Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea: Premier League – as it happened

Scott Murray on 21 November 2020

Louise Taylor was at St James’ Park, and her verdict has landed. You know what to do: clickety click. Thanks for reading this MBM.

Steve Bruce talks. “We got off to an awful start ... first half in particular maybe we were a bit too passive ... second half was much better but you open up and they can pick you off ... our best spell in the game was unfortunately when we conceded the second one ... we had one or two opportunities but didn’t quite take them ... maybe we were too deep in the first half and gave them a bit too much respect ... they’re a very good side and can expose you ... there’s always grumbles ... it was a difficult afternoon.” He also reports that Lascelles’ injury is “a strange one ... he ran out to test his knee then felt his thigh ... but we hope he’s not too bad”.

Frank Lampard talks to BT Sport. “We played well ... the second goal was so important and we hand chances to score it earlier ... but you can’t have it all your own way ... we put the game away very well in a professional performance ... in the first half we were great ... we had control and penetration ... the result is key because the Premier League is tough and relentless ... I’m very pleased ... I’m not going to get excited about going top for five minutes, it’s time to stay humble ... it’s a long race.”

Tammy Abraham speaks. “It’s a fantastic result. We dug deep. It’s never an easy place to come and get three points, but we did that today. We didn’t let the international break distract us. We had to come out all guns blazing and that’s what we did. We kept our confidence and kept going. Obviously top is where we want to be. We need to keep getting the three points and hopefully we’ll stay there.”

FULL TIME: Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea

Newcastle usually give Chelsea a hard time at St James’ Park. Not today. They were utterly impotent. Chelsea didn’t have to get out of third gear to cruise to the top of the Premier League. Frank Lampard has turned his side, seven games unbeaten now, into genuine title contenders.

Tammy Abraham celebrates Chelsea’s win with his manager Frank Lampard after the final whistle.
Tammy Abraham celebrates Chelsea’s win with his manager Frank Lampard after the final whistle. Photograph: Lee Smith/NMC Pool/PA

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90 min +2: Carroll romps down the left. He hasn’t scored in the Premier League for two-and-a-half years ... and the wait goes on as his low shot is deflected into the side netting. Nothing comes of the resulting corner.

Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll reacts.
Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll reacts. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/NMC Pool/Reuters

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90 min: There will be three extra minutes ... but this has been over for a long while now.

89 min: James loops in from a deep position on the right. Giroud sticks out a leg, hoping to steer a volley into the bottom right, but it’s always screwing wide and the flag goes up in any case.

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud attempts a shot on goal.
Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud attempts a shot on goal. Photograph: Jon Super/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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88 min: James stands on Longstaff’s toe. Free kick to the left of the Chelsea box. Longstaff stays down a while, grimacing with pain. But eventually he springs back up again. Newcastle load the box. Almiron looks for Carroll but James gets in the road and nuts clear.

87 min: Ziyech comes off, in his own sweet time, to be replaced by Giroud. Meanwhile corner for Newcastle on the left ... but it’s a complete non-event.

86 min: Newcastle ping it around in Chelsea’s half, but don’t really build any pressure.

84 min: Lewis crosses from the left, but the ball flies high above Carroll. Newcastle have barely threatened Chelsea today.

83 min: James slips Ziyech into space on the right. Corner. Zouma tries to get another header away but can’t connect properly this time.

82 min: Emerson comes on for Chilwell.

80 min: Nothing comes from the set piece.

79 min: Almiron opens his legs down the left and batters a rising shot towards the top left. The ball takes a nick off Zouma, forcing Mendy to turn around the post for a corner.

78 min: A long Kovacic pass down the right. Mount spins Fernandez with absurd ease, and should make it three, clear in the box. But he scuffs his shot across Darlow and wide left. Chelsea have passed up some chances today.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount (left) attempts a shot on goal.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount (left) attempts a shot on goal. Photograph: Lee Smith/NMC Pool/PA

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76 min: That’s Werner’s last act of the afternoon. He’s replaced by Hudson-Odoi.

75 min: Ziyech draws three players before slipping a pass down the inside-left channel to release Werner. The striker rounds Darlow on the left and slots home. But he’d gone too early, and the flag correctly goes up for offside.

