Chelsea are losing 1-0 to Newcastle United at St James’ Park in what has a disappointing first game for the Champions so far.
A free kick was put wide by Zouma- the Frenchman shooting from distance after Matic had been fouled. It was an even start with neither side causing a great deal of trouble to the opposing ‘keeper in the opening minutes. The earliest opening came from Chelsea in the 12th minute when Remy failed to divert Ivanovic’s cut back on target in the 11th minute.
Mitrovic put a header past Begovic’s far post a few minutes later, and Newcastle had another encouraging moment straight away when Sissoko put the ball wide from 25 yards as they took more and more of initiative. The home side were clearly invigorated by the home support as the desperately sought to end their terrible start to the season- compounded by Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup.
Chelsea found it difficult to get the ball into the final third, largely as a result of Newcastle’s pressing, and when they did the final ball failed to find the intended teammate. Newcastle found the right man when the ball was given to Janmaat inside the penalty area, thankfully for Chelsea his shot was straight at Begovic and the Bosnian was able to push the ball away.
Chelsea’s play began to pick up as the half approached its end, Fabregas had a shot from distance that Krul did well to push away, and Chelsea were appealing for a penalty a minute later when a corner was flicked onto a Newcastle defender’s hand, but it counted for nothing when they conceded the first goal just before the break. A ball over over the top from the right hand side should have been dealt with easily by either Zouma or Ivanovic, but was instead allowed to fall to Ayoze Perez who finished beyond Begovic from the middle of the penalty box.
It is a goal that could and should have been avoided, but also one that was inevitable given Chelsea’s slow start. If they are to get a result different to ones previously had at St James’ Park then they will have to improve greatly in the second half and not allow the home side to have so much time on the ball, at the same time as finding a way past a very well organised defence.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1 ):
Begovic, Azpilicueta,Cahill, Zouma, Ivanovic,Matic, Fabregas,Hazard, Oscar, Pedro,Remy
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Krul,Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haidara; Colback; Thauvin, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Perez,Mitrovic
Manager: Steve McClaren
Venue: St. James’ Park, Newcastle, UK
Referee: Martin Atkinson