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Season 2021-22
Chelsea (a) Premier League

 

 
Date:
Sunday 13th March 2022, 2.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

Venue:
 Stamford Bridge

Conditions: Challenging

Programme: £3.50 cover price - although sanctions applied to CFC saw the club shop shut and street sellers absent, meaning that programmes couldn't actually be bought.
Online sales via their provider ReachSport also stopped.

Corporates in attendance received free copies.
 

Chelsea

 Newcastle

 

1 - 0

 

 

Teams

Goals

(38 mins) Kai Havertz and Dan Burn were involved in an aerial duel for a dropping ball near to the halfway line, the former ending up with a yellow card and the latter needing treatment for an elbow to the face. 

Half time: Chelsea 0 Newcastle
0

(57 mins) Despite the attentions of Trevoh Chalobah, Jacob Murphy made progress into the left hand side of the Chelsea box, prompting Chalobah to attempt a trip, clearly grab the right shoulder of the Newcastle player's shirt and then try another trip.

Referee Coote incorrectly awarded a corner and VAR official Brooks reviewed the footage before agreeing that no foul had been committed. He also decreed that there was no case for sending Coote to the pitchside monitor, despite it becoming obvious that the referee had an obstructed view of the incident.

89 mins There seemed to be little danger when Antonio Rudiger and Jorginho exchanged a series of passes in the Newcastle half just beyond the centre circle. With all 11 visiting players ahead of him, the latter stepped infield to pick out Kai Havertz as he sped into the United box from the right.

Passing Dan Burn and leaving the defender stumbling as he tried to pursue him, the German striker scored his fourth goal in three games thanks to a cushioning touch with his left foot and a flick of the same boot to take the ball beyond the stranded Dubravka, netting from six yards out.
0-1

Full time: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"Really disappointed to lose our unbeaten run in that way, so late in the game - a moment of quality from them, a great goal from their perspective. 

"We've defended so well today: we've really minimised their chances. We've defended in a really diligent way - tactically excellent - and yeah, sucker punch at the end.

"I can't look past the penalty. I'm hugely disappointed with that decision and how they've reached that decision. Jacob's had his shirt ripped off his back. Clear penalty.

"If the referee doesn't give it on the pitch I can understand that but the VAR has to at least make the referee go and review his own decision because if he does he'll realise he got it wrong.

"It could have been a red. I'm not going to sit here and say it should have been a red. Dan
(Burn) thinks it's a red. He's on the pitch. It could have been given - but the one I can't understand is the penalty.

"We lost Joe Willock and Jonjo Shelvey
(on Saturday, through illness). This wasn't (the starting eleven that) we prepared, so we had to make a late adjustment.

"We didn't have any more centre midfielders, so we were forced in that way, but I don't think it harmed us. Thursday
(at Everton) is a huge game."

Asked about the current situation in Saudi Arabia - where 81 convicted criminals were executed on Saturday:

"I'm just going to answer questions on the game and football. I'm still bitterly disappointed by the defeat, so it's only right that I stick to football.

"I'm here to manage the football team and coach the football team, so I'm well aware of
what is going on around the world but my focus is on trying to produce a team to win football matches and get enough points to stay in the league. That's all I'll talk about....I think I've made my position clear."

Dan Burn:

"I thought it was a sending off. I can guarantee if it was the other way around, I wouldn't have been on the pitch.

"The ref said because he was looking at the ball the whole time, that's why he hadn't been (sent off). As I say, I thought it was bit naughty, but he's not given it and he's ended up scoring at the end.

"It's cost us a little bit, but you can't complain about it too much. These top quality players can punish if you switch off for a second, and that's what happens."

Isaac Hayden tweeted post-match:

"Some performance from the boys against 12 men today. Proud to be associated with the club is an understatement."

They Said

 

Thomas Tuchel said:

"The (Kai) Havertz goal was exceptional. Of course, we were a bit lucky today and we had a hard time on the pitch because Newcastle were physical.

"It was difficult to create chances and accelerate the game in the last 30 metres but it was important not to concede and to have the chance with maybe one quality run, pass and finish to win it and full credit because we did.

"We defended very well. The distraction level was not the biggest part today."

On his future amid uncertainty over the future of Chelsea:

"For sure, there's no doubt I stay until the end of the season.
We have to wait day by day because everything can change. The situation is clear: the club is for sale and hopefully it will go through to sort things out and give us some perspective. I have no further information than you already have.

"Day by day is a good way to live your life and now we're forced to do it because there are circumstances we can't influence. In some ways that's not so nice but it gives you the freedom to focus on the things you can influence, which is our performances and show the spirit.

"The focus is on the first team - but Chelsea is much more than the first team in the Premier League. It's a massive club with huge tradition and hundreds and hundreds of people and for them it's important we show the spirit, give them a distraction and show them what we're about.

"What makes Chelsea special is the quality and commitment of the support from everybody in our building.

"My last information is we have a plane (for the Champions League away game in Lille). We can go by plane and go back by plane. If not we go by train. And if not we go by bus. And if not I'll drive a seven-seater!

