St. James' Park
Sat 02 Nov 2013 12:45 (Attendance: 51,674)
The Blues' current run of success will be tested on Tyneside as we make the longest league trip of the season. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton are ready for the early kick-off…
Chelsea arrive in Newcastle on the back of two morale-boosting successes over big rivals and with a record of taking 13 from the last 15 possible points in the Barclays Premier League. Another three would place us at the pinnacle, if only for a few hours.
After last weekend's home triumph over Manchester City Chelsea are just one point down on results in last season's equivalent fixtures. The Blues stumbled to a 2-3 defeat on the last visit to Tyneside, so victory on Saturday would put the 2013/14 side in credit.
This is Newcastle's third successive weekend of lunchtime engagements, with the recent loss at Sunderland about as palatable as a stale stottie. The week before, at home to Liverpool, the Magpies led twice and held on for a 2-2 draw with 10 men. Chelsea's early starts so far this season have been at Tottenham, a 1-1 draw in which Fernando Torres was harshly red-carded, and the 3-1 win at Norwich.
Up to now Jose Mourinho's only victory at St James' Park came in the 2006 League Cup. Outplaying Arsenal in their own back yard in that same competition on Tuesday has handed a huge psychological boost to players and supporters ahead of this trip.
There were 10 changes in the Emirates starting line-up for Chelsea, eight for Arsenal, with the difference in the respective depth of quality laid bare. It should not come as a surprise that the team selected seamlessly showed the usual marks of a Mourinho collective: intensity, desire, belief.
No players encapsulate that better than Juan Mata, who instigated the move that led to Cesar Azplicueta's opener by winning the ball from an Arsenal corner then fired the decisive second with a fierce right-footed volley, and artful dodger Azpilicueta himself. With others in such good form the Spaniards have demonstrated complete professionalism and commitment when handed the shirt.
The result, loudly hailed by the 9,000-strong Chelsea support, was a fine way to mark Mourinho's 200th game in charge. It was his fifth victory in nine unbeaten meetings with Arsene Wenger, who is one of 11 current Premier League managers in the same boat.
The only incumbents to have bettered the Portuguese over the course of his career are Mark Hughes, Martin Jol, Robert Martinez and Manuel Pellegrini, all with one win apiece. Sir Alex Ferguson tasted success twice over 14 meetings.
The Special One has 100 per cent records against Chris Hughton (one match), Malky Mackay (one), Mauricio Pochettino (four) and this weekend's adversary, Toon boss Alan Pardew (four).
Tuesday brought the sixth successive win in all competitions for Mourinho's Chelsea in October. The Blues have hit 18 goals since the draw at Spurs, conceding just three. Roll on 'Mouvember.'
The quarter-final draw will send us away to either Sunderland or Southampton, whose showdown in the Stadium of Light was rescheduled to 6 November at the request of Northumbria Police anxious to avoid a clash with Newcastle-Man City.
Chelsea's next match in the competition will be on Tuesday or Wednesday, 17 or 18 December, presenting supporters with the prospect of two midweek trips to Wearside over a fortnight should the Mackems prevail at home next week.
Alan Pardew warned that fatigue was again a factor in Newcastle's loss to Manchester City and Chelsea have had an extra day's rest since the midweek cup exploits. The Magpies' manager claimed tiredness had played a part in their derby downfall last weekend, when Gus Poyet's Sunderland ground out a 2-1 win over their rivals.
Pardew made five personnel changes for the City match on Wednesday, but full-backs Massadio Haidara and Paul Dummett went off early with muscle strains and the extra time required will not have helped those who remained on the pitch. Chelsea have scored a league-best six goals in the final 15 minutes of matches to date, and conceded none.
After that Sunderland setback the Newcastle board broke off diplomatic relations with local newspaper The Chronicle and its stablemates The Journal and Sunday Sun. They are excluded from stadium and training ground media facilities indefinitely. Viz Comic is unaffected.
Chelsea have rarely received good press in an area where 'Cockneys' start just south of Gateshead and the newspapers sneeringly refer to the United manager as 'Londoner Pardew'.
Former Stamford Bridge hero (and Poyet teammate) Dennis Wise was caricatured as one of the 'Cockney Mafia' in his time as director of football on Tyneside. His successor, Joe Kinnear, played right-back for Tottenham against Chelsea in the 1967 FA Cup final.
Nine years ago on 6 November 2004 a Chelsea side inspired by Arjen Robben beat dogged Everton 1-0 to leapfrog leaders Arsenal at the top of the table. That night Thierry Henry and co. slipped up, drawing 1-1 at Crystal Palace, and the Blues stayed at number one for the rest of the season.
