43 mins Fabricio Coloccini made a mess of
clearing a pass played down the right hand channel to Willian, running the ball
out at the expense of a corner but meekly knocking it against the advert
With the Newcastle player turning but still off the pitch, Willian needed only
to halt the ball with his hand before quickly taking a short low corner to Ivanovic,
who sped past the idling Paul Dummett and towards the six yard box.
With Mike Williamson rushing to the near post in an effort to block off the
Serb, Ivanovic coolly bisected Anita and Janmaat by pulling the ball back to an
unmarked Oscar, who had the simple task of netting with a sidefooted effort from
his right boot that struck Janmaat on the line.
Completing the trio of daydreamers after Colo and Dummett, TV replays confirmed
that when the corner was taken, Krul had advanced to the edge of his six yard
box and was looking the other way completely as Ivanovic bore down on goal and
would have netted himself if he'd been greedier.
Half time: Blues 1
some slick passing, Diego Costa was allowed to run across the edge of the area
after Janmaat downed tools. Easily eluding Dummett and with Williamson already
dragged out of position, Costa had time to fire a low shot back across Krul into the far
post from 14 yards for his 15th Premier League goal of the campaign. 0-2
Full time: Blues 2 United 0
Caretaker boss John Carver commented:
"People said we were
going to park the bus and defend, but we didn’t do that. We had a fantastic
start to the game and created some good chances. We had a game plan and it
worked but switching off against Chelsea is a cardinal sin.
“It’s not like we didn’t talk about it
because we actually conceded last week from a short corner against Leicester. I
showed them on the video – we had nine players switch off against Leicester,
not even looking at the ball. So I made a big point of it and it was
"When you are playing against top sides and top
players they do seem to think a bit quicker and it was clever from their point
of view. When you play against the top sides they will punish you.
"It’s been a difficult time because it’s been the
Christmas period and I haven’t had a lot of preparation time. This is the
first time I’ve had a full week on the training ground and they executed the
game plan ever so well.
"I said at the end I’m so proud of them because I’ve been here many,
many times with sides and we haven’t put in a performance like that.
"I have got no idea when they (the Newcastle board) are going to make a
decision but I have got to be honest, if the guys play like they did today then
I hope they make the right decision.
I want this job one million per cent.
"We’ve got Southampton next Saturday, then we’re not playing the
following week because we’re out of the FA Cup, so there is a little bit of
"It’s been two weeks now, so by that time it will be a month. That’s a
long time to decide what you are going to do, so I think it should be in place
On Remy Cabella:
been a little bit frustrating, but I think he showed what he’s worth. He was
outstanding in possession and every time he tried to break, somebody was
clipping him to stop the momentum.
"He added the other side of the game
which is the hard work, but he has now set a standard, it is no good just doing
it on a one-off. If he performs like that then he can get our fans on the edge
of their seat. "
Doing it for Bobby....probably
“He said to me, ‘if you keep playing like this you’ll get a
five-year contract as Newcastle manager. It was nice. At the end of the game he
said, ‘you deserve the job, you’re ready for it now. He said ‘I hope you
get it’. We just laughed and he gave me another hug – he must have hugged me
10 times today. He kicked the ball at me once as well, but I didn’t react. I’ve
calmed down now!”
delegated press duties to Steve Holland pending a FA misconduct charge:
"We didn't have enough players playing quite at the level we are used to
seeing in the first half. The manager reminded one or two of them at half-time what was required and
there was a good response from the players.
"It is very difficult to hit the level that people expect week in week out,
particularly in this country. The players have had a real battering over
Christmas so to reach that level that everyone wants to see week in, week out is
"It could have been (a penalty) but it would be nice today not to talk
about referees, I think the referee had a good game today and the team won today
"Coloccini did have his arm in the air, the ball clearly struck his arm and had
it not done it would have gone into the penalty area - but I think our
preference would be to focus on the improved performance in the second-half.
“Jose reminded them at half-time what we wanted them to do – their roles and
responsibilities. Managers have to be everything. They have to be
psychologists at times, have to recognise what is required at the time and get
the necessary reaction. And there was a good one (in the second half). It
was a collective thing. Not individuals. It was a general, collective half-time
"It gets mentioned quite a bit, blip,
playing poorly, but we’ve played 31 matches and we’ve lost two. We’re top
of the league in one of the hardest leagues in the world, two points clear, we’re
in the round of 16 of the Champions League, we’re in the semi-finals of the
Capital One Cup and the fourth round of the FA Cup. So it’s not so bad, eh?”
It's now no win from three matches for caretaker boss John Carver,
with this 0-2 loss following a 0-1 defeat at Leicester City in the FA Cup and a
3-3 home draw against Burnley in the league.
