Chelsea managed to secure a narrow victory against Newcastle United following a late effort from Kai Havertz, who was fortunate to have escaped a red card.
Newcastle went to Stamford Bridge following a tremendous run of form. The Magpies had not lost since December and had won six of their last eight fixtures in the league.
Chelsea were looking to extend a good run of their own. Indeed, they had won four on the spin in the league. What’s more, Chelsea came into the game having won the last eight league meetings between these two sides.
The Blues had most of the ball in the early stages. The first shot came from centre-back Andreas Chrristensen, who struck over the bar from outside the box.
Chelsea had more chances in the opening stages, Mason Mount won possession and made a good run early on. However, the Englishman could not find Timo Werner with his through ball.
Newcastle attempted to get a foothold in the game, but their only chances early on were all flagged for offside.
Chelsea kept the ball better initially, and showed why there is such a disparity between the two sides in the table. The six corners Chelsea forced in the first half showed their power, though Newcastle had some attempts of their own.
The best chance of the half saw Miguel Almiron unleash a venomous shot from outside the box just before half-time. Edouard Mendy dealt with it quite comfortably in the end despite the power of the effort.
The biggest moment of the first-half saw Havertz contest a high ball with Dan Burn. The former was lucky to stay on the field, as his elbow clearly struck the Newcastle defender, though VAR saw it as nothing more than a yellow card.
Chelsea break Newcastle resolve right at the end
Newcastle’s rearguard looked to be a match for Chelsea’s attack throughout. Burn cut out attacks from the forwards time and time again, despite his head injury.
The 6ft7in defender was key to his side’s resolve throughout the game. He dealt with multiple through balls, and seldom failed to get his head on crosses.
Burn’s centre-back partner, Fabian Schar also had some good moments in defence. The entire Newcastle back-line was valiant in search of a draw, while Chelsea failed to break them down.
Even attacking spark Bruno Guimaraes found himself tracking back for his side. The Brazilian made a smart foul after Kovacic broke through on a dangerous attack late on.
It took until the 76th minute for the Blues to have their first shot on target. Havertz found himself free in the box, but could not direct his header past Martin Dubravka.
Though it was Havertz who eventually broke Newcastle down. A perfectly-timed through ball from Jorginho found the German, who finished past the keeper following a sumptuous first touch.
The forward almost doubled Chelsea’s lead in stoppage time, as his strike hit the cross bar. Though it did not matter, as Chelsea held on to the 1-0 win, as Newcastle had nothing left to mount an attack of their own following the shock Chelsea goal.
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