Newcastle United 1 – 2 Chelsea
Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea maintained their winning start to the Premier League season with victory over Newcastle United in a match featuring three goals in 11 second-half minutes.
Eden Hazard, on his first start this season for the Blues, netted from the penalty spot in the 76th minute before substitute Joselu levelled with a brilliant header at St James’ Park.
But, having been resolute in defence for the majority of the game, Newcastle failed to clear their lines and Marcos Alonso’s shot took a deflection off DeAndre Yedlin.
Chelsea dominated the game with 81% possession and Pedro, Cesar Azpilicueta and Alvaro Morata missed chances.Antonio Rudiger rattled the crossbar in the 70th minute but Newcastle contained the pressure until Fabian Schar tripped Alonso in the box.Chelsea’s third win in as many matches moved them level on points with Liverpool and Watford at the top of the table, while Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle have only one point.
Benitez was forced to make six changes to the side that drew with Cardiff last weekend, with captain Jamaal Lascelles and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey among those absent.There were reports before the game that Lascelles had been dropped after an argument with Benitez but he insisted the defender was out with a thigh problem.
Benitez’s starting XI, featuring three debutants, held their own as a five-man defence but never looked a threat up front.Salamon Rondon, making his first start since arriving from West Brom, headed wide in the first half, while Joselu’s 83rd-minute header was one of only two shots on target for the hosts.
The substitute’s goal caused controversy, with Chelsea substitute Olivier Giroud claiming he was elbowed off the ball by Yedlin in the build-up.It did not matter as Yedlin’s own goal sent the Magpies to their second defeat of the season.
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