United have now failed to score here in 270 minutes of trying since 2012.
They're in good company though, with no away team finding the net here in the
last six domestic league and cup matches, since QPR's Charlie Austin in
November. That's 568 minutes.
The return of Tim Krul from injury after a ten game absence failed to
result in a clean sheet, with an eleventh successive failure in all
Toon @ Stamford Bridge: Premier League era
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, 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:
Once a place of abject and
seemingly unending misery, this end of the Fulham Road has provided some
uplifting moments in recent season - albeit not always reflected in the full
Since that magic night in May 2012 when Papiss Cisse defied the laws of
physics, we've come here quietly dreading the prospect of a good old-fashioned
towsing for a top dollar ticket price. That games haven't quite followed that
script though looks to have been through a mixture of our own spirit and a
slightly disjointed display from Chelsea.
And so it proved again today, with a pleasingly positive attitude from the
first whistle posing the home side questions as they sought to make it ten
home league wins out of ten.
By half time though reality had intruded to proceedings and before the hour
mark, this one had well and truly gone west as we trailed 0-2. By full time
that remained the same, adding to previous 0-3 and 0-2 defeats and meaning
another failure to find the net here. Not great, not terrible.
Magically restored to fitness after extricating themselves from the FA Cup, a
fullish strength Toon XI (weakened by the loss of Papiss Cisse but
strengthened by the absence of Cheick Tiote) doubtless had memories of
December's home win over Mourinho's side to the fore and warmed to their
Remy Cabella started that game before largely retreating back to the bench
since then, but along with Paul Dummett and Mike Williamson, the
eccentrically-barbered Frenchman and Vurnon Anita both retained their places
from the Leicester loss.
And while the Dutchman remains solidly there to make the numbers up, there
were welcome signs today that Cabella may at last be started to make sense of
his task here - both in pure football terms and also the physicality that he's
seemed to be lacking. Industrious and dangerous are two words that we've not
been able to apply to him until now.
While Ayoze Perez appears to have bulked out his upper body since becoming a
Magpie, Cabella still looks like a gust of wind would put him halfway back
home. Today though he took the frequent knocks and blocks and got up for more,
aided by some sensible officiating.
Cabella and Moussa Sissoko both went close to giving United the lead against a
sluggish Chelsea side - the former curling his effort goalwards forcing Petr
Cech to tip wide, and the latter driving to the edge of the box before
unleashing a cracking shot that thumped off hit the angle of post and bar.
With Perez and Janmaat also trying their luck, Cabella wasted one good
crossing chance and failed to take advantage of another half chance, as
Magpies followers dared to dream of the most unlikely of league doubles -
something we've not achieved since 1987.
However, all the positive work was undone shortly before half time when a
quickly-taken corner kick caught the Newcastle defence with their brains in
neutral for the second week in a row - despite the fact that three of back
five didn't play last week. 1-0 to Chelsea, from their first shot on target.
A reorganised and rejuvenated home side emerged for the second
half and proceeded to dominate the remainder of the match, although they never threatening to
overrun a Magpies side who began to look more and more jaded after their
lung-busting efforts in the opening 45 minutes.
Whether conclusions about fitness and pacing oneself can be draw in the wake
of a similar second half dip against Burnley is open to question, but a week's
recuperation ahead of facing an in-form Southampton side on Tyneside
Fit again Sammy Ameobi replaced Yoan Gouffran and showed hints of what the
side has missed recently in the form of fleet-footed excursions down the
touchline. When he did manage to earn sufficient space to send over a cross
though, the penalty area was populated only by blue shirts.
At 2-0, the hosts looked likely to add to their total and Costa went close two or
three times, with his best chance ending in a clearance that Coloccini did will
to hook clear - partially atoning for his first half rick.
Remy duly appeared for Chelsea, but could only threaten the corner flag with
his effort as the afternoon well and truly petered out. United meanwhile had
replaced Sissoko with Emmanuel Riviere after Filipe Luis looked to scrape
his studs down the back of his ankle but received no sanction.
No third substitute arrived for Newcastle, but seeing Vuckic warming up was
genuinely embarrassing - a player who is no nearer to a first team place over
five years after his senior debut for the club but still hanging around simply
because he's there and he'll do.
That sort of attitude is why we need a change in managerial thinking - and why
anyone prepared to bring that will probably walk on by. It's unclear why he
inherited Shola's number 23 squad number this season, but from this angle it
just looks like someone was taking the proverbial.
No sensation here then, but our contribution to the story of Chelsea's season
was already in the can well before today. Painfully lacking a goalscorer, if nothing else
we had a go
- which places this aeons above many of last season's misadventures away from
Cold comfort in the end, but there have been worse days, both here and elsewhere.