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Season 2021-22
Chelsea (h) Premier League


Saturday 30th October 2021, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Overwhelmed





0 - 3





Half time: Magpies 0 Blues 0

65 mins Callum Hudson-Odoi evaded Javier Manquillo and dinked over a cross from the left made its way via Matt Ritchie's head to Reece James at the far post. He had time to take the ball down and rifle an unstoppable left-footed effort past Karl Darlow and into the Leazes End net. 0-1

77 mins
The ball was on the right side of the box and played back to Ruben Loftus-Cheek whose shot was blocked by Ciaran Clark. Darlow dived to his right and then fell over as the rebound fell to James who fired another exocet home - this time with his right foot. 0-2

81 mins
Kai Havertz was played in by Ross Barkley and as he attempted to round Darlow, the 'keeper tripped him. Jorginho made no mistake from the spot, placing his shot down the middle as the 'keeper went to his right. 0-3

Full time: Magpies 0 Blues 3

We Said

Graeme Jones:

"We are in a relegation battle. There's no question about that. We need to face it like men, stick together and believe we'll come through.

"For 65 minutes we were competitive. That was the game plan. We had a little bit of momentum in their half when the ball could have dropped our way.

"We ended up conceding when I was ready to make a couple of positive subs. Three in 15 minutes and the game was dead.

"It wasn't a 3-0 game for me. The last two goals were a result of the first one. That was the disappointment for me.

"I think it needs a fresh face. I think the fans were incredible today. It's not a style of football the fans are accustomed to, we want to attack people, we want to score goals. But this is the stage we're in.

"We haven't kept enough clean sheets this season and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what the need is at the minute.

"I think the priority is to stop conceding goals. Thatís an absolute priority. I donít worry about the other end of the pitch.

"I haven't spoken to the owners. We'll see what they've got to say tonight or tomorrow.

On Federico Fernandez, who was omitted from the squad:

"I really like Fede as a defender, but I didnít see any value in putting him on the bench. If youíre winning, youíre not going to put him on, and if youíre losing, youíre not going to put him on. Fede needs to start Ė or not."

They Said

Thomas Tuchel said: 

"I think it was hard for them (Newcastle) because we played very well. We put a lot of effort into the moments on the ball. We defended with a lot of quality. They relied heavily on long balls.

"The feeling was they tried to interrupt the match, the rhythm to not let us come into the rhythm and defended in the low block. It is fair enough.

"I think we deserved to win, but you know, it can get more and more awkward and difficult the longer you attack. If you are the team that's responsible for the rhythm, for the intensity and you never know.

"Sometimes you end up conceding from a mistake, set-piece or deflected shot and maybe everyone is judging the game differently. It was difficult for them because we had a good game, especially off the ball and that's why I am happy.

"It will never be the moment where we celebrate results on the other pitches
(with Liverpool drawing and Manchester City losing).

"It's first of all far too early and second we want to focus on ourselves. And third of all, what goes around comes around. If you think we are even happier now
(because of the results), absolutely this is not true.

"I'm absolutely happy today with the performance off the ball. The effort and discipline that we put into the moments off the ball, that was the key to the win.

"Reece (James) shoots like a horse! Reece is allowed to come inside, it's not a problem; it's about all the spaces where we want to attack from.

"We have players in all the spaces where we want to be dangerous so if there is a winger pinned wide or waiting wide, Reece is absolutely allowed to take the space. We need the wing-backs to arrive also in the box in the end of our attacks.

"It's a complex game and I think that maybe Reece cannot score if Callum
(Hudson-Odoi) does not do the dribbling, and maybe Callum cannot do the dribbling if Chilly (Ben Chilwell) is not opening the space.

"We were dangerous on the first post with Kai
(Havertz), in the middle with Ross (Barkley) and then on the second post with Ruben (Loftus-Cheek). Then it's possible to score beyond the far post. So that's why sometimes our strikers are sacrificing themselves to create chances and spaces for the others.í


After 10 games of the 2021/22 season, United's record of six defeats and four draws is the second-worst of their entire history, level with 1898/99 and exceeded only by the seven losses and three draws of 2018/19.

