Saturday finished Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0.
Steve Bruce’s plan of defending for 90 minutes failing with 17 minutes to go.
The Newcastle goal leading a charmed life in the second-half but former Sunderland player Marcos Alonso finally breaking the NUFC resolve.
Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.
This time it is Matthew Robson:
Keeping the score down
When you have been beaten and not had a corner or a single effort on target, it is a bit of a struggle to identify positives.
You couldn’t criticise the team for any lack of effort and the commitment of the likes of Dubravka, Clark, Schar and Yedlin was there for all to see.
All four of them made last gasp blocks, saves, interceptions and challenges which at least kept the score down.
The one player who provided any kind of a threat on the very rare occasions Newcastle got in the opposition half.
The first 20 minutes saw the winger creating panic amongst the Chelsea defence simply by pressing and with his pace, being able to close down quickly.
Chelsea have got a poor defence that has already conceded 19 goals this season in all competitions and sadly they weren’t properly tested, as for the rest of the match the overly negative tactics meant ASM was playing as a defender with no opportunity to attack.
Make no mistake, this was never a 1-0 game.
Chelsea would have been kicking themselves if they hadn’t won this, as they should have comfortable won by three goals or so.
Newcastle never had a shot on goal and in the second-half were completely dominated, Chelsea having at least half a dozen great chances that were begging to be put away. Only luck and desperate defending somehow keeping the score down.
I still have no idea what the plan is for Newcastle to try and score goals, if indeed a plan exists.
Steve Bruce sends his players out to try and stop the opposition scoring but beyond that I’m not sure what we are trying to achieve.
Chelsea are good going forward but pretty poor at the back, with the likes of Norwich, Wolves and Sheffield United all scoring twice against them and the blues conceding 19 goals in all competitions. Goals change games and if there had been any ambition to try and score one, Newcastle would have had a far better chance of a positive result.
Everybody around me was confused when the first substitution was made.
Andy Carroll for Miguel Almiron didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Newcastle in all out defence and 20 minutes from a point, taking off one of the hardest working players for the least mobile player in the squad made zero sense.
Only three minutes later Chelsea had got their goal, Newcastle left a man short at the back as the blues swept forward. You can’t say for sure the substitution played a big part in the goal but it didn’t help.
Then after going behind, the next sub was to take our £40m striker off and replace him with the ineffective Atsu, before with only five minutes to go, Gayle was finally given a chance. Once again, for me it was total chaos in terms of tactics and no plan on how to get an equaliser.
Listening to Steve Bruce after the match, you would think Newcastle had been the unlucky ones.
The head coach claiming Newcastle had some ‘unbelievable opportunities’ when in reality NUFC hardly crossed the halfway line, the instances Bruce is referring to is when maybe three times the visiting players had good possession outside the Chelsea box.
Talk about grasping at very thin straws. For Steve Bruce to talk like he did after this game is simply relying on the fact that most people won’t have seen the full game.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 19 October 3pm
Possession was Chelsea 71% Newcastle 29%
Total shots were Chelsea 16 Newcastle 5
Shots on target were Chelsea 8 Newcastle 0
Corners were Chelsea 11 Newcastle 0
Referee: Andre Marriner
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Willems, M Longstaff, S Longstaff, Saint-Maximin (Gayle 85), Almiron (Carroll 70), Joelinton (Atsu 83)
Darlow, Dummett, Shelvey, Krafth
(Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)
(Steve Bruce verging on delusional after Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0 “We had some unbelievable opportunities” – Read HERE)
(Match ratings and comments on all players – Read HERE)
(Watch the Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0 official match highlights HERE)
(A negative display ends Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0 and Steve Bruce’s team back in relegation zone – Read HERE)