Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United
Chelsea are officially back in the top four of the Premier League table with their latest victory over Newcastle United last night at Stamford Bridge.
They now have 42 points after the win while overtaking West Ham United due to a superior goal difference in the process – which is only four points adrift Leicester City and Manchester United.
The Blues were buoyed by goals from Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner and the honeymoon period continues for Thomas Tuchel.
They are indeed trending in the right direction as they have already won four of their last five with the former PSG gaffer in charge as he continues to endear himself not only to the fans, but to the top management as well.
Meanwhile for Newcastle United, their woes continue to pile up after such a disappointing showing.
It’s hard to blame the Magpies for their lack of key personnel, although they had chances in certain parts of the second half.
But they weren’t able to capitalise and now they have sinked to the 17th place at the table, with one foot drawing closer to the dreaded drop zone.
Here at SBOTOP, let us look back at last night’s set of Premier League 2021 highlights.
Highlights of the game
Is Thomas Tuchel the answer for Chelsea? By the looks of it, he is especially after this strong performance from his boys.
The admirable thing about Tuchel is that he continues to stick with what works, although he made some changes in his lineup.
Oft-maligned goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was assigned to man between the sticks to give Edouard Mendy the evening off, while Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi were given the start ahead of Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
On the other hand, Newcastle United welcomed back defender Jamaal Lascelles after being sidelined by injuries and COVID-19, while Jonjo Shelvey was brought over to fill in for the suspended Jeff Hendrick.
Marcos Alonso was the first Chelsea player to have a viable attempt when he fired a low shot during the third minute. However, it was a routine save from Karl Darlow.
In the 14th minute, Chelsea had to hold their breath when Tammy Abraham was downed due to a strong challenge by Jamaal Lascelles. But fortunately, Abraham was able to walk out of his own power and he would be given the rest of the night off.
Olivier Giroud was subbed in for Tammy Abraham, and the veteran striker made instant impact for the Blues.
Chelsea’s breakthrough moment would come during the 31st minute when Timo Werner’s cross found its way to Olivier Giroud for the first goal of the fixture.
Timo Werner had his own chance one minute after. However, his shot looked rushed and it floated over the crossbar.
But the German would break his drought during the 39th minute when he had the alertness the tap the ball in after a loose ball from a corner kick.
In the second half, Newcastle tried to fight back with a couple of chances of their own. However, their efforts were simply not enough.
A free-kick from Jonjo Shelvey in the 48th minute and a header by Joe Willock in the 75th minute tested Kepa Arrizabalaga, but to no avail.
It has been a long time coming for Timo Werner to have a performance like this for Chelsea and he is indeed the Man of the Match.
Prior to last night, the former RB Leipzig forward had a personal drought that lasted for 1,000 minutes and 14 games total.
The same goes for Kepa Arrizabalaga as it had been a while since he secured a clean sheet.
The last time that he did so was against Norwich in July 2020. Last night also marked the Spaniard’s first start since October 17 against Southampton.
The Blues have now picked up 13 points since Thomas Tuchel was hired, winning four consecutive league fixtures for the first time since November 2019.
Olivier Giroud has made his 100th Premier League appearance as a sub, scoring his 21st goal off the bench with only Jermain Defoe scoring more (24).
Newcastle United have lost six of their last seven road league games after losing just one of the six before that.
The Blues will stake their unbeaten streak in the Premier League when they face Southampton on the road this Saturday.
After that, they will fly over to Bucharest, Romania to face Atletico Madrid for the first leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League.
As for Newcastle United, they will visit Old Trafford for a clash against Manchester United on Sunday night in hopes of increasing their Premier League 2021 odds of staying in top-flight with a win.
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