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Premier League: Newcastle's self-inflicted wounds gift Chelsea last minute winner at St James' Park


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Despite it just being their third game of the season, the matchup against Newcastle would be pivotal in Maurizio Sarri’s plan to become a title contender. In a game littered with tonnes of late drama and controversies, Chelsea claimed a 2-1 victory over Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United.

Chelsea have seemingly adapted well to their Sarri’s new style of play, having claimed victory in their first two matches of the season. But despite having a relatively optimistic build up to the game, Chelsea seemed to struggle to break down the Magpies’ well organised and solid defence.

Benitez's defensive tactics against the blues have deservedly been deemed as him opting to park the bus, facing some criticism from fans who would’ve preferred a more attacking style of play. But with the owners neglecting to match the Spaniard’s sending ambitions, the defensive style of play may be the Magpies only real option when matching up against the talented ranks of the top six.

The first hour drifted with neither team making any real headway. Despite retaining the ball for ridiculous levels of time, Chelsea looked frustrated as they consistently failed to find the back of the net.   

Solomon Rondon, Newcastle’s only striker, had an understandably quiet game as Newcastle readied themselves for the counter-attack, but the consistent Chelsea attacks finally paid off with only 15 minutes left in the match.

In a heavy, yet controversial, tackle, Newcastle’s Fabian Schar brought down Marcos Alonso in the Newcastle penalty area. The tackle was deemed worthy of a penalty despite replays showing the defender managing to claim the ball first, a decision will undoubtedly renew calls for VAR to be installed in the Premier League.

Eden Hazzard marked his return to the starting 11 by firing home the shot from the penalty spot, finally breaking the deadlock.

However, Newcastle didn’t let the lead last for long, shocking the Chelsea ranks with a quick equaliser.

In another controversial moment of the game, Yedlin elbowed Giroud in the face as they wrestled to make a cross into the Chelsea box. The Chelsea camp screamed for a foul with match officials dismissing the claims, meanwhile, the cross found its way into the box, with Joselu being on hand to ensure the equaliser found its way into the back of the net.

Newcastle had thought they had done enough to secure at least a point against a top 6 club, but self-inflicted errors led to Chelsea applying pressure on the Magpies defence yet again. A low shot on goal from Alonso deflected off of Yeldin and sailed into the back of Newcastle’s net

The goal meant that Chelsea was able to clinch the three points to retain their presence at the top of the early league standings, levelling with both Watford and Liverpool.

The victory won’t instil too much confidence within the Chelsea camp after failing to be clinical with their chances on goal, with Newcastle surely facing bitter disappointment after causing their own demise.

Image Credit - Flickr Commons, joshjdss. Twitter. 

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