"If you asked me 20 years, 30 years ago if I'd join a Champions League match at the sideline and what I'm willing to do, I'd say 'where do I have to be when?' We will be there.

"Of course organisation-wise there are some negotiations but we have brilliant guys who organise the travels and in every department there are such committed people so things in the moment feel quite normal."

"We cannot influence the situation and we are also not responsible for the situation, but at some point it's our responsibility - because we are in the spotlight and we have these games - every employee of Chelsea.

"There are a lot of people which I see on a daily basis who work for decades and are not so famous and are worried for the pretty close future if things will be alright for them.

"It's important to have the attitude right and to focus and see the responsibility, what it means to these people. And if it's just for 90 minutesÖ

"When we played football during Corona we could not cure the virus but we were there to give some hope, that they feel joy, excitement and this is also entertainment. This is what we do now. The matter is very serious of course."

Asked about attention focused on Chelsea's ownership compared to that of Newcastle:

"Thatís a big question. Unfortunately, the situation is like this for the owners of Newcastle. What can I say? I donít want to point the finger because comparing yourself or blaming others does not make the situation for us a different situation.

"The statement, that we condemn war and the actions from Russia towards Ukraine, there is no doubt. But we're facing the consequences actually at the moment and this is where the focus is. I hope you can understand.

"At some point we have to trust the process, the process of the league to control who owns a club. We are only employees and need to trust the process. Like you need to trust the process when you work for a company doing ethically and morally wrong things.

"Sometimes we need to ask questions of the process, how this goes; itís maybe an ongoing process and it will never end and just reminds us to be aware and conscious about it and not look away.Ē

Kai Havertz said:

"Sometimes it looks like this. On the pitch, it's different. People know I'm not a player who does things like this. This guy is seven, eight foot tall and I have to jump. As anyone would know, you have to use your arms to jump.

"When I jump and he is two heads higher than me, sometimes there's stuff. I can say sorry to him because he has an injury on the head and I feel bad. But you can't tell me I did this on purpose."
 

Stats


Since Newcastle's 2-0 win here in May 2012, they have lost all nine PL visits to Chelsea. That is one less than our 11 straight PL defeats at Arsenal, while we've lost 12 on the bounce at Manchester City in the PL.

Toon @ Stamford Bridge: PL era:

2021/22: Lost 0-1
2020/21: Lost 0-2
2019/20: Lost 0-1
2018/19: Lost 1-2 Clark
2017/18: Lost 0-3 (FAC)
2017/18: Lost 1-3 Gayle
2015/16: Lost 1-5 Townsend
2014/15: Lost 0-2
2013/14: Lost 0-3
2012/13: Lost 0-2
2011/12: Won 2-0 Cisse 2
2010/11: Drew 2-2 Gutierrez, S.Taylor
2010/11: Won 4-3 Ranger, R.Taylor, Sh.Ameobi 2 (LC)
2008/09: Drew 0-0
2007/08: Lost 1-2 Butt
2006/07: Lost 0-1
2005/06: Lost 0-1 (FAC)
2005/06: Lost 0-3
2004/05: Lost 0-4
2003/04: Lost 0-5
2002/03: Lost 0-3
2001/02: Lost 0-1 (LC)
2001/02: Drew 1-1 Acuna
2000/01: Lost 1-3 Bassedas
1999/00: Lost 0-1
1998/99: Drew 1-1 Andersson
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Drew 1-1 Shearer
1995/96: Drew 1-1 Ferdinand (FAC)
1995/96: Lost 0-1
1994/95: Drew 1-1 Hottiger
1993/94: Lost 0-1

It's three games since Newcastle last netted here; a barren streak now extending to 320 minutes, but still some way off the 699 minutes endured from August 2001 (Clarence Acuna) until December 2007 (Nicky Butt).

Before today Eddie Howe had a rather better recent personal record in SW6 than his current, guiding Bournemouth to three PL victories in five visits.

Chelsea became the first side to complete a PL double over Newcastle this season, following their 3-0 victory at SJP in October.

Chris Wood (eight unbeaten), Bruno Guimaraes (six unbeaten), Dan Burn (five unbeaten) and Matt Targett (five unbeaten)
all finished on the losing side for the first time as Newcastle players.

Had the game finished 0-0, Newcastle would have gone five PL away games without defeat for the first time since the 2011/12 season. An equal measure of cold comfort can be taken by the fact that this was the longest time that we've held out here without conceding a goal since the 2012 away win.

 

Waffle

There was to be no celebratory post-match photo from the away dressing room at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, as Newcastle suffered their first Premier League defeat of 2022.

United's nine match unbeaten run ultimately came to an end at the hands of a side in turmoil off the pitch, but unbeaten in 13 matches on it and looking to make it ten home wins in a row against the black and whites.

If the surroundings of their first defeat in 84 days are almost perpetually associated with failure, at least United found a new of losing here though, rather than the usual abject surrender.

