Chelsea vs Newcastle United (2-2) – Initial Reaction And Analysis
With 3 wins on the trot and 10 goals scored in the process, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho were looking set to collect 3 points at St. James Park tonight.
With Spurs blowing away City in the earlier encounter, it was important for Chelsea to grab this oppprtunity and reduce the gap to just 5 points and get back in the title race. (Alright let’s be clear here, no one cares about United being top of the table anyway as the race to the title is between us and City!)
With that in mind, Mourinho unleashed his strongest eleven with Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Oscar all making a comeback as Remy replaced Costa ahead of Falcao as the lone Striker
Here’s how the game panned out for us:
– The game started in a typical fashion with both the teams trying to press high up the pitch and Chelsea winning a couple of free kicks as a result of fouls commited by the home side.
The first half chance for Chelsea came in the 12th minute when Oscar found Ivanovic’s run in the box, but the cut back by the Serbian for Loic Remy was too quick for the Frenchman and his resultant shot couldn’t find Tim Krul’s net. If it was on target, Chelsea would most likely be 1-0 up!
– Aleksander Mitrovic, the Magpies forward, did cause a few problems early on for our Centre Backs with his physical play, but nothing major that Cahill and Zouma couldn’t deal with. However, our front four did struggle to combine fluently in attack, thanks to some good and organized defending from the home side.
– As minutes passed, the home side started to grow into the game and 28 minutes in, the Magpies top scorer, Daryl Janmaat, almost opened the scoring for the home side only to be denied by some good work from Begovic.
Loic Remy, meanwhile, looked isolated for the Blues up front as the Striker struggled to get into the game. Watching the physicality of the game, this could have been a perfect game for Diego Costa, but Alas, FA!
– The game wasn’t a spectacular one in terms of chances created as Fabregas bullet shot at Tim Krul from outside the box in the 37th minute was the only worthwhile thing that happened in the game after the save by Begovic.
– Ayoze Perez opened the scoring for the home side in the 42nd minute, thanks to some poor defending and confusion between Zouma and Ivanovic which allowed Perez to get his shot away and put it past Begovic to make it 1-0 for the home side. Our defense has been in shambolics this season and this goal just further proved the fact!
– The first half ended with the Blues trailing the game 1-0. Honestly, it didn’t looked good for the Blues at all as our front four struggled to get into the game and the home side looking just more hungrier and more motivated for the points. Let’s find out how the second half panned out for us.
– Jose Mourinho started the second half with no changes as we searched for an equaliser.
Blues did start the second half with lots of purpose as we dominated the possession in the final third but struggled to create any clear cut chance for us.
Loic Remy lacked the precision for us up front as the Frenchman fumbled up some half chances to put it behind the net. Did we miss a focal point up top? I think we did!
– Just when we looked good for an equaliser, Newcastle made it 2-0 from a corner, thanks to some bad defending/marking from Cesc Fabregas. Mourinho immediately subbed on Falcao and Willian in place of Matic and Remy as an answer to the second goal.
– 70 minutes gone and Chelsea still struggled to break open a resolute and motivated Magpies defense as we looked well set to lose 3 points here at St. James Park. Mourinho introduced Ramires in place of Oscar as his final substitution in a hope to spark some kind of comeback into the game, which didn’t look likely ofcourse!
– Ramires did pull one back in the 79th minute, thanks to a bullet of a strike from the Brazilian from outside the box, akin to the one Matic scored against Everton a couple of weeks back. It all started with a good ball from Zouma to Eden Hazard who layed it off for Ramires. Perhaps, no one expected him to shoot from that range, hence the space offered and the midfielder duly obliged making it 2-1 for Chelsea.
– Pedro could have and should have equalized for us in the 84th minute after Fabregas found him with a brilliant pass and just Tim Krul to beat, but the Spaniard skied off his effort under pressure.
– It was a brilliant comeback from the Blues as Willian won a freekick and scored the equalizer for the Blues in the 86th minute, similar to the one he scored against Maccabi Tel Aviv. Chelsea 2-2 Newcastle United. Game on!
– There wasn’t a twist in the tale however, as Blues had to settle with a draw at St. James Park. A draw that was dissapointing, but a draw that Mourinho would have taken in a heartbeat after going 2-0 down. So, still 7 points behind the real contenders after this result and still no win for Mourinho at St. James Park!