74 min: Saint-Maximin has been uncharacteristically quiet today. He’s replaced by Carroll.

72 min: Sean Longstaff nearly scores one of the goals of the season. A corner on the right is worked back up the flank. Longstaff takes a touch, 30 yards out, and sends a fierce short-backlift riser towards the top left. Mendy is beaten all ends up, but the ball pings off the top of the crossbar. So close to an absolute stunner.

71 min: Schar romps down the middle and trips over his own feet. The ref gives him a free kick. There haven’t been any hugely controversial calls today ... but there have been some strange decisions.

69 min: Almiron’s first act is a saucy dummy that sends Joelinton romping down the right wing. Joelinton wins a corner off Zouma, but the flag goes up for an absurd offside decision - the striker was clearly on - and it’s a free kick to Chelsea.

67 min: Chelsea are heading for the top of the table, for a few hours at least. It’s not all great news, though, because James is down again. Once more, he decides he’s good to continue, but let’s see how much longer he lasts. No point taking risks. Meanwhile Newcastle replace Manquillo with Almiron.

GOAL! Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea (Abraham 65)

Chelsea counter at lightning speed. Werner drives with extreme prejudice at Schar, eating up the yards down the left channel. He’s got Schar on toast, scooting past him, then rolling to his right for Abraham, who batters a shot off the base of the right-hand post and in. What a scintillating break!

Tammy Abraham slots home Chelsea’s second.
Tammy Abraham slots home Chelsea’s second. Photograph: Jon Super/NMC Pool/The Guardian
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham scores their second goal.
Here’s the view of Abraham’s goal from up in the stands. Photograph: Lee Smith/NMC Pool/Reuters
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham celebrates after scoring their second goal.
Abraham celebrates. Photograph: Jon Super/NMC Pool/The Guardian
Players react after Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham scores past Newcastle’s goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Players react to Abraham’s goal. Photograph: Jon Super/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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64 min: Manquillo drives at Chelsea but can’t find Saint-Maximin in acres of space on the left. A big mistake, because ...

62 min: Abraham glides down the inside-left channel. He’s got Werner in the middle, but opts to continue probing himself. Not the correct decision, as it pans out.

61 min: James goes down holding the back of his leg. He springs back up and gets on with it, but doesn’t look totally comfortable.

60 min: Saint-Maximin comes in from the left and tees up Joelinton, on the edge of the D. Joelinton has time to sort his feet and open his body up, but his attempted curler towards the top right is high and wide. Chelsea are beginning to ship chances here.

58 min: Hayden bustles down the middle and loses control. Rudiger attempts to boot clear, but slams the ball straight at Hayden, who suddenly breaks free into the box! He must score, but leans back and hoicks over. No matter, as the referee had blown for hand ball. That might give Newcastle some heart, though.

57 min: Chilwell whips from the left to the far post. Ziyech is romping in, planning to meet it with his head. Lewis gets there first, though, eyebrowing the ball away from the Chelsea man just in time.

55 min: James wins a corner down the right. Zouma rises to win a header, flashing wide right from eight yards. Had that been on target, Darlow was rooted and beaten. Chelsea should be out of sight by now.

53 min: Schar takes receipt of a poor long Chelsea punt. He dallies and dallies, and allows Werner to steal it away. Werner enters the box from the left. He’s one on one with Darlow, and scoring looks a simple job, but he decides to roll across to tee up Ziyech, allowing Clark is able to intercept and clear. What a chance! Not the first time Werner’s decision-making has been a bit suspect today. He should really have two.

51 min: Newcastle have enjoyed 56% possession since the restart. Incremental improvements. Chelsea seem fairly comfortable, mind.

49 min: Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Neither team has found any rhythm yet. A series of petty fouls not helping.

47 min: A slow start to the half. Fernandez breaks the space-time continuum to take half an hour over a throw.

Newcastle get the second half underway. Just before the restart, Lascelles took to the pitch but quickly decided he wasn’t fit to continue. Schar comes on in his place.

