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Season 2012-13
Chelsea (a) Premier League

In association 

Saturday 25th August 2012, 5.30pm
Live on ESPN

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Overcast with periodic deluges

Admission: £55* upstairs / £52* downstairs
(last season £50 / £47)    *not including compulsory NUFC £1 booking fee per ticket

Programme: £3




Newcastle United

2 - 0



22 mins A tough baptism for Vurnon Anita, whose rash challenge on Torres was rightly penalised in the form of a spot kick. Eden Hazard stepped to tuck the ball past Tim Krul at the Shed End 0-1

45 mins
Torres and Hazard exchanged passes on the edge of the Newcastle box before the former converted with an instant and unstoppable toe-poke into Krul's top left hand corner. 0-2

Half time: Blues 2 Magpies 0

Full time:
Blues 2 Magpies 0

We Said

Alan Pardew commented:

"First half I thought we lacked a bit of spark but Chelsea were good. We had a go second half and didn't shut up shop. Hazard is a difficult player because he travels with the ball and buys time and when you have that, you can time your runs off him. He has that kind of nonchalance that marks him out as a great player. 

"They are still an organised team and defend well. A lot of our attacks today would have opened up a lot of teams. The goals were bad for us. Vurnon Anita stuck a leg out and Fernando Torres made a meal out of it and got a penalty.

"But to be fair to Torres - who I thought played well - he scored a great goal just before half-time and that killed us. In saying that, when you consider we had a game on Thursday and then put in a good performance in the second-half, I would say it bodes well for us.

"We didnít try to cover our losses. We tried to get back in it and had two good chances in the second half. If one of them had gone then something might have happened.

"But the two players who played on Thursday, Anita and Papiss Cisse, were our quietest if Iím honest.

"Today was a little bit unfair on us. We couldnít move the game to Sunday because of the Notting Hill Carnival. It would have been good to have that extra dayís rest. 

"We know from our own stats and information that professional players, no matter who they are, canít play at that level for two games over two days, so we were a bit unlucky today with fixture.

"Every time he
(Hazard) got the ball he made the right decision. I canít remember him giving it away too often. He makes a big difference to Chelsea from what I saw last season.

When asked about Andy Carroll he replied:

"That is above me that deal, it is a financial deal that will be done at board level if Liverpool agree.

"If I was saying on a playing level would I like him in the squad, of course I would he would add a nice dimension to us."

They Said

Roberto di Matteo said:

"People will talk about the goalscorers but I was very pleased with our performance considering it was our third game in six days and we were playing against probably our toughest opposition. In the first half we saw some good football again and we tailed off a little bit in the second half but probably because it was our third game in six days.'

"Hazard has quite a lot of assists and it was good for him to get his first goal, and the second goal from Torres was terrific play by us. But it is not just Torres linking with Hazard. He has a very good link up and understanding with Mata and the other midfield players, and the whole team. Thanks to his team members he has been able to slide into our team and play very comfortably with the others.

"We watched him a lot last season but it is a different league so you are never sure how quick he can adapt, but he seems to have found his feet very quickly and he is a wonderful player for us.'

"Torres was very important for us last season, maybe not scoring as much but providing and working hard for the team. He is a great team player as well. I know we ask strikers to score but not only that.'

"We controlled the Newcastle threats very well and we didn't concede much to them because if you give a little bit of time and space to Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa or Cabaye they can hurt you. Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole on the left-hand side did a wonderful job in keeping that side quiet and two clean sheets in the first three games, we can be happy with that.

"We have three internationals we are using in the central defence position and we will need all three to be that strong, so it is great that the partnerships are working whichever two are playing. For us to be successful it is what we need. And we are playing Ivanovic on the right who is another who can centre-back."


Toon @ Stamford Bridge: Premier League era

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, 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

Full record v Chelsea:

  P W D L F A
SJP 67 34 17 16 99 71
SB 68 11 19 38 72 129
League 135 45 36 54 171 200
SJP(FA) 5 1 1 3 5 9
SB 6 2 2 2 7 7
SJP(LC) 2 0 0 2 0 3
SB 3 1 0 2 5 6
Cup 16 4 3 9 17 25
SB(CS) 1 0 0 1 0 3
Tot 151 49 39 63 188 225

Five and a half years after their previous European away game, Newcastle returned to emulate their next Premier League result - a 0-2 defeat in London. Back in March 2007, rather than Chelsea it was Charlton, managed by some geezer named Pardew.....


While thunder and electrical storms crashed and flashed overhead, it was the lightning quick feet of Eden Hazard that ultimately caused Newcastle most problems at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as they lost there for the first time in almost five years.

