Pedro, and Willian score as Chelsea make it a double over Newcastle.
Chelsea got an important victory in a weekend where Arsenal, and Tottenham lost their games as we go to within a point of Tottenham and 6 points clear of Arsenal and United. Sarri selected the usual 11 as Kepa, Azpi, Rudiger, Luiz, and Alonso made up the back. Jorginho, Kante, and Kovacic made up the midfield and Willian, Hazard, and Pedro made up the false 9 formation.
Pedro opened the scoring in the 9th minute after Luiz played a brilliant ball to him and he took it down with Ruone touch and lobbed it over the goal keeper with the second. The goal though seemed to relax Chelsea and Newcastle began to grow into the game and Clark eventually equalised for the Magpies in the 40th minute. As the second half came around Chelsea returned with more vigor and Hazard broke through the Newcastle midfield to play a ball into Willian, Willian then cut in on the left and curled a brilliant goal to give Chelsea the win. Sarri stated post match that Chelsea need to change their mentality and continue their intensity when we go ahead in games, and not just when we are losing. Anyhow it was an important win especially since the next game is against 5th placed Arsenal.
- Kepa – A good game again as the goal there was nothing he could do about the Newcastle goal.
- Azpilicueta – Another solid performance from Azpi as unlike Alonso he continues to improve in the position.
- Rudiger – Solid performance by Rudiger, never goes over the top but does the simple stuff well and has a fighting spirit.
- Luiz – The standout defender as he had another brilliant game at the back, his passes were amazing and he quite literally could have got more than the one assist he did. At this rate he needs to be given a new contract.
- Alonso – Not bad at all but not great as his crosses were as usual poor and he broke up several attacks. It is coming to a point where players and Sarri seem to get frustrated on the pitch. Emerson needs to start.
- Jorginho – Much has been made about Jorginho and how he has an x amount of passes and no assist. Assists are not what he is in the team to do and explaining the regista positon has divided opinion amongst several people. He does what he is in the team to do although I do feel that if Paredes comes along and improves over time Jorginho could find himself fighting for his spot. Jorginho did look tired though and we need to sign someone soon.
- Kante – Kante is another player who’s position has been a cause of major debate. The pundits say that Kante should be playing in Jorginho’s position and there are many fighting and arguing on his behalf. Sarri has stated that Kante will continue to play further forward and to his credit Kante has not complained once. On the other hand he has actually improved and continues to gain a greater attacking threat for the team. At the rate he is going Kante could become great in his new position as well.
- Kovacic – Kovacic was good not great, he linked up play well though and since RLC is injured he does seem better than Barkley at the moment. Kovacic though needs to work on his attacking threat.
- Pedro – Great goal by Pedro to open the scoring and his commitment and hard work is the reason why I would keep him and sell Willian if I were to pick between the two and also the fact that he is a great finisher.
- Hazard – Sarri might like to play Hazard in the false 9 as it means we are better defensively but he does not seem to be enjoying it and we need to get a forward in soon other wise his impact on games seem to come in spurts.
- Willian – Willian scored!, and a brilliant goal as well. Willian was poor in the first half but it was if someone told him that he would be sold as he came out a different player in the second half. I don’t think Willian is great, and I would still sell him in a heart beat even though he has scored. Hopefully he finds some form as we need it in the next few games especially if Higuain continues to be delayed. Pulisic is the future in Willians place though.
- Hudson-Odoi – Came on for Pedro, as he was rested for the game and he should be in line to start against Arsenal.
- Barkley – Barkley seems to have lost his form and once again if RLC was fit he would have started.
- Giroud – Came on in the final minutes so no time for any real impact.
On to Arsenal in the league and hopefully we sign Higuain by Saturday. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!