In an unlikely result for Newcastle United this afternoon, they held the Chelsea team to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, with a gallant and brave defensive display against the League leaders this afternoon.
The team refused to give up the game, even though they were under tremendous pressure at times, and it was a great point for Newcastle.
Chelsea had their chances but were unable to put them away and probably the closest they came was on 54 minutes when Joe Cole had the ball in the back of the net, but on TV replays, he was clearly seen to be in an offside position.
Then after 61 minutes a free kick almost caught Shay Given out when he took the ball high on his goal line, and he just managed to keep the ball in play as he extended his arms to keep the ball from going across the line. It was close but it was not a goal.
Then after 89 minutes Ballack had maybe the best chance, when he was through on the left, but put the ball wide of Given’s right hand post, to the goalkeeper’s relief.
Newcastle looked well organized throughout in defense, and absorbed terrific pressure from the Chelsea side but were unwilling to wilt at any time. A tremendously courageous effort from the black and whites, that rightly made their fans very proud.
Whether you like Joe Kinnear or not, you have to give it to the manager for getting his players never to accept defeat, and this was his very first clean sheet, away from home, of his brief reign at Newcastle. And away to Chelsea isn’t too bad. We also had a clean sheet against another very good side, Aston Vlla.
We had to have some heroes at the back for Newcastle and nobody played better than 22 year-old Seb Bassong, who had an outstanding game, against one of the best teams in Europe. This has to give the young lad some confidence, and alongside the Frenchman Coloccini was again this solid self.
An unlikely point for Newcastle, but we’ll take it and it takes the lads up to 15th position in the league.
After the defense has missed Steven Taylor in the last couple of games, and poor defensive play has cost us two potential wins, this has to be a wonderful performance for Joe Kinnear from his players, and the Newcastle coaching staff have done their work to have Newcastle playing so much tighter in defense.
If we can play as well as this in defense, then there’s no reason whatsoever why we cannot beat a lot of teams away from home – but this has to give Joe and the lads – not to mention the fans – a lot of confidence.
Let’s give the lads some credit today, because they deserve the accolades, as they fought all the way against a more talented Chelsea side.
But if we can fight like this, and get a result against a side like Chelsea, and can get some new players in during January, we may not be in too bad a shape.
Comments very welcome.