Newcastle fans were pessimistic about this match from the moment line-ups were posted, and Newcastle did little to give their fans hope during a 3-0 loss on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
It should be noted that Newcastle took their chances against Chelsea. They had some possession, they put in some attacks, got a few good counters, and even some shots away. But Petr Cech was never truly troubled by the Newcastle attack. Newcastle's attack fizzled in the final third. Shots on target lacked accuracy, headers lacked pace, touches were heavy. We've seen this song and dance before: Newcastle simply can't finish.
Chelsea do not have that problem.
Eden Hazard scored two brilliant goals. The goals were brilliant on their own, but given the contrast between Chelsea and Newcastle, they were made all the better. The second goal in particular highlighted Newcastle's deficiencies.
The play began with Moussa Sissoko finding himself onsides and all alone with Cech. Sissoko's touch though was to heavy, and Cech had a relatively easy save, which we deflected behind for a corner. Newcastle's corner was a typical Newcastle corner. Our attack tried to move the ball into the box and could not and the counter was on.
Chelsea's spacing was great and their touches were spot on. Even when Newcastle managed to get some defenders into the box, the passes were true, the touches were deft, and Hazard deposited a text book goal behind Tim Krul and it was 2-0.
In the second half, Newcastle seemed uninterested in scoring. Chelsea looked to be fairly content with just running around for 45 minutes, but this would not stand for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. He pulled down Frank Lampard in the box on a corner kick. He didn't have to, the ball was nowhere near Lampard. But, he did it, and Howard Webb pointed to the spot, and Hazard got his hat trick.
The only real highlight for Newcastle fans may have been when Demba Ba came on as a sub in the 70th minute. Ba survived this encounter with Newcastle with zero kicks to the face, and we all got to remember that there was talk of him coming back to Newcastle this summer, but he didn't because Mike Ashley.*
I should point out that Sammy Ameobi had himself a pretty solid game for Newcastle and almost scored a late goal. He made some good runs and was arguably Newcastle's Man of the Match. I for one, hope he gets a nice run of games and we can see if he develops even more.
*Yes, yes, Demba Ba might not have fit with our attack, but in hindsight....would he have hurt things?