Both seasons saw The Magpies win at the eleventh time of asking; 3-0 at home to Liverpool in 1898 and 1-0 at home to Watford in 2018.

NUFC last ten PL seasons after ten games:

2011/12 22 points, 3rd (scored 15, conceded 7)
2012/13 14 points, 10th (scored 12, conceded 14)
2013/14 14 points, 9th (scored 14, conceded 16)
2014/15 13 points, 12th (scored 11, conceded 15)
2015/16 6 points, 18th (scored 12, conceded 22)
2017/18 14 points, 9th (scored 10, conceded 9)
2018/19 3 points, 19th (scored 6, conceded 14)
2019/20 9 points, 17th (scored 6, conceded 10)
2020/21 14 points, 10th (scored 12, conceded 15)
2021/22 4 points, 19th (scored 11, conceded 23)

PS: the 2008/09 relegation season saw United with 9 points after 10 games and 15th in the table having scored 12 and conceded 18.

In terms of winless PL runs at any time, defeat to Chelsea means that United have now gone ten games without victory for the fourth time: 2018/19 and 2021/22 joined by mid-season periods in 2008/09 (February to May) and 2014/15 (March to May)

Their worst run to date is 14 games, spread across two seasons; the closing seven games of 1998/99 and the opening seven games of 1999/00.

In addition to their winless streak, The Magpies extended their run of PL games without registering a clean sheet this season to 10. That's the longest sequence since Rafa Benitez's side racked up 11 between October and December 2017. That run ended with a 0-0 home draw versus Brighton.

Blues @ SJP - Premier League era:

2021/22 Lost 0-3
 Lost 0-2
2019/20 Won 1-0 Hayden
2018/19 Lost 1-2 Joselu
2017/18 Won 3-0 Gayle, Perez 2
2015/16 Drew 2-2 Perez, Wijnaldum
2014/15 Won 2-1 Cisse 2
2013/14 Won 2-0 Gouffran, Remy
2012/13 Won 3-2 Gutierrez, Sissoko 2
2011/12 Lost 0-3
2010/11 Drew 1-1 Carroll
2008/09 Lost 0-2
2007/08 Lost 0-2
2006/07 Drew 0-0
2006/07 Lost 0-1 (LC)
2005/06 Won 1-0 Bramble
2004/05 Drew 1-1 og(Geremi)
2004/05 Won 1-0 Kluivert (FAC)
2004/05 Lost 0-2 (LC)
2003/04 Won 2-1 Ameobi, Shearer
2002/03 Won 2-1 og(Hasselbaink) Bernard
2001/02 Lost 1-2 Shearer
2000/01 Drew 0-0
1999/00 Lost 0-1
1998/99 Lost 0-1
1997/98 Won 3-1 Dabizas, Lee, Speed
1996/97 Won 3-1 Shearer 2, Asprilla
1995/96 Won 2-0 Ferdinand 2
1995/96 Drew 2-2 Albert, Beardsley (FAC) (2-4pens)
1994/95 Won 4-2 Cole 2, Fox, Lee
1993/94 Drew 0-0

PS: Chelsea's possession statistic of 79% today was their highest in any PL game since they reached that figure winning 2-1 at SJP in August 2018.

The Blues scored three times in the same half of play at SJP for the first time since March 1961, when they recorded a 6-1 victory. That game had also been scoreless at the interval. Newcastle were relegated that season.


On a day of surprising results elsewhere in the Premier League, the outcome at St. James' Park on Saturday proved to be sadly predictable, as United extended their barren seasonal run to ten games without victory.

Stonewalling the league leaders for over an hour had raised faint hopes that a shock result could be in the offing for Graeme Jones on the occasion of his first home game in charge.

However Thomas Tuchel's supposedly depleted side had other ideas, breaking the deadlock in the 65th minute when Reece James picked his spot and fired into the Leazes End net.