Half-time entertainment courtesy of Oliver Lewis. “Apologies to go on a bit of a rant, but can you answer me, watching Steve Bruce’s football, why Newcastle fans are constantly called entitled for daring to suggest the absolute garbage he serves up regularly is not what we want to watch? It is effective, we get enough points to stay up but it is dreadful.

“It is constantly brought up that we were no more attacking under Rafa. Yes we were fairly negative the majority of Rafa’s time. However for his last six months, Rafa had finally found a more exciting system that may have been counter attacking but led to us scoring plenty of goals and playing the best football we have for years.

“Rafa walks as Ashley finally commits to spending £40m but only on Joelinton rather than the cheaper and proven Rondon and reinforcing. That does not look so unreasonable a call now does it? Bruce comes in. Gets financial backing. Drops all our players who can pass the ball and serves up utterly dreadful football, continually blaming Rafa for training our players to be too effective defensively.

“No Newcastle fan ‘expects’ us to be challenging for anything more than midtable considering the investment involved. We are continually patronised as if hoofing it up the pitch is all we should rightly expect. I am reminded of when Brendan Rodgers brought his Liverpool to Sunderland and said he thought the people of the north east would be honoured to see the football he brought.

“I am tired at looking enviously at clubs coming up from the Championship on half the budget looking like Barcelona compared to us. Good football brings joy and excitement. Functional hoofing our way to 15th does not.

“Everyone says Bruce is a nice guy, it’s why a lot of pundits have a lot of time for him. He is also not the root cause at all. But Newcastle are entitled to call BS that Bruce is doing a ‘brilliant job’. This is the endless modern limbo of Newcastle: utterly joyless, utterly sapping and utterly hopeless.

“Rant over, and of course now Bruce will go on to score a fluky win to make me look stupid.”

HALF TIME: Newcastle United 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea have been dominant and deserve their lead ... but they got a little bit sloppy towards the end of that half, giving up possession and a couple of half-chances that’ll give Newcastle a little succour. More soon!

45 min +1: Lascelles is down again, feeling the back of his knee. Don’t bank on him coming back out for the second half.

45 min: Murphy is booked for barging into the back of Mount. There wasn’t too much in that one, either, but the referee is in an uncompromising mood this afternoon.

44 min: Saint-Maximin slides Lewis into space down the left. Lewis crosses deep. Murphy heads down to nobody in particular. Chelsea clear.

43 min: All a bit scrappy now, as both teams take turns to give the ball away.

41 min: Ziyech curls it towards the far post. Too high, too floaty. Easy for Darlow.

40 min: Hayden is booked for getting both ball and man as he slides in on Kovacic. He’s not happy. That looked nothing more than a garden-variety foul. Free kick, anyway. A dangerous position for Chelsea out on the right.

39 min: Ziyech is shoved over in the playground style by Clark. He jumps up and takes a quick free kick, wedging down the middle and nearly finding Werner, just inside the Newcastle box. Darlow comes out to claim. Some fine proactive keeping.

38 min: On comes the doctor, and Lascelles is good to go again it seems. He’s still trotting around rather gingerly, though.

Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles gets his leg checked out by the team doctor.
Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles gets his leg checked out by the team doctor. Photograph: Jon Super/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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36 min: The corner is useless. Chelsea zip up the other end through Werner, who drives at Lascelles down the left. Lascelles stretches a leg and pokes away just in time. Ziyech shoots harmlessly over. Lascelles goes down, holding the back of his left knee.

35 min: And now another chance for the Toon, as Abraham ships possession, allowing Joelinton to go on a tear up the other end. He slips the ball wide left for Saint-Maximin, who cuts inside and looks for the top right. Kante deflects out for a corner.

32 min: All of a sudden, there’s some space for Saint-Maximin, just inside the Chelsea box on the left. He considers a curler towards the top right. Instead, he cuts inside and looks for space to shoot. Chelsea close ranks, so he backheels towards Murphy on the left. Clever idea, but Mendy comes out to snaffle, and Newcastle’s most promising position so far comes to nought.

Newcastle United’s Jamal Lewis is thwarted by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Newcastle United’s Jamal Lewis is thwarted by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/PA

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30 min: Chelsea should be two up. Chilwell snaffles possession out on the left and shuttles the ball forward for Abraham. The striker has his back to goal, so lays off to Werner on the penalty spot. He’s one on one with Darlow! He must score, but tries to guide a cute reverse shot into the bottom left and sends it wide of the post.

