Chelsea were defeated late on by Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Saturday night, after a last-minute Isaac Hayden goal handed the home side a 1-0 win at the death. With Jetro Willems being subbed off early on due to injury, the away side must have felt like favourites to grind out a victory, but despite their best efforts, Newcastle held out and in the end delivered a shock smash and grab win for the joyous home faithful.
The visiting Blues had plenty of opportunities to score, with Tammy Abraham, Willian and N’Golo Kante notably wasteful, but Frank Lampard’s side ultimately fell short against a stubborn Magpies defence on a night of costly errors.
Reece James, once again starting at right-back, continues to show his potential after another eye-catching cameo. His delivery, both in terms of crossing and passing, will have many fans drawing comparisons to Trent Alexander-Arnold and is also a sign of how faith in academy graduates can be rewarded if a manager is patient enough.
Speaking of academy prospects, Callum Hudson-Odoi also impressed, something that his manager in particular will be glad to see, following on from his goals against Nottingham Forest and Burnley in the previous two games.
Wayward finishing in the end derailed a dominant away performance, as Lampard’s side wasted a number of brilliantly worked chances. On the counterattack, the Blues frequently created good openings, only to be undone by the final ball. In the end, it cost them dearly.
Manager rating (out of 10)
Lampard, 6: Made only one change from the victory over Burnley, with Kante coming back into the side. The all-action France international was in fine form on this occasion, while the inclusion of promising right-back James also proved justifiable. The away side created numerous opportunities in a thoroughly dominant display but somehow still left the North-east empty-handed.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kepa Arrizabalaga, 5 — A solid display from the Spanish stopper, who was barely troubled in the first half. Yet he should have done much better for Hayden’s late goal.
DF Reece James, 7 — The visitors’ most creative outlet throughout, James combined beautifully with Hudson-Odoi and Kante down the right-hand side. The England youth international should have been rewarded with an assist, after some delightful crosses were squandered by teammates.
DF Andreas Christensen, 6 — With Chelsea seldom troubled defensively, the Danish centre-half had very little of note to deal with.
DF Antonio Rudiger, 5 — Had a solid game and looked tidy when covering at the back, despite one or two tricky moments early on against the powerful Joelinton. The German international will also be frustrated for his inability to prevent Hayden from getting the match-winning finish in injury time.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 — Hard-working and committed as always, the Spanish veteran did his utmost to shut down the influence of the elusive Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin on the counter. Almost had an assist from a wonderfully improvised header.
MF N’Golo Kante, 7 — Energetic and involved from the kick-off, he had an impressive performance on his return to the first XI after missing Chelsea’s win over Burnley. Won the ball high up the pitch on numerous occasions, while also picking the ball up in dangerous areas, which caused consistent stress for Newcastle’s backline.
MF Jorginho, 6 — The midfielder probed but was unable to make a real impact. He often picked up the ball in deep positions and attempted ambitious through-balls, only to be frequently outmanoeuvred as the home side sat deeper as the game went on.
MF Mason Mount, 6 — Playing in a deeper midfield role, the academy graduate had a significant influence on the game, driving forward well in transition.
FW Willian, 5 — The Brazilian found himself in dangerous positions but was all too often wasteful in the final third. Looked indecisive when advancing with the ball, something that will surely annoy his manager.
FW Tammy Abraham, 5 — A frustrating evening for Abraham, given how he was unable to convert any of his goal-scoring opportunities. The England international did hit the crossbar with an audacious heel shot but will perhaps rue his luck in an otherwise bright display.
FW Callum Hudson-Odoi, 7 — Following up on a fine goal-scoring performance against Burnley, Saturday’s outing was yet another example of the winger’s true quality and his potential. In tandem with James down the right flank, the 19-year-old looked lively.
MF Ross Barkley, 6 — Despite rumours of an impending loan move, the former Everton man replaced Mason Mount with 22 minutes to go and was arguably the away side’s most influential player late on, as they pushed for a goal that never came.
FW Michy Batshuayi, NR — Replaced Abraham but too late to have much of an impact.
DF Emerson Palmieri, NR — Replaced James but didn’t make much of an impression in his 15-minute appearance.