It was a tale of two halves, as it often is with Newcastle United. The difference in this game is that Newcastle's bad half saw them hold Chelsea off the scoresheet, giving themselves a chance to grab a win. The Magpies took full advantage, and earned all three points with a 2-0 win over the London club.
The first half was not exactly and exciting affair. Chelsea were able to dictate play, but could not find a break through. Despite having nearly 60% of the possession and five corners, Chelsea managed only one shot on goal. They hit the woodwork a coupe of times. This isn't to say that the Blues didn't threaten, as they did look dangerous and put pressure on the Newcastle defense, but they could not find a break through.
As for Newcastle, they focused most of their energy on staying behind the ball. Their few forays into the final third were fairly tame. There were the typical cracks at goal from far out, but nothing came of them. Newcastle's best chance came on a wonderfully executed counter-attack that saw Moussa Sissoko get the ball into the box and into a good position, but his shot wasn't quite good enough and was saved.
Newcastle came alive around the hour mark, getting multiple good chances in a row. Shola Ameobi broke free on a counter, but his pass to Sissoko in the box was deflected out to Yohan Cabaye who put it over the bar. Moments later, Sissoko came down the right side off a lovely ball from Mathieu Debuchy, and the goalkeeper just got a touch on it to keep it out. Right after, Loic Remy got a shot away that did not miss by much. It was a lively spell for the hosts.
The spell would ay off about ten minutes later when Yoan Gouffran headed in a well placed free kick from Cabaye. Though Newcastle had been pressing, it still seemed to be unexpected, as Newcastl's other chances had gone begging, and their play on spot pieces had not been good on the day. That said, you could argue that the goal was a deserved one, given Newcastle's more forward play in the second half.
Newcastle were in for a nervy final term though, as Chelsea pushed for an equalizer. The Blues came close, but Tim Krul stood firm and kept the door close. In all honesty, Chelsea were not nearly as dangerous looking in the second half, but they did come close.
The Blues would rue their missed chances at Remy was able to get away a quality shot in the 89th minute to put Newcastle up 2-0. It was Vurnon Anita getting the assist on the goal, which may help him crack the starting line-up in a week.
So, how did the lads do? They got three points. Who was your Man of the Match? Rate each player below and we'll have a results post up next week.
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