Another step in the right direction!
Chelsea beat Newcastle 2-0 in MW 24 of the Premier League season as Newcastle offered no real challenge to the Blues. Tuchel made some changes to the team but the surprise selection was a start for Kepa in goal. Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger made up the back 3 with Hudson-Odoi, and Alonso as the wing backs. Jorginho and Kovacic continued in midfield with Mount, Werner, and Tammy up front. A solid lineup and good enough to get 3 points against Newcastle.
As soon as the game started it was all Chelsea as we pressed and suffocated Newcastle’s players. They had no time to pick a pass and as soon as they made a touch 2-3 Chelsea players were around them. Azplicueta went close with a header early on while Werner also narrowly missed in front of goal. Kovacic then played a brilliant pass into Werner who’s shot went just over the bar. The first goal came in the 31st minute after Werner had been slapped in the face. Tasting blood the German picked up the ball on the left hand side and drove down the line, playing a great pass into the box. The ball ended up at Giroud’s feet and the Frenchman finished. Giroud had come on for Tammy early on after the Englishman was injured by Lascelles when through on goal. Werner finally got his goal in the 39th minute as a corner fell to him on the back post and he smashed the ball into the net. There was some VAR drama but the goal was clear and given. 2-0, at the break and Chelsea dominated Newcastle.
The 2nd half saw Chelsea drop off in their tempo and Newcastle had a couple of chances to get back into the game. Kepa had to pull of some good saves to keep a clean sheet and his passing game was also good. Chelsea managed the game well in the final minutes though and the 3 points were ours.
Chelsea Team Review
A 2nd successive clean sheet for Kepa will do his confidence a world of good. Many are forgetting that Kepa wasn’t bad under Sarri and it’s only under Lampard that his performances declined. Mendy deserves to be no 1, but it’s good to have two confident goalkeepers rather than just 1. Made some good saves and his passing was also very good. Happy for him.
Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger were solid at the back but Christensen impressed me the most out of those 3. It has been harsh on Zouma to not get a look in yet but Christensen has done well in place of Silva and the Dane is looking solid. Alonso was almost playing as a winger for much of the game while Hudson-Odoi surprisingly was very good defensively. Offensively though Hudson-Odoi’s decision making fell short and he needs to work on that. Reece James did come on for CHO in the final minutes and he also played well, testing the goalkeeper and defending with ease.
Jorginho and Kovacic have looked as solid as ever in this system under Tuchel and those Jovacic jibes have gone missing in recent weeks. Kovacic particularly was my man of the match as he popped up ever. Completed take on’s with ease and made some brilliant passes. The Croat was simply too good yesterday. Mount was very good as well but his finishing was lacking. Kante came on for Mount late on and he made some good runs as he played a role further forward.
Tammy didn’t get enough time to make an impact and he probably should have got a penalty when he was brought down having been through on goal. Giroud got a goal from the bench taking his tally up to 10. Werner had another great game getting an assist and goal which will do him a world of good. Hopefully Timo can push on from this and players who are lacking form like Ziyech, Pulisic, and Havertz can also start contributing as well.
Tuchel get’s another clean sheet and another win, as Chelsea move into the top 4. The German probably didn’t expect it to come so soon but now we have to remain there and hopefully push on further up the table. Take it one game at a time.
Chelsea into the top four on goal difference and 4 points behind 2nd placed Manchester United. Tuchel has given the players 2 days off to rest and recover before we start preparing for Southampton. A step in the right direction today and we need to continue taking those steps one game at a time. COME ON CHELSEA!!!