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Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3 – Key thoughts from the game

4 weeks ago
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Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3 – Saturday 30 October 3pm

Mission Impossible?

After seeing the team sheet, I couldn’t help but feel deflated.

The fact that Dubravka was in the squad but not in the starting eleven was particularly confusing to me – especially as I expected we were going to be under the cosh for 90% of the match (if not more).

A good moment early on after some good hold up play from Wilson allowed for a cross shot across goal from Fraser, no one close enough to turn it in though.

Following that, it was much as you would expect, sitting in a low block and only pressing in our own final third. The main thing of note was Darlow’s poor distribution, kicking straight out of play twice within the first 10 minutes. Just another example of why we need Dubravka back ASAP.

Pretty uneventful for the most part until the 23rd minute, with another Darlow blunder almost gifting Havertz possession in his own box, not really what we need in a game like this. Tremendous pass on the half hour mark to put Ziyech in for a great goal, only for it to be ruled out (correctly) for an offside.

Another few minutes later after trying to pass out from our own box, a cross was inexplicably put high and wide by Ziyech – living in the danger zone here!

In all fairness though, our defensive display in the first half did leave Darlow with very little to do in the way of shots on target, but that came with the cost of very little threat approaching Chelsea’s final third. The only decent run ASM got in the added time of the first half led to him being shoved in the back by Christensen with a pretty clear run on goal, only for no booking – or even a foul – given by Paul Tierney!

In the second half, Ziyech continued to be the biggest threat, first having a tame shot gathered by Darlow, then hitting the post with a wicked deflected shot within the first couple of minutes.

Everything got a bit more scrappy following that, with a few wild long rangers from Chelsea and a few forays upfield by both Fraser and ASM, ending with a scramble in the Chelsea box coming to nothing.

The relentless pressure was always going to result in something though, and Reese James smashed in a great half volleyed strike on the 65th minute. Much the same continuing on, with ASM’s runs being stifled by a well organised Chelsea defence, until another tremendous volley smashed home by Reese James again, to put the game to bed on the 77th minute.

Everything went to pot following that, with Darlow then conceding a penalty a few minutes later after Havertz was put through with a defence splitting pass and 3-0.

All in all, with the vast majority of people expecting an absolute drubbing as was given to Norwich, I think we did as well as can be expected. Restricting a free scoring team for the first hour and it taking two wonder goals and a penalty to get past us, not a humiliation a la Norwich.

It’s fair to say the chances of scoring were going to be difficult, as Chelsea have only conceded three times in the league so far this season (none in open play and two of the three being penalties).

A more disciplined display and hopefully a game plan to build on for next week’s game.

Here are my three key thoughts from the game:

Need a good (or any) out ball

It was clear to see that we were in desperate need of someone to play the ball out from the back, with our CBs being very functional in nature, and Darlow’s long balls being inconsistent at best.

Dubravka starting will help that somewhat, which should hopefully begin with next weekend at Brighton, while bringing Schar into the back three would help, when we need more than a hoof blindly forwards.

Gulf in talent

Another point that was obvious for all to see, was the gulf in talent between the squads.

Investment in the winter window can’t come soon enough.

A proper coach = Actual organisation

Regardless of the outcome, I think if there was still a Bruce in the dugout and an Ashley still in control,this would have been a drubbing much like what happened to Norwich last time out.

Graeme Jones making the unprecedented move of cancelling days off has clearly sharpened up the squad and at least had us looking like a team, rather than a bunch of confused individuals.

As I said last time, Rome wasn’t built in a day and we might need some better quality bricks and mortar!

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3 – Saturday 30 October 3pm

Goals:

Chelsea

James 65, 77 Jorginho 81 pen

Newcastle:

Possession was Chelsea 79% Newcastle 21%

Total shots were Chelsea 19 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Chelsea 6 Newcastle 1

Corners were Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0

Referee: Paul Tierney

Crowd: 52,208 (Chelsea 3,200)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (Almiron 67), Sean Longstaff (Shelvey 81), Fraser (Willock 66), Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Joelinton, Schar, Lewis, Murphy, Gayle

(Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s dismal defeat – Read HERE)

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