The Belgian prodigy netted his first Chelsea goal from the penalty spot midway through the opening half before linking up with Fernando Torres in injury time to double the home side's advantage and ultimately decide the destination of the points.

With the game scoreless there was little between the sides as Alan Pardew made nine changes to the side who had drawn in Greece less than 48 hours earlier - retaining only Papiss Cisse and Vurnon Anita, while Jonas Gutierrez got 20 minutes against Atromitos and started here.

However, ten of the thirteen players who appeared against Chelsea had been in the Athens party and collectively seemed jaded and weary. Fabricio Coloccini was passed fit, while Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa were all restored to the first XI. Cheick Tiote was missing through injury however and his absence from the crucial midfield area would prove to be a significant factor.

Back in May of this year, we termed our 2-0 victory on this ground "coherent, committed, creative and controlled" and athough our Ivorian was forced off the field after an hour with a head injury that night, he was at the heart of a tenacious display as we fought the home side to a standstill. 

This time round things though were a little different and those tuning in for the teatime kickoff witnessed another Saturday evening reality TV show, after the fantasy of four two wins and two draws here in our last four outings - our best-ever run of form at Stamford Bridge. 

Without Tiote and with Cabaye struggling to contain his former Lille colleague Hazard centre of the pitch, much was required of Anita and what is best described as a varied performance saw him concede the spot kick that gave Chelsea a lead they wouldn't relinquish this time round.

Trailing by that goal, what proved to be United's best chance of the half came just before the interval, when a lofted centre from Gutierrez on the left side of the Chelsea box dropped for Cisse. 

Although his attempt to turn and elude marker David Luiz failed, the defender ("just a sh*t Collocini", apparently) tried to dribble out of danger and lost out to Danny Simpson's block. That saw the ball rebound to Cisse but although he managed to pivot and get a right-footed snap shot away, it was aimed straight at the grateful Cech.  

Having failed to find goals in the opening half against Spurs a week earlier, Pardew had reformatted his side to good effect but as he noted his closing thoughts on the half before delivering them in the dressing room, his side conceded a second goal of admirable quality; the Spanish writhing school of London staying on his feet for a change. 

Nonetheless, the black and whites re-emerged to take the game to their opponents. After his forced absence in midweek, Hatem Ben Arfa showed some glimpses of class and soon whizzed a left-footed effort narrowly wide; Ba also forcing Cech into a saving block after finding space in the box.

Although that second half improvement left Krul kicking his heels for the most part, no away goals followed and the feeling remained that were were to have got one back, then Chelsea would have found another gear. If they finish below us again, Roberto's next job will be somewhere in Siberia.   

Ryan Taylor replaced Danny Simpson - whose crossing had been abysmal - and it was a Taylor delivery from the left that found Cisse unmarked, only for the under-par striker to mis-time his jump and head harmlessly wide. Ba spurned our best chance late on, getting a second bite after a scuffed effort with the goal at his mercy but again managing only to fire into the body of Cech.

Leaving the ground with the conviction that we'd had more of the game then when winning here last season was borne out by the statistics, but it doesn't need much number crunching to realise that failing to convert any occasional half-chances this time round would have an inevitable consequence.  

One week in then, and we've witnessed a win, a draw and a defeat during which we've shown signs of reprising last season's encouraging form but also that some conundrums still remain to be resolved, notably quite what the best use of our two strikers is. This was a long way from February's rout at White Hart Lane when we went with a front pair, but work remains to be done.   

The glumness of Cabaye does also concern us slightly and whether his head has been turned by big team, he's unhappy that his pal Debuchy failed to join him - or maybe a bit of both. The lack of back up in the striking department continues to be a worry. Notwithstanding the possibilities and potential of Adam Campbell, to be sitting with no alternatives behind the Senegal duo seems somewhat remiss. 

Neither Vuckic nor Sammy are genuine front men and Shola will continue to be Shola and be available on occasion (perhaps he's already resting up for the derby). However the likes of Lovenkrands, Best, Donaldson, Airey, Xisco and Ranger have all rightly departed or are rightly beyond selection. This isn't a plea for Carroll, it's a proposal that the recruitment programme that brought in Amalfitano, Bigirimana and Good be extended to give us an option where we currently don't have one.  

By the time we return to Premier League action against Villa on Sunday, we'll know our first opponents in the League Cup, be aware of our Thursday night commitments (or lack of them) and have been put out of our misery as to what our participation in the final hours of the transfer window proved to be.

After all that, things might begin to look a little clearer. This was less of a setback, more of a reminder of just how difficult this league can be and a reflection on the tough timetable we faced this week. 


Page last updated 06 July, 2013