Chelsea’s Timo Werner reacts after failing to score
Chelsea’s Timo Werner reacts after his miss. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/AFP/Getty Images

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28 min: Kovacic plays a lazy ball straight to Murphy, who slips forward for Joelinton. Mendy is on the edge of his box, so Joelinton tries to beat him from the centre circle. A good idea, poorly executed. His long punt bounces harmlessly to the left of goal. That would have been some way to ending his long Premier League drought.

27 min: Newcastle have slowed Chelsea down a little. Baby steps.

25 min: Murphy blazes down the right and looks to have won a corner off Chilwell. The pair clatter into each other as the ball flies out of play, and the referee gives Chelsea the benefit of the doubt and a free kick. A generous decision. A rare chance for Newcastle to test Chelsea is lost.

23 min: Chelsea stroke it around some more. Then James suddenly gains a yard down the right and curls low. Werner can’t quite get to it in the middle. Werner might have been just offside had he connected, but it’s immaterial now.

Chelsea’s Reece James controls the ball.
Chelsea’s Reece James controls the ball. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/NMC Pool/Reuters

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21 min: Chelsea continue to dominate. A long passing sequence ends when Rudiger and Chilwell confuse each other and the ball rolls out of play. Right now, only Chelsea can stop Chelsea.

19 min: Manquillo has the opportunity to launch a Newcastle attack, with Chelsea committed upfield and players available on both wings. He hesitates and opts to play it backwards instead. Newcastle’s early ambition didn’t last long.

17 min: Chelsea stroke it around in a very pretty manner. Newcastle eventually get it off them, Hayden attempting to spring Saint-Maximin clear down the left. It’s all too agricultural and a heavy pass flies out of play.

15 min: The gambit doesn’t work. Werner is sent scampering down the inside-left channel again, and fires across the face of goal. Abraham is one size of boot away from converting in the middle. The ball continues harmlessly through.

14 min: Newcastle string a few passes together but don’t go anywhere in particular. An attempt to nix Chelsea’s momentum more than anything else.

12 min: Chelsea look extremely dangerous every time they go forward. They’ve pretty much taken up where they left off against Sheffield United a fortnight ago. Here’s Mary Waltz: “My pre-season thoughts on Chelsea: wild offensive output, sieve-like defensive, lots of 4-3 games. Reality: a disciplined title-contending squad. Lampard has morphed in to Jose without the psycho drama.” Yep, they’re looking good. There’s still plenty of time for a Mourinho-style meltdown, though. Leeds and Bielsa come to Stamford Bridge in a couple of weeks. Let’s see where we are after that.

GOAL! Newcastle United 0-1 Chelsea (Fernandez og 10)

Werner and Mount work a short corner on the right. Mount gets some space and fires across the face of goal. At the far post, Fernández can’t sort his feet out and bundles into his own net. He claims a push from Chilwell, but he wasn’t touched before he met the ball, so the goal stands.

Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United scores an own goal.
Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United scores an own goal to give Chelsea the lead. Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images
Federico Fernandez (second right) of Newcastle scores an own goal .
Here’s a view of Fernandez’s goal from up in the stands. Photograph: Alex Pantling/NMC Pool/EPA
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell wheels away in celebration after his pressuring forced Fernandez to turn the ball into his own net.
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell wheels away in celebration after his pressuring forced Fernandez to turn the ball into his own net. Photograph: Alex Pantling/NMC Pool/Reuters

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9 min: Ziyech curls dangerously from the right. Abraham probably should score from eight yards, but allows Darlow to tip over. Corner. From which ...

7 min: Abraham holds up for Kovacic, who rushes in from the right and tries to steer a shot goalwards. It’s high and handsome. Chelsea are beginning to dominate after Newcastle’s early flurry.

5 min: Ziyech pulls back for James, who volleys into a thicket. Blocked. Nice attempt at the classic Beckham-Scholes corner, though. Full marks for ambition and a pretty high score for execution too.

4 min: Werner makes his first run down the inside-left channel. He shoots low, hard and diagonally. It’s going into the bottom right, but Darlow spectacularly tips around the post. Corner.

