It ended 2-1 in Chelsea’s favour in our Premier league encounter against Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle team. It was a hard-fought win over the Geordies as we maintain our perfect start to the season.
Here are 3 reasons Chelsea won against Newcastle:
SLIGHT CHANGE IN ATTACKING APPROACH
Sarri’s decision to start with an attacking triumvirate of Hazard, Morata and Pedro was logically ideal. Hazard’s influence in our last two league games was enough to convince Sarri that his best player was ready to start. Also, Morata’s goal against Arsenal gave him a lifeline to start, and Pedro’s recent scoring form was too good to ignore. But after over 70 minutes of trying to breakdown a well-organized Newcastle defence, a change was hugely necessary against a team that have proved to be bogey team. Despite all-round attacking play that saw a combination of good passing, great skill-sets, good on and off the ball movements, Chelsea looked stale. The decision to be more direct by bringing on Giroud to offer a real physical presence upfront, and then deploying Willian to help stretch play on the right wing, and with Hazard doing same on the left, Newcastle became more susceptible to rampaging attacking plays.
FULLBACKS KEY IN CHELSEA’S ATTACKING PLAY
For the third game consecutive, Marcos Alonso plays a vital role in securing all three points for Chelsea. His surging runs into the opposition box against Huddersfield and Newcastle forced opposition defenders to give away penalties that led the team to wins. Then his decisive goal against Arsenal last weekend won the London derby. Sarri’s insistence on using the two fullbacks to overload the opposition wide areas caused panic in the Newcastle defence. This formula seems to be working as it gives the wingers the freedom to join the lone striker in more advanced attacking areas in the box.
QUICK & SMART SUBSTITUTIONS:
One major negative mark of Conte’s reign was his unwillingness to change things when it was not working. His constant late substitutions were ticking time bombs that cost dearly in big games. In this regard, Sarri deserves credit for realising that his initial approach wasn’t really working, and for also being brave enough to change things with quick and smart substitutions that eventually won the game for Chelsea.
At the moment, the sky is still true blue. So, let’s keep the blue flag flying high. Cheers!