A Bridge too far

Chelsea will be looking to extend our excellent league record against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge when we host the Magpies this coming weekend.

It’s a 450-kilometre journey from North East England to south-west London and Newcastle supporters have had little reason to enjoy that long trip, with Chelsea winning 16 of our previous 23 Premier League encounters at the Bridge.

With the Blues losing only one of those games, it is our best home record against a Premier League opponent. Tottenham Hotspur have also been beaten in 16 Premier League games at the Bridge but they have made 26 visits, while Newcastle have played 23 games at our ground.

Everton have lost 15 times in 27 trips to SW6, while Liverpool (27 games) and Aston Villa (24 games) have each suffered 14 away defeats against us.

Our home matches against Newcastle in the early years of the Premier League were fairly close affairs, with four 1-0 wins for the Blues and three 1-1 draws in the seven meetings from 1993 to 1999.

However, the games became much more one-sided after the turn of the Millennium with Chelsea winning six in a row from 2002 to 2007, including a 5-0 demolition of the Magpies in November 2003 and a 4-0 victory a year later.

Newcastle’s only Premier League victory at the Bridge came in May 2012, when then-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo rotated his players ahead of the FA Cup final against Liverpool three days later and saw his side beaten by a pair of spectacular Papiss Cisse goals in a 2-0 defeat.

However, since that setback, the Blues have won five consecutive home league matches against the side from St James' Park, including a 5-1 thumping in the 2015/16 season when Newcastle were relegated to the Championship.

They returned to the top flight last season but suffered two more defeats at the Bridge, going down 3-1 in the league in December 2017 and 3-0 in the FA Cup a month later.

Eden Hazard has been especially prolific in that run of victories against the Magpies, netting six goals including a hat-trick in our 3-0 win in February 2014.

Let’s hope that the good run continues when we face them once again on Saturday!

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