The Gunners again face a test of their title credentials on Saturday evening when they host Liverpool, who are unbeaten in three Emirates visits. Tottenham have returned pointless from each of their last three trips to Goodison Park.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Newcastle v Chelsea 12.45pm BT Sport
Fulham v Manchester United 3pm
Hull v Sunderland 3pm
Manchester City v Norwich 3pm
Stoke v Southampton 3pm
West Brom v Crystal Palace 3pm
West Ham v Aston Villa 3pm
Arsenal v Liverpool 5.30pm Sky Sports
Everton v Tottenham 1.30pm Sky Sports
Cardiff v Swansea 4pm Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League top six|
Only Gary Cahill (180 minutes plus stoppage time) John Mikel Obi, Willian (both 114), Ramires (111) and Samuel Eto'o (87) were involved in both Sunday's and Tuesday's victories for Chelsea. They have also enjoyed a day more to recuperate than Newcastle's players, some of whom played extra time on Wednesday.
Last season Moussa Sissoko announced his contribution to Tyneside's French Revolution by scoring twice to guillotine Chelsea's lead, Newcastle running out 3-2 winners. (He has only scored once since.) Former Magpie Demba Ba was forced off with a smashed nose.
No side has been better this season at holding on to an advantage in games than Chelsea, who are yet to drop any points from a winning position. Newcastle have lost all three games in which the opposition has scored first.
As good as the recent away form has been in all competitions, the Blues have just one league win and two draws from four on the road this campaign - exactly mirroring Newcastle's home record.
Since losing 0-4 to Manchester City on the opening day of the season the Magpies have been consistently inconsistent.
They have not managed a clean sheet in the league since August, pointing to regular central defenders in Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa who are comfortable in possession but not always alive to danger. This was highlighted on Wednesday when Mbiwa allowed Man City's Alvaro Negredo to steal in and score from close range.
Coloccini and long-term absentee Steven Taylor are likely to be ruled out for this game. Paul Dummett was rewarded for his goal as a substitute against Liverpool with a start in the Tyne-Wear derby but looked some way off the pace for the tussle. He and fellow full-back Massadio Haïdara limped out of the Capital One Cup match and it is likely the Italian Davide Santon will return on the left, with Mathieu Debuchy retaining his place on the right.
Debuchy's rampaging runs are vital to Newcastle's attack but he can be a little gung-ho, leaving yawning gaps in defence and conceding fouls with his tackling.
Chelsea may well field a side similar to the one that beat Manchester City last weekend with Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Oscar, Fernando Torres, as well as Hazard and Schurrle, recalled after sitting out the Emirates triumph.
Former Charlton, Southampton and West Ham manager Alan Pardew rested forward Loic Remy in midweek. With five league goals since his arrival from QPR, Remy is a rare success story for the Toon this season. The team tend to attack more down the left side as a result of his presence there.
The Londoners also need to be aware that Newcastle take many more pot-shots from outside the box than some teams - no top-flight side has scored more in that fashion.
Other attacking players such as Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran can be a source of frustration to Geordie fans. They clearly have talent but often play off-the-cuff, and the ball does not always stick long enough with the front three to bring a supporting cast into play.
There is an argument they have too many attack-minded players in their side and the Blues will hope to test the credentials of Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote as a defensive shield in midfield.
Newcastle have often been opened up by incisive passes behind their rearguard, who play a high line with an offside trap that has been too easily sprung for supporters' liking. They also tend to struggle against clever, technical opponents and have the third-worst goals conceded record in the league.
Pardew has wavered between 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations looking for the best balance of the squad's assets, with Cisse ussually the main centre-forward.
Against Liverpool Ben Arfa played as a 'false no.9'. The experiment was reasonably successful in creating fluid movement in the final third, with Skrtel and Toure uncertain which man to pick up.
Pardew's main concern, though, will be how to keep out a Blues team averaging two goals a game at St James' over the last five seasons.
WE HAVE HISTORY
The record attendance at St James' Park still stands at 68,386 for the visit of Chelsea and the Magpies' former star striker Hughie Gallacher.
The Blues' biggest ever win on Tyneside was registered on 23 March 1961. Simmering in the background at the time was a contractual dispute between the Football League and professional footballers, who were threatening to withdraw their labour.
Newcastle fans could be forgiven for wondering if their defence went on strike at half-time during this 6.30pm Saturday kick-off, so abject was their performance. Future Chelsea stalwart John Hollins's brother Dave was in goal for the Geordies.
In the first half the ire of the terraces was directed at referee Les Tirebuck - a policeman from Yorkshire - who denied the penalty the home crowd desired when Ivor Allchurch fell in the box under Peter Sillett's challenge. Instead the official indicated an indirect free kick which came to nothing.
After the half-time break Newcastle's rearguard fell apart. More pertinently, Jimmy Greaves (pictured below) exploded into life in the second half with the perfect display of opportunistic finishing.
