Newcastle played quite well in the first half but were still 1-0 down at the interval. Newcastle must now attack to try to get result at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
It looked like Cacapa and Taylor were the two in central defense with both Faye and Butt playing up front of the back four and Duff and Milner were out on the wings. Martins was the only forward up front with Smith playing a central midfield role as Newcastle packed their central midfield to try to get more of the ball.
Newcastle had an excellent chance after 15 minutes when Martins was played through the center but he was too slow to hit the ball and Chelsea cleared the danger. If Oba had hit the ball with his left foot first time it was a great chance to score.
Given has made some good saves in the first half especially after 21 minutes when he brilliantly saved a deflection of Nicky Butt’s shoulder with his lightning fast reflexes. Shay looks in good form today.
Just before the break Wright-Phillips had a great chance to put Chelsea two ahead, but put the chance wide of Given’s right hand post when he should have scored. Alex also should have done better with a good chance for Chelsea from a corner, but he put his bullet header straight at Given who took the ball well.
The first 20 minutes was all square but in the final 20 minutes of the half Chelsea started to gradually take hold of central midfield, and the game.
On 28 minutes Chelsea went ahead and the ball really should have been cleared by Steven Taylor but the ball eluded him and Essien scored with an open goal at his mercy.
In the second half Newcastle will need to up their pace and attack more if they are going to take anything from this game. Martins, Smith Duff and Milner have to push up – we cannot score without attacking and defensing when you are 1-0 down against Chelsea is not what’s needed.
Newcastle need to attack and become more adventurous in the last 45 minutes oif they are to take anything from this game. It’s not over yet.
Chelsea: Hilario, Michael Essien, Joe Cole, John Obi Mikel, Michael Ballack, Wayne Bridge, Salomon Kalou, Tal Ben-Haim, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Alex, Juliano Belletti
Subs: Steve Sidwell, Claudio Pizzaro, Scott Sinclair, Paulo Ferreira, tbc
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Claudio Cacapa, Habib Beye, Charles N’Zogbia, Steven Taylor, Abdoulaye Faye, Nicky Butt, James Milner, Damien Duff, Alan Smith (c), Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, David Rozehnal, Emre, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka
Referee: Mike Riley