Newcastle got a good point at St. James’ Park today against the Premier league Champions Chelsea, and their fighting display deserved it.
Newcastle started this game in great fashion and Shola Ameobi had a good chance as soon as the second minute, after goalkeeper Cech had made a good save from an Andy Carroll header, but Shola put his shot into the side netting, and he knows he should have done better as he held his head in his hands.
But Newcastle had the start they would have dreamed of, when Chelsea all but gifted the Magpies a goal.
It seemed the harassment of the big men up front Ameobi and Carroll, were unnerving Ivanovic and Alex at the back for Chelsea, and Alex, harried by Carroll was forced into a suicidal back pass to Chec which went beyond the goalkeeper, and Andy Carroll was onto it like greased lightning to put the ball in the back of the net.
Another opportunist goal for big Andy and that was his 9th Premier League goal so far this season – an incredible start for Newcastle they were 1-0 up after 6 minutes.
Put that goal down to Alex being completely spooked by Andy Carroll’s presence.
Newcastle looked very bright in the first 15 minutes but then Chelsea started to come into the game, and Tim Krul almost paid the penalty for delaying his kick as he was lucky as the ball cannoned for a goal kick off the challenging Ramires. Tim got away with that error, and he will have to learn and learn quickly not to delay his clearances.
And Jose Enrique had to be alert as he kicked off the line following a Chelsea corner, as the London side finally got going after Newcastle’s blistering start, and the Blues started to gain control of midfield.
On 36 minutes Newcastle had a bit of luck, as Tiote seemed to bring down Drogba from behind, as Didier went for a through ball and Tiote was the last man – but referee Mariner didn’t even give the foul – phew!!
And their goal came at exactly the wrong time for Newcastle as Kalou hit the equalizer home on 44 minutes when he seemed to have a free shot on goal even though three defenders were there, but didn’t get any block on the shot and it was 1-1012 at half time.
Chelsea had come into the game after they had gone behind but Newcastle came out fighting after the break.
And on 62 minutes Routledge almost scored his first ever Premier League goal as Cech punched an incoming free kick away straight to Routledge out on the right – and Wayne hit the ball in and only a spectacular goal line stop by Ashley Cole saved Chelsea.
Routledge had a good game today and it was clear from the start that Wayne was ready for this game and he played well and worked like a Trojan for Newcastle this afternoon.
Krul then made a decent save from an Ivanovic header in the 71st minute, and again Chelsea were starting to get on top and look for the winner.
Chris Hughton then brought on Nile Ranger for Shola Ameobi, and Andy Carroll then seemed to drop back a bit and help out the defense more, as they were coming under increasing pressure.
Nile Ranger again looked impressive for Newcastle, and he seems to be back where he was at the beginning of last season, in getting sub appearances and impressing too.
And as the game reached its conclusion Chelsea went for the winner, but you cannot criticize this Newcastle team for fight and passion, and the lads held out for a very good point, after last week’s calamity at Bolton.
The defense was so much better than last week, and Chris will be hoping the nightmares of last week are over – and maybe they are.
As Chelsea continued to press for the winner, the Newcastle defense remained steadfast under pressure, and praise to both Steven Taylor and Sol Campbell particularly, who came into a top game for their first league starts of the season, and both did Newcastle proud.
Whether you like these two lads or not – they got the job done for Newcastle today – under very difficult circumstances and credit to both of them, and in fact to all the hard working Newcastle players.
Sol Campbell in particular looked very solid at the back for Newcastle this afternoon, and seemed really fit and belied his 36 years.
Good work this afternoon from the Newcastle side in front of a decent and appreciative crowd of 46,469, and if the lads continue to show this type of form and fighting spirit, then we should be safe this season.
Don’t forget to vote for your Man of the Match on our home page.
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Campbell, Enrique; Routledge, Guthrie, Tiote, Gutierrez; Carroll, Ameobi (Ranger, 78). Subs not used: Soderberg, Kadar, Perch, Smith, Best, Lovenkrands.
Chelsea: Cech; Boswinga, Alex, Ivanovic, Cole; Kalou, Ramires, Obi Mikel (Sturridge, 80), Malouda; Drogba, Anelka. Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, van Aanholt, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran.
Goals: Carroll 6 Kalou 44
Bookings: Ramires 22, Guthrie 90
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)