The phenomenal striker, playing his 150th game for Chelsea, beat Hollins four times in succession. In doing so he made it 35 goals for the season, surpassing his own previous club record of 32 set in 1958/59.
Strike partner Ron Tindall netted the other two in a six-goal, 45-minute rout. Four minutes before the end wing-half Duncan Neale provided a small consolation for the band of sufferers left in the Gallowgate End.
The hosts' win at St James' Park last season ended our six-match unbeaten away run against the Magpies.
Our last 10 league meetings at St James' Park
2002/03 - Newcastle won 2-1
2003/04 - Newcastle won 2-1
2004/05 - Drew 1-1
2005/06 - Newcastle won 1-0
2006/07 - Drew 0-0
2007/08 - Chelsea won 2-0
2008/09 - Chelsea won 2-0
2010/11 - Drew 1-1
2011/12 - Chelsea won 3-0
2012/13 - Newcastle won 3-2
Other fixture last season
25 August 2012 Barclays Premier League
Hazard pen 22
Chelsea v Newcastle in all competitions
Games played 153
Chelsea wins 64
Newcastle wins 50
Head to head in the League at St James' Park
Games played 68
Chelsea wins 16
Newcastle wins 35
Biggest league win at St James' Park for each team
16/11/1974 - Newcastle 5-0 Chelsea
25/03/1961 - Newcastle 1-6 Chelsea
Chelsea lost in the Premier League: 49
Newcastle kept a clean sheet in the league: 63
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,087
Liverpool won the league: 8,582
Only Southampton (three) and Tottenham (five) have conceded fewer than Chelsea's six in nine league outings.
Chelsea have lost one of our last 17 Premier League matches.
The Blues have won all five league games when we have scored the opening goal.
We have won four, drawn three and lost one of our last eight away top-flight league games.
|Last six results|
|Oct 1||Steaua Bucharest (Champions League a)||W 4-0|
|Oct 6||Norwich (a)||W 3-1|
|Oct 19||Cardiff (h)||W 4-1|
|Oct 22||Schalke (Champions League a)||W 3-0|
|Oct 27||Manchester City (h)||W 2-1|
|Oct 29||Arsenal (Capital One Cup a)||W 2-0|
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 1
An away defeat: 2
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Wed 6 Nov||Schalke (Champions League) home||7.45pm|
|Sat 9 Nov||West Brom home||3pm|
|Sat 23 Nov||West Ham away||5.30pm|
Petr Cech should play his 446th Chelsea match, placing him sixth on our roster of all-time appearances made.
Michael Essien's next appearance will be his 250th for the club.
4 League championships, last in 1927
6 FA Cups, last in 1955
1 Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1969
1 FA Charity Shield in 1909
Newcastle have been Premier League runners-up twice in 1995/96 and 1996/97. Their last major piece of silverware was the Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1969 when they beat Hungarian side Ujpest Dozsa 6-2 over two legs.
Premier League - 16th
Europa League - Quarter-final
FA Cup - Third round
Capital One Cup - Third round
The Magpies have won five of a possible 12 points at St James' Park this term. They have won against Fulham, drawn to West Ham and Liverpool and lost to Hull.
Newcastle have lost on the three occasions in the Premier League their opponents opened the scoring.
Manager Alan Pardew
Days in charge: 1,059
|Newcastle last 10 year league history|
|Last six results|
|Sep 25||Leeds (Capital One Cup h)||W 2-0|
|Sep 30||Everton (a)||L 2-3|
|Oct 5||Cardiff (a)||W 2-1|
|Oct 19||Liverpool (h)||D 2-2|
|Oct 27||Sunderland (a)||L 1-2|
|Oct 30||Manchester City (Capital One Cup h)||L 0-2|
Premier League scorers (12)
Remy 5, Ben Arfa 2, Cabaye 2, Debuchy 1, Dummett 1, Gouffran 1
League games since
A home win: 2
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 1
MAGPIES MAJOR SUMMER MOVES AND AUTUMN LOANS
Ins Loic Remy (QPR, loan), Olivier Kemen (Metz, undisclosed)
Outs Steve Harper (Hull, free), Danny Simpson (QPR, free), James Perch (Wigan, £750,000), Dan Gosling (Blackpool, loan), Shane Ferguson (Birmingham, loan), Nile Ranger (Swindon, free).
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Lee Mason's takes charge of his first Chelsea game since the one at Aston Villa in May featuring Frank Lampard's record-breaking 203rd goal for the club.
There are no suspensions.
- November's prize will be a Gianfranco Zola-signed print, so get predicting now with Score Predictor ahead of Saturday's game against Newcastle.
The winning run came to an end on a wet, grey day on Tyneside when after a first half in which the woodwork denied Chelsea a deserved lead, a much-improved performance by Newcastle after the break yielded goals for the first half.