Chelsea’s Timo Werner watches as his shot is saved by Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow.
Chelsea’s Timo Werner watches as his shot is saved by Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/NMC Pool/AFP/Getty Images

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3 min: Mendy flaps a bit at the corner, but does enough to guide it clear.

Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy deals with a corner.
Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy deals with a corner. Photograph: Jon Super/NMC Pool/The Guardian

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2 min: From the corner, Saint-Maximin probes down the right and wins another corner. Good start by Newcastle, this.

1 min: Some early Newcastle verve, as Joelinton wins a couple of free kicks by putting himself about. From the second, Fernandez is afforded a free header out on the right and Chilwell is forced to put behind for a corner.

And we’re off! Chelsea get the ball rolling, but only after the players take a knee. No room for racism. Black lives matter.

Here come the teams! Chelsea arrive first, sporting third-choice pink and purple. Newcastle then rock up in their famous black and white stripes. A snatch of the best running-out music in the league, and we’ll be off in a minute.

The managers have been speaking to BT Sport. Steve Bruce says he “couldn’t risk Wilson with the amount of games coming up ... Almiron [as sub] has nothing to do with his agent, he’s been halfway around the world so it’s only right he starts on the bench ... Chelsea are a very good side so we’re in for a very difficult game.”

Meanwhile here’s Frank Lampard on his defence: “Thiago travelled back from South America and with his age I have to look after him ... some people would say they’d like to have five centre-backs of our quality, but to deal with it week to week and get them the game time, probably one or two of them don’t like me very much ... it depends on how you train, how you are, and how you take your chance, so those are the rules.”

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard have a chat before kick-off.
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard have a chat before kick-off. Photograph: Lee Smith/NMC Pool/Reuters

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Callum Wilson hasn’t made it. Newcastle had hoped the striker would recover from his hamstring injury, but he hasn’t even made the bench. He’s one of four changes to the team that went down 2-0 at Southampton, with Fabian Schar, Jeff Hendrick and Miguel Almiron dropping to the bench. Ciaran Clark, Javi Manquillo, Isaac Hayden and Joelinton are the men taking their place.

Chelsea are in If It Ain’t Broke mode. Only one change to the team that saw off Sheffield United with ease: Antonio Rudiger replaces Thiago Silva, who is rested in the wake of international duty with Brazil.

Chelsea players during the warm up before the match.
Chelsea players during the warm up before the match. Photograph: Alex Pantling/NMC Pool/Reuters

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The teams

Newcastle United: Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis, Murphy, Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.
Subs: Schar, Carroll, Shelvey, Hendrick, Krafth, Almiron, Gillespie.

Chelsea: Mendy, James, Zouma, Rudiger, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Jorginho, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Azpilicueta, Emerson Palmieri.

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Preamble

The international break came at the wrong time for Chelsea, who were beginning to finally click under Frank Lampard. They would have surely played on, given the chance, having won their last four games to an aggregate tune of 13-1. Timo Werner scored five goals in his last four appearances; Hakim Ziyech was working his way into a groove; Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva were sorting out the mess at the back in short order. They’d have happily kept going.

They could quite easily pick up where they left off. Today’s opponents Newcastle United have suffered a couple of heavy defeats at home already this season: 0-3 to Brighton and 1-4 to Manchester United. Another three-goal shellacking could be on the cards if Newcastle play like they did in those games, and Chelsea create the sheer number of chances they did against Sheffield United.

But football’s not always a rational business. Chelsea don’t particularly like coming to Tyneside; they’ve lost on five of their last seven visits, the latest a last-minute smash-and-grab by Isaac Hayden back in January. They lost this fixture 3-0 three seasons ago. These things shouldn’t matter, but so often do. Additionally, Newcastle may enjoy the boost of welcoming back the hamstrung Callum Wilson, who has scored six and set up one of Toon’s ten league goals so far this campaign.

Both teams will, in their own sweet way, fancy their chances. This is delightfully set up, a fine return to the Premier League after a two-week hiatus. Newcastle can spring to seventh if they prevail this lunchtime; Chelsea can go top. It’s on!

Kick off: 12.30pm GMT.

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