Concerns were raised with news that Eddie Howe had reverted to a back five formation. However it then became clear he was doing so with midfield trio Joelinton, Joe Willock and Jonjo Shelvey all unavailable. The sight of two goalkeepers on the bench indicated an ever-decreasing player pool.

As we first noted at West Ham, our organisation levels now mean that any enforced personnel changes aren't catastrophic, and despite four changes from the Southampton game, our policy of positive containment meant that the hosts took 77 minutes to manage a shot on target.

The suspicion may have been that Chelsea lacked focus on the field given the extraordinary situation of it, but they had gone to Norwich on Thursday just hours after the news broke and made light of it.

It's also worth noting that a subdued atmosphere here has been a hallmark of the Abramovich era, not the product of any sanctions imposed on it.

In a first half of little goal incident, most attention fell on the centre of the field six minutes before the break when Kai Havertz leapt, leading with the point of his elbow and smashed Dan Burn in the temple.

Despite looking to "endanger the safety of an opponent" and meeting the criteria for "serious foul play; the offender was only booked. It was the injured party who momentarily looking favourite for a red card; Burn belatedly getting his feet and seemingly set to dispense his own form of justice until team mates stepped in.

What proved to be United's best chance of a goal from open play came not long before the break; a free kick from the right cleared to Miguel Almiron, whose first effort from distance was fisted away by Edouard Mendy - Fabian Schar sadly hoofing the rebound into the street.

The next controversial episode took place in the home box, when Jacob Murphy was plainly impeded by Trevoh Chalobah, but again the officials combined to give no decision despite solid evidence to the contrary - and equally clear confirmation that the referee was unsighted. Remind me what the point of VAR is exactly?

Hints that the visitors were starting to run out of steam came when a couple of counter-attacks saw Chelsea steamroller through central midfield; their best opportunity other than a clear penalty curtailed for offside coming when Havertz nodded a great chance straight into the gloves of Dubravka.

By then Allan Saint-Maximin had arrived for the tiring Almiron, and it's fair to say that the Frenchman's arrival divided opinion as to whether it prompted our ultimate defeat - this being one of those days when the ball bounced off him and benefited the opposition.

Undoubtedly a gamble given the consistent level of performance the starting eleven had given, partial justification can come from positive impacts on multiple previous games. A lack of choice on the bench meanwhile saw the totally unproven Lucas De Bolle warm up for much of the second half.

Having fashioned virtually nothing at the far end but largely contained the home side in front of the away section, Schar found himself with a free header late on but Mendy saved.

Just when a fighting performance looked like being rewarded with a rare point and clean sheet here though, the final twist was an untimely reminder that cheats do prosper. Jorginho's precise pass into the box saw Havertz eluded Burn before controlling and flicking the ball past Dubravka to win it.

That saw Ryan Fraser and Dwight Gayle appear, but the only tangible reward of that "sh*t or bust" double substitute was an instant booking for Gayle.

Havertz came close to a second in added time when ASM lost the ball, but Dubravka pushed his shot up and on to the bar before Lascelles clearing.

Staying fourteenth with a nine point lead over third-bottom Watford and our next opponents Everton, it's justifiable to label this as a free hit - concluding two tricky away games three points up and the goal difference unchanged.

We'll now head for Goodison on Thursday for a game of massive importance to a Toffees side not only facing financial problems related to Russian backing, but also the genuine prospect of relegation if their slump continues. Our resurgence has quelled those fears, but we're still some way from safety.

Back to today though and the wider implications of what was jokingly sung about; namely a sea change in the fortunes of the respective clubs, whose future destiny is fundamentally shaped by government policy. One was facilitated to gain new owners, the other is now being forced into it.

Given that just a few weeks ago our primary concern was whether we would remain in it, to be considering what the Premier League will look like may seem premature. The evolving Chelsea situation underlines to us though that scrutiny will remain and attitudes, not just legislation, can change.

Advertising boards with hashtags in support of Ukraine scrolling round this ground is an odd look, but in some way mirrors the pace of change and consequent uncertainty it creates in all aspects of daily life. Chelsea's shirt today was emblazoned with a sponsor who has now severed all ties.  

And while Howe may obey orders in saying nothing controversial in public - and would doubtless be vilified by the media for any "non-football" comments he did pass, it's rather different for the rank and file cheering his team on.

Our "loadsamoney" chants today may have been prompted by the venue and the timing of the game, but if we're going to wave flags then let them be black and white - or Brazilian. It's sad to say that certain elements of our support would be offended more by rainbow flags than Saudi ones. 

Similarly, to those attempting to justify Saudi criminal law on social media rather than flog spare tickets or rip the proverbial out of Pickford, think again. Some may like the idea of us becoming the new Millwall complete "with a no-one likes us" siege mentality, but excuse us if we don't join in. 

"Support the team not the regime" was a divisive slogan from the Ashley era, but if anything it's even more relevant in 2022, now that a genuine regime is at the helm rather than a pantomime villain.

Biffa

 

 

Page last updated 21 March, 2022