic Isaac Hayden late winner and official match highlights here – Watch 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)


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