Yoan Gouffran, from a set-piece, and Loic Remy, in open play as Jose Mourinho's men pushed for an equaliser, did the damage, denying the Blues the chance to move to the top of the table and inflicting our second league defeat.
There were two changes from the side that had beaten Man City in the league outing last Sunday. David Luiz came back in for Gary Cahill who had started the last three games and Juan Mata, a scorer against Arsenal, was preferred to Andre Schurrle.
Newcastle made two changes too from their last league game, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa came into central defence and Shola Ameobi replaced Hatem Ben Arfa in attack.
The first 45 minutes of this Saturday lunchtime game suggested anything but a Newcastle win and Chelsea will be asking why the possession enjoyed in first half wasn't turned into anything tangible.
We looked a side capable of making it seven wins on the spin early on with Eden Hazard threatening with runs on the left.
Just before kick-off the rain had begun on Tyneside and became steadily harder in the opening minutes of the first half but that wasn't dampening the determination. On 12 minutes Chelsea won a corner, played in by Mata, and from it both Terry and then Torres hit the bar. Terry's was a direct header, Torres's was deflected towards goal but didn't dip quite enough to beat the woodwork.
Newcastle had a couple of attacks in the first 10 minutes, Ivanovic blocking a shot by Yohan Cabaye and Terry there to clear with a header when the ball broke free, but those apart, Chelsea were well in control throughout the opening 45 minutes as the home side found it hard to retain the ball.
Midway through the half, Hazard and Mata exchanged a series of passes in among black and white shirts inside the home area but when the ball came out wide to Cole, he could only find the arms of Krul with his low shot. Mata had been tripped during the move with replays showing there could have been a claim for a penalty.
David Luiz appeared to have licence to advance with the ball and play passes through the inside-right channel with Ramires dropping behind his compatriot to cover, but Newcastle were keeping Chelsea at bay.
As the half entered its final 10 minutes, the industry of Torres and then Oscar won two corners in quick succession. The second was headed down and on-target by Terry but Santon stooped to clear it off the line. Newcastle broke up the other end but Sissoko's shot which skidded along the wet turf was pouched by Cech.
On 41 minutes, the same Newcastle player was booked for a nasty-looking late challenge on Ivanovic.
The half closed with Chelsea having dominated possession, yet our chances had come from set-pieces. Could we do more from open play after the restart?
Newcastle were forced into a switch seven minutes into the second period when their captain, Cheick Tiote, who had been given a tough first half by Oscar, was lost to injury. Vurnon Anita was his replacement.
There were injury concerns for Chelsea moments later when Hazard slipped and stayed down in pain. Happily, after treatment, he continued on.
Terry had to be well-positioned to block and clear from Ameobi after the striker had been allowed past by David Luiz. Suddenly Newcastle were a threat and Sissoko was found in too much space on the right. His low shot was touched wide by Cech, and Remy's strike seconds later was straight at our keeper.
Mourinho decided it was time for changes, bringing on Eto'o for Torres and Willian for Mata. Newcastle swapped strikers at the same time - Papiss Cisse on for Ameobi.
Before any of the new arrivals could have an impact, Gouffran tested Cech who was up to the challenge with a save low down at the near post.
However our keeper was denied the chance to celebrate moving clear today as Chelsea's sixth-highest appearance maker of all time when Gouffran did find the net with 67 minutes played.
The goal came from a free-kick, a very well-directed one by Cabaye, and the winger had escaped in front of the markers to head in. Cech this time had no chance.
With his side trailing, Mourinho made his final switch, Schurrle on for Lampard with Ramires now the single deep midfielder and the Blues with more bodies pushed up.
Eto'o tried to make something happen when the ball came his way on the right of the area but had a shot blocked by the arm of a prostrate Magpie. At the other end Terry, with quality defending, prevented Sissoko from doubling the Newcastle lead.
On 79 minutes Newcastle rode their luck. Oscar played the ball into Willian whose powerful shot was saved by Krul. Eto'o was quickest on to it but Debuchy had the fortune to be in the right place to block.
When the ball came to Hazard 15 yards out with 86 minutes played but he drove it wide of the post with his left foot, the feeling was growing that Chelsea's chance had gone.
That was confirmed two minutes later when Newcastle took advantage of the visitors pushing forward. The ball came into our area from the left and Remy fired it past unguarded Cech via the inside of the post to make it 2-0.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Lampard (Schurrle 69); Oscar, Mata (Willian 61), Hazard; Torres (Eto'o 61).
Unused subs Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Mikel.
Booked David Luiz 74, Ramires 77.
Newcastle (4-4-2): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Sissoko, Cabaye, Tiote (c) (Anita 52), Gouffran (Obertan 84); Remy, Shola Ameobi (Cisse 62).
Unused subs Elliot, Tavernier, Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi.
Scorers Gouffran 68, Remy 88.
Booked Sissoko 41, Remy 89
Referee Lee Mason.