And once the same player had doubled Chelsea's lead just 12 minutes later, it was merely a question of how many we would end up losing by.

If nothing else, a Blues side who scored seven without reply last weekend were content with three goals here; Karl Darlow upending Kai Havertz to concede an 81st minute penalty that Jorginho stroked home.

Sticking with the same line-up that took a fortunate point at Crystal Palace last week, what proved to be United's most dangerous attack of the whole afternoon came with barely a minute played - Ryan Fraser dashing into the box but dragging his shot wide of the far post and out for a throw-in.

With Allan Saint-Maximin perpetually pursued by a posse of players and Callum Wilson continually penalised by over-zealous referee Paul Tierney, United's players and fans dug in for an elongated rearguard action.

A 22nd minute effort from Hakim Ziyech was rightly ruled out for offside and the same player shot over 12 minutes later, but despite Chelsea's almost complete dominance of possession they failed to properly test Darlow (now on borrowed time in after Martin Dubravka returned to the bench).

Into the second half and Ziyech saw his shot strike the woodwork before the visitors went ahead amid some confusion on the touchline by the dugouts.

Newcastle were set to introduce Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock, with the pair stripped and both ready to come on. However the visitors managed to make their two changes before play resumed - and the opening goal followed.

Going behind inevitably sapped the spirits of the home support; more empty visible as each successive goal was scored and the grim reality of our plight becoming evident.

Full time brought some booing from those who remained until the bitter end, but the majority left in silence - lacking a pantomime villain now that the despised owner and manager have both departed.

This is a club currently in limbo in the dugout and boardroom - and that also applies in the stands. It's difficult to know quite what to hope for and those claiming to have knowledge seem even more like chancers, on the basis that the owners don't seem to know themselves.

Regardless of the salaries, our worsening situation must make their task of deciding upon a managerial structure and effectively filling the posts trickier - persuading prestigious coaches to take on a bottom three side, especially in the light of now competing with other "projects" elsewhere in England.

And that, aside from the perceived reluctance of other top-flights sides to do permanent or temporary business with us in January there's also the little matter of convincing the actual players to sign up for a salvage operation.

Back to onfield matters, a
ttempting to stonewall Chelsea was a predictable ploy and had the double replacement Jones sought to make gone through at 0-0, it's theoretically possible that things could have turned out better.

In the real world though, this was less about us and more about them; faced with a passive home side unable to retain possession and belatedly unpicking them after upping their game just a little. Some ball boys saw more of the ball than our lot as we failed to even win a corner; thoughts that this was from the Benitez playbook undermined by our ragged, aimless approach.

A poor day for advocates of the interim coach then: he may have spoken of 25 men being ready for battle, but retaining the side that somehow snatched a point at Palace did little to suggest fresh thinking; which is hardly surprising given that this was his 28th game at the club.

If this really is our best line-up, then how de-motivated must the likes of Lewis, Hendrick, Schar, Fernandez, Joelinton and Gayle be not to win a place?

One booking and another warned for time-wasting in the first half isn't a good look, but indicative of where we are in an attempt to reach dry land, being the only top-flight side without a clean sheet this season.

It does seem manifestly unfair for anyone to blame Jones for not sprinkling magic beans on the touchline though; in reality he's trying to construct a competitive side out of the football equivalent of landfill - the real legacy of the previous administration.

Sadly elements of that remain in situ - Lee Charnley still lurking as heís got the alarm codes and experience of running a football club. It's 2007 all over again, only with Amanda Staveley playing the part of Chris Mort.

Having hastily completed their purchase, the Saudis may now be pondering exactly what it was they actually bought and whether relegation was one of the scenarios they foresaw - and or going backwards to come forward is incompatible with their vision. In that context, agonising about what people are wearing seems less of a priority.

The relegation roadshow moves on to Brighton, where it's likely that Jones will remain in charge to face a side who resoundingly kicked our arses home and away last season. When even the interim coach is urging the appointment of a fresh face, this isn't a time for dithering.

Page last updated 07 November, 2022