Chelsea 3-2 Newcastle: Player ratings as Blues ease pressure on Pochettino with needed win

FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE – Chelsea returned to winning ways with a 3-2 victory at home to Newcastle United on Monday night.

The Blues moved to within a point of the Premier League’s top half again by picking up all three at Stamford Bridge to close out gameweek 28.

Eddie Howe’s side didn’t make enough of the periods either side of half time when their hosts looked at sea and weren’t able to bring the game back to within one goal until the final minutes.

How the game unfolded

Chelsea took the lead with only six minutes on the clock. Sven Botman’s clearance fell straight to Cole Palmer on the edge of the box, and his rather tame effort was deftly flicked on by Nicolas Jackson and beyond a confounded Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle’s first real opportunity came just after the half-hour mark when Chelsea failed to deal with a long free-kick into the box, and Marc Cucurella had to get his body behind Anthony Gordon’s drive.

The visitors went closer to an equaliser when Miguel Almiron’s low cross found Joe Willock in the six-yard box, but Cucurella did enough to put him off and his effort sailed over.

Just before half-time, Newcastle found their leveller. Bruno Guimaraes won possession in midfield and danced away from Trevoh Chalobah before playing through Alexander Isak, who set himself and curled the ball around Axel Disasi like a training cone and past Djordje Petrovic.

Chelsea thought they had gone back in front when Palmer released Jackson on the counter, sitting Botman on his backside before lashing home, but a belated offside flag went up to deny him.

After withstanding some early pressure after the break, Chelsea found themselves in front again. Newcastle were undone by one Enzo Fernandez pass between the lines, with Palmer receiving the pass before firing in at Dubravka’s near post.

Almost immediately from kick-off, Chelsea should have had a third. Raheem Sterling broke away into acres of pace past a sleeping backline after a clever flick-on from Jackson, but froze when staring down Dubravka and Dan Burn was able to retreat to clear his effort off the line.

With 15 minutes to go, Chelsea added that third in style. Jackson led a counter attack at full tilt down the left before bringing the ball inside for Gallagher, who had it taken off his toes by Mykhailo Mudryk. The Ukrainian waltzed away from Fabian Schar before rounding Dubravka and sticking the ball in an empty net.

But a piledriver from Jacob Murphy in the final minute of the 90 set up a nervy finish, with the winger firing high into Petrovic’s net.

Chelsea were able to see out over six minutes of stoppage time to seal a much-needed victory.

Chelsea player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Nicolas Jackson

Jackson was first on the scoresheet / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Djordje Petrovic – 6/10 – The Serbian’s inability to kick from the back well is starting to become cause for concern, though he is generally a better shot-stopper than Robert Sanchez and his continued place in the side is justified.

RB: Malo Gusto – 6/10 – Gifted possession back to Newcastle for their equaliser with a daft flick and is still demonstrating his youth in defensive areas, but was an asset going forward and did come up with a couple of decent tackles despite these deficiencies.

CB: Axel Disasi – 6/10 – Looked far more at home here than in his recent awful showings. Did all he could to try and stifle the excellent Isak.

CB: Trevoh Chalobah – 6/10 – Wasn’t horrendous by any means but is still working his way back to full fitness and sharpness, which showed in certain duels when he was less willing to commit himself.

LB: Marc Cucurella – 6/10 – A dogged defensive display on his return from an ankle injury, though lacked significant quality in the final third.

CM: Moises Caicedo – 6/10 – Wasn’t afraid to put himself about in a bitty midfield battle that included some tough opponents in black and white. Slowly but surely finding his feet at Stamford Bridge.

CM: Enzo Fernandez – 6/10 – Came up with an assist for Palmer but was far too easily beaten on several occasions when trying to support Caicedo.

RM: Cole Palmer – 9/10 – It’s hard to call a £40m player who had few senior appearances before this season a bargain, but Palmer is going some way to living up to that billing. His fifth Premier League game this season with a goal and assist, more than any other player.

AM: Conor Gallagher – 6/10 – Kept play ticking and brought his trademark energy but didn’t provide much of a tangible edge in the final third.

LM: Raheem Sterling – 5/10 – Home fans grew tired of Sterling’s hesitation on the ball, culminating in his indecision to stick the ball past Dubravka when one-on-one just after Chelsea went 2-1 up.

CF: Nicolas Jackson – 8/10 – A clever flick opened the scoring for Chelsea. Fought hard for the cause as best demonstrated by his side’s third goal, carrying the ball a good 40 yards up the pitch.


SUB: Mykhailo Mudryk (70′ for Sterling) – 8/10

SUB: Cesare Casadei (85′ for Palmer) – N/A

SUB: Carney Chukwuemeka (90′ for Jackson) – N/A

Subs not used: Robert Sanchez (GK), Alfie Gilchrist, Thiago Silva, Josh Acheampong, Noni Madueke, Deivid Washington


Mauricio Pochettino – 7/10 – Bar some lapses in concentration just before the interval, this was the kind of performance the Argentine needed. Chelsea played well for much of the 90 minutes though can’t quite go the full distance yet.

Newcastle United player ratings (4-3-3)

Alexander Isak

Isak found the equaliser / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Martin Dubravka – 4/10 – Probably left too much space vacant at his near post for Palmer’s go-ahead goal having already seen Jackson’s slow-moving opener dribble in.

RB: Tino Livramento – 7/10 – Newcastle’s most reliable player in bringing the ball out from the back and meaningfully progressing up the pitch. Will have impressed England manager Gareth Southgate, who was in attendance and in need of some full-backs who can play on either side.

CB: Fabian Schar – 4/10 – Sent to the shops by Mudryk for Chelsea’s third to cap off a testing evening.

CB: Sven Botman – 4/10 – Likewise spent much of the match being pulled to-and-fro by Chelsea’s tricky attackers.

LB: Dan Burn – 6/10 – Defended well before succumbing to injury in the second half when Newcastle were pushing for an equaliser.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes – 6/10 – A superb bit of play from the Brazilian led to Isak’s equaliser, but you could throw similar criticisms at him as with Fernandez, with both star midfielders doing little to impose themselves on a consistent basis.

CM: Sean Longstaff – 4/10 – Ran around a bit but that was the extent of his usage. Far too careless when on the ball, which even then wasn’t enough for a midfielder.

CM: Joe Willock – 5/10 – Popped up in opportune areas in the final third but didn’t land a killer blow on Chelsea.

RW: Miguel Almiron – 4/10 – Whether on the right or the left, Almiron looked lost. Routinely gifted possession back to Chelsea even when under little-to-no pressure.

CF: Alexander Isak – 8/10 – Newcastle’s saving grave for much of this season stood tall again. Made the most of the scraps he was feeding off of.

LW: Anthony Gordon – 5/10 – Contributed little before being substituted in the first half due to injury.


SUB: Jacob Murphy (36′ for Gordon) – 7/10 – Brought a bit more balance than Gordon when Newcastle switched to traditional wingers. Scored one hell of a goal in the last minute but it proved futile in his side’s pursuit of a point.

SUB: Elliot Anderson (69′ for Almiron) – 5/10

SUB: Emil Krafth (69′ for Burn) – 5/10

SUB: Lewis Miley (80′ for Willock) – 5/10

SUB: Joe White (80′ for Guimaraes) – 5/10

Subs not used: Loris Karius (GK), Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Targett, Matt Ritchie


Eddie Howe – 5/10 – Newcastle should have done more to score when they were in the ascendancy and were punished for their subpar efforts in both boxes. This was an improvement on some of their recent outings, however.

Player of the match – Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Source: 90mins

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