The Blues clinched their second home victory this season against the Magpies, making it their fifth consecutive victory in all competitions. It was quite a hard fought victory for the Blues as the opponents maintained their strong defensive formation throughout the game making it hard to break through their defence and score. After Saturday’s win over Newcastle, Chelsea saw themselves move up to the fourth place on the table, keeping it level terms on points with Leicester City who are currently third, with an advantage in Goal Difference.
The first half was quite frustrating, and we struggled to move the ball quickly to catch them on the counter. Newcastle also looked a threat on the counterattack in the beginning of the first half. The Slovakian goalkeeper Dubravka looked sharp saving Mason Mount’s first attempt on goal early in the game. From the first 45 minutes, it was quite clear that Steve Bruce wanted his team to defend at their best and maintain a compact backline throughout the game giving the hosts no space to create something. Playing in a 5-4-1 formation, the Magpies looked satisfied about how the game went for them in the first half. Even though we had the maximum possession in the first half there was lack of creativity to give us the lead. Our Gaffer had a tough nut to crack as this Newcastle side could score a goal in the second half, which could have made things worse.
The second half saw an increased fluidity in the Chelsea’s style of play and passing was at its best from the boys. Jorginho was yet again dominating the midfield. His classy long balls created many chances for Willian and Hudson-Odoi, which Chelsea lacked in the first 45 minutes. Abraham missed two clear headers from the corners out of which one was denied by the crossbar. It seemed like the Blues were trying everything that they could, but with no end result.
Frank brought Pulisic on the field, who many thought, could be the one who could change the game and give us the goal that we needed to get the 3 points. His pace and dribbling abilities are his primary capabilities for what he is known for and he immediately started playing his natural game by taking on defenders, making clear space for the other attacking players to have a clear shot on the goal. It was in the 73rd minute that Pulisic made a great counter from the midfield taking on three defenders in the final third and then making a great pass under pressure to his left, finding Callum Hudson-Odoi, who took a touch and laid it up for Marcos Alonso onto his left. Alonso, having a pretty good record of being a deadly finisher from those ranges, gave enough power to his shot, finding the back of the net, though Dubravka got a touch to it. It was a sigh of relief for many, especially our gaffer, whose tactical awareness and substitutions gave us the lead. There were 2 more chances from Pulisic and Abraham which could have easily killed the game for us well before 90 minutes but some good defensive tackles from the visitors helped the 1-0 score line stay intact. The defenders also were clinical yesterday which gave us a clean sheet, something which we have been lacking from the start of the season.
Having the majority of Ball possession, passes and shots on target, it was clearly a justified result and the best team on the field won. Here are the match statistics of the Saturday’s game:
It was a good result in the end but yet another test lies ahead, as we face Ajax in the UCL fixture up next which will be a tough challenge for the boys in blue.
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!!!