Newcastle 0-3 Chelsea: Reece James scores a brace as Blues stay top

Reece James at the double with two stunning strikes as the wing back becomes the Blues’ unlikely hero and move them three points clear at the top of the Premier League – with Jorginho also on target

  • Chelsea remain top of the Premier League table after their hard-fought win over Newcastle at St James’ Park 
  • Hakim Ziyech saw a goal disallowed in the first half and the star struck the woodwork as the Blues pushed on 
  • Thomas Tuchel’s side took the lead on 65 minutes with Reece James thundering home into the back of the net
  • Wing back James scored his double just over 10 minutes later, his strike giving keeper Karl Darlow no chance 
  • Jorginho tucked home a third goal for the visitors from the penalty spot after Kai Havertz was brought down 
  • With rivals Liverpool and Manchester City dropping points, Chelsea now hold a three point gap at the summit 

It could be a while yet before the riyal is trading stronger than the rouble in the Premier League. For now, Russian money sits at the top of the pile, and boy are Chelsea rich in talent.

But for all of their expenditure, it was a homegrown star who shone brightest here. Reece James scored twice to break Newcastle’s resistance, which had lasted more than an hour before crumbling inside 15 minutes.

To think, Thomas Tuchel declared this week that Liverpool and Manchester City were the division’s standard-bearers. He does not get much wrong, the German, but he did that – his side are the ones they have to catch this season.

Chelsea hold a three-point gap at the top of the Premier League after their hard-fought win over Newcastle at St James’ Park

Reece James (third from left) crashed home two stunning efforts to secure the three points for Thomas Tuchel’s in-form Blues

The visitors were forced to be patient, but found the breakthrough when James thumped a superb effort into the top corner

For while their rivals stumbled on Saturday afternoon, the Blues ran three points clear at the top of the table. Newcastle, meanwhile, remain three points from safety.

Amanda Staveley says she wants to challenge the likes of Chelsea for their European crown. She needs to get on the phone to her Saudi backers in Riyadh and release some riyals if they are even to be in the same division as their opponents next season.

There is no doubting Newcastle’s blueprint for improvement under interim Graeme Jones, it is there in black and white – 10 striped jerseys behind the ball, to be precise.

MATCH FACTS

Newcastle: Darlow, Manquillo, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Longstaff (Shelvey 81), Hayden (Almiron 67), Fraser (Willock 65), Wilson, Saint-Maximin

Subs not used: Dubravka, Schar, Joelinton, Lewis, Murphy, Gayle

Booked: Hayden, Lascelles 

Manager: Graeme Jones 

Chelsea: Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante (Loftus-Cheek 64), Jorginho, Chilwell, Ziyech (Barkley 64), Hudson-Odoi (Saul 88), Havertz

Subs not used: Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Saul, Azpilicueta

Goals: James 65, 77, Jorginho 81 (P)

Booked: Kante, Ziyech

Manager: Thomas Tuchel 

It was wing back James who also scored Chelsea’s second goal, with his half-volley flying beyond goalkeeper Karl Darlow

Newcastle’s defenders were left stunned with James flying forward to crack in two goals and sour their hopes of a shock result

It has given their players a plan into which they can buy, and they did so with great enthusiasm for the opening hour. Pretty? No. Better? Just about.

It is a brick-by-brick process, but Jones is attempting to rebuild the defensive wall that once stood during the reign of Rafa Benitez. The locals will not tolerate such an approach long-term, and judging by the boos on full-time it is a tactic that is only justifiable by results.

The hope is that they can spring both a surprise and the occasional counter-attack. They did that here inside 60 seconds and, had Ryan Fraser not delayed his cross in search of Callum Wilson, a quicker ball could have left his team-mate with a tap-in.

Darlow conceded a penalty with just under ten minutes left of normal time, having clattered into Kai Havertz inside the area

Jorginho stepped up to take the spot-kick, and the Ballon d’Or nominee beat Darlow from 12 yards with aplomb to add gloss

Hakim Ziyech saw a strike clatter off the woodwork inside the first half, which saw both teams struggle to make clear chances

Goodness knows how deep they would have retreated had they scored. For even at 0-0 Newcastle’s three centre-backs had chalk on their boots from the six-yard line.

Chelsea’s chief threat was Hakim Ziyech during a first half of frustration. Not that the winger felt like much of a danger when he volleyed into the crowd from six yards after James had swept across goal.

Ziyech did go closer early in the second half when a deflected shot spun onto the base of the post, but his afternoon was spent come the 64th minute when Tuchel made a double change. 

Within 60 seconds Chelsea were in front.

Allan Saint-Maximin, a rare bright spark for Newcastle in a dour season, was largely kept quiet by a well-drilled Chelsea team

Jamaal Lascelles and Andreas Christensen challenged for the ball in the first half, with Chelsea going on to keep a clean sheet

James was heavily involved throughout the clash on Tyneside, and had looked to rob tricky winger Ryan Fraser of possession

Callum Hudson-Odoi escaped down the left and crossed to the far post, where James was afforded far too much time to control and lash into the roof of the net.

His second on 77 minutes was just as uncompromising. The goal was gaping after Karl Darlow had dived in anticipation of a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot that was blocked, and James duly swiped with zest into the unguarded target.

The scoring was complete three minutes later when Darlow tripped Kai Havertz and Jorginho clipped down the middle from the penalty spot.

N’Golo Kante (right) was shown a yellow card for bringing down Fraser, before Chelsea went on to score their three goal salvo

Blues boss Tuchel (right) initially cut an irritated figure on the touchline, while Graeme Jones (left) was made to suffer defeat

Newcastle directors Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley were once again inside the stands to watch the home fixture






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