Chelsea claimed all three points on Sautrday evening, as they narrowly beat Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea started the game brightly and took the lead early on. David Luiz’s long ball in behind the Newcastle defence found Pedro’s perfectly timed run, and the winger took a single touch and dinked the ball over goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Newcastle grew into the first half and created the better chances. The equaliser eventually came from a Matt Ritchie corner kick, Ciaran Clark getting away from his marker and expertly finding the bottom left hand corner with a fantastic header to get the Magpies level.
Chelsea dominated the first half with the ball but failed to create chances.
The Blues struggled to get a hold of the start of the second half but slowly came back into the game. Willian gave Chelsea the lead again after Eden Hazard found the winger in plenty of space, the transfer-linked Brazilian beautifully curling the ball around Dubravka.
The game slowly fizzled out as time drew on, both sides failing to make any clear cut chances towards the end of the second half. Chelsea remain in the top four with the three points, while Newcastle drop into the relegation zone on the back of that defeat – and Cardiff’s draw earlier in the day.
Much of the debate before the game focused on whether Callum Hudson-Odoi would start the game, but Maurizio Sarri decided to go with Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian ahead of the young Englishman.
Hazard failed to make a great deal of impact in a false nine role, and Chelsea’s chances were limited throughout the game. Both wingers got on the scoresheet with good individual efforts, but failed to link up effectively with the Belgian. The January transfer window will play a vital part of Chelsea’s season, with Saturday’s game showing once again how much the Blues miss having a true striker as a focal point.