Chelsea narrowly escaped with a victory at St. James’ Park against Newcastle United in the English Premier League and find themselves second on the table with three wins in as many matches.
Only behind Liverpool by goal difference, Maurizio Sarri’s men did just enough to edge past the tough Magpies and should be confident moving forward in the Premier League.
The match was definitely a peculiar one, with Newcastle playing well up until a surprise penalty was awarded for the away team after a clash between Marcos Alonso and Fabian Schar. Many could argue the justification of the penalty but Eden Hazard took the chance to slot the ball past the keeper through a penalty to give the Blues the lead.
Newcastle managed to level the score after a goal from Joselu, but it was a short-lived celebration as the hosts lost momentum after DeAndre Yedlin scored an own-goal to award the visitors maximum points.
It is noteworthy that this is the first time since 2011 that Chelsea have won at St. James’ Park and it may finally mark the changing times for the Blues.
Here are some talking points on the clash.
POOR MATCH MANAGEMENT COULD PUSH FOR THE USE OF VAR
Addressing everyone’s biggest concern in the match, the refereeing left much to be desired through most of the contest especially in the build-up of at least two goals in the match.
Paul Tierney obviously had a tough night in controlling the game and the first two goals were the biggest question marks in the game.
In Chelsea’s penalty claim, replays showed that there was no foul and the penalty should not have been awarded. In Newcastle’s equaliser, Yedlin appeared to foul Olivier Giroud with an elbow to the face that should have nullified the hosts’ goal.
With all these in mind, there appears to be the need to push for Video Assistance Referee (VAR) to help the on-ground officials maintain proper management within the game. This may be the perfect sample to push for the technology.
EDEN HAZARD CONTINUES TO SHOW WORTH
With his first start for Chelsea in the Premier League, Hazard continues to show how important he is in games and how he can affect how opposition play against the Blues.
This game was evidence on how much attention their opponents put on Hazard, with petty fouls and physical man-marking trying to stop the Belgian from being part of the team’s movement.
However, Hazard continued to press on and his excellent football IQ was on full display. He even calmly slotted the goal to open the scoring in the game and shows that he is the best player on the Chelsea roster.
With Hazard delivering on the first start given to him by Sarri, it is without question that he will maintain his spot on the pitch and Chelsea can go as far as Hazard wants to bring them.
JORGINHO MAKES CHELSEA CLICK
Outside of Hazard, another player steadily showing his importance to the Chelsea squad is new-boy Jorginho.
Arriving during the summer alongside Sarri, the midfielder has quickly adjusted to life in the Premier League and continues to bring his exquisite football knowledge to the club – helping them secure the second spot in the league.
His skills were highlighted in the match against Newcastle, completing 158 passes out of 173 for a 91 per cent accuracy. The entire Newcastle team only completed 131 which further highlight how impressive his outing was away from home.
Jorginho was everywhere in the game, completing passes left and right while also making key tackles and interceptions whenever needed. He has slowly become the man who makes the Chelsea engine move.