Toon 0 Chelsea 3

04 December 2011 12:07
Chelsea got back to winning ways in a game that was jam-packed with incidents . not least a blatant sending off decision that (had it been given) would have turned the match. NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 3

NEWCASTLE: Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini (Perch 27), R Taylor, Lovenkrands (Sammy Ameobi 71), Guthrie, Cabaye, Obertan, Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 46), Ba.Subs Not Used: Harper, Santon, Gosling, Best.

CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Lampard (Meireles 60), Sturridge, Drogba (Torres 79), Mata (Kalou 74).Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Malouda, Bosingwa, Bertrand.

Att: 52,305

The result shows a Chelsea land-slide as Andre Villas-Boas' men leapfrogged Newcastle into the top four . but that was far from the case, as Newcastle hit the woodwork three times and referee Mike Dean put on his usual blind man impersonation.

Didier Drogba's third goal of the season was the platform for a victory sealed by late goals from Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge, but the scoreline doesn't tell the full story.

Granted, Tim Krul pulled off a string of fine saves, but Petr Cech pulled off two world class efforts of his own, as the match flowed from end to end.

Perhaps Krul's best save was from Frank Lampard's 14th-minute penalty, but that was after high drama when 52,000 fans in the stands expected David Luiz to be shown a red card but Mike Dean decided to 'bottle it'.

Alan Pardew went into the game without Cheik Tiote and Leon Best and lost central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor before the end of it.

There were just four minutes gone when Yohan Cabaye slid the ball in behind Luiz to put Demba Ba in on goal. The Brazilian's response was to cynically haul down the striker a yard or two outside the penalty area with only keeper Cech standing between him and the opening goal.

Dean took his time to make up his mind, but then, inexplicably produced only a yellow card. How could Luiz possibly NOT be the last man?

Pardew made his feelings felt when he met the official as he left the pitch at half-time with his team trailing 1-0, although the scoreline could have been markedly different.

The Newcastle boss had attempted to counteract Chelsea's 4-3-3 formation by playing Peter Lovenkrands in an advanced role on the left hand what with Jonas Gutierrez, suspended.

But all the ploy achieved was to highlight how much protection the Argentinian gives full-back Ryan Taylor, who found himself repeatedly exposed to the pace of Sturridge.

But if Ryan Taylor struggled, Danny Simpson had a nightmare, and Gabriel Obertan's passing was shocking (at best!).

Sturridge needed no second invitation as he tore into the Magpies, and had it not been for the excellence of Krul, the visitors might have ben out of sight by the break.

It was he who lured Cabaye into an injudicious 13th-minute challenge inside the penalty area which gave Mr Dean little choice but to point to the spot, although Krul dived to his left to turn Lampard's effort on to the post.

The same upright came to Krul's rescue two minutes later when Sturridge rattled it with a rising drive, and he twice denied the striker one-on-one as Chelsea attacked in waves.

They eventually took the lead seven minutes before the break when Cabaye switched off long enough to allow Mata to collect Ashley Cole's throw-in and cross for Drogba to head home.

Despite being good value for their advantage, the visitors had come under some pressure, and Cech had to pull off a fine reaction save to keep out Ba's audacious 24th-minute flick from Lovenkrands' cross.

The Senegal international was unfortunate to see a 35th-minute header come back off the post, and John Terry was relieved to see his attempted clearance drop wide of the goal after blasting the ball straight at team-mate Luiz.

Lovenkrands found himself playing as an orthodox left-sided midfielder after the break when Pardew replaced Hatem Ben Arfa with striker Shola Ameobi and adopted a 4-4-2 formation.

They immediately looked a greater threat, although they might have fallen further behind seven minutes after the restart when Drogba chested down Branislav Ivanovic's cross at the far post, but fired wide.

The Chelsea striker hit the bar with 55 minutes gone, but he did so at the wrong end as he beat Ba to Cabaye's corner, and Ramires was denied by Krul as the visitors counter-attacked at lightning pace from the rebound.

Ameobi shot just wide from distance in an increasingly open encounter with the home side gearing up for a big push.

Younger brother Sammy Ameobi was denied a 74th-minute equaliser when Terry cleared his volley off the line, and Shola saw his piledriver come back of the bar with Cech helpless six minutes later.

But with Steven Taylor having to leave the pitch injured, Kalou struck from close range in the final minutes of normal time and Sturridge made it three in stoppage time to give the scoreline a flattering appearance.