The one big difference in the Newcastle side from last week was Cheick Tiote, who stamped his mark on the game yesterday, from the very first minute of the game.
Cheick Tiote challenges fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba
The 24 year-old was all over the place for Newcastle, and put in some biting tackles and his play is so well suited to the Premier League, that he’s already one of Newcastle’s best players so far this season.
He did however pick up his 6th yellow card of the season yesterday, on his return from serving a one match ban for his 5th yellow card.
Cheick, who is not surprisingly becoming a very big favorite on Tyneside, told the Evening Chronicle today that he will maintain his competitive play for Newcastle :
“I don’t want to change – it’s my football.” “I have to be careful about silly bookings, but I don’t want to change.”
“If I change, then I am killing myself.”“This is my style and if I do have to change, I might as well go back to Holland!” (no don’t do that!).
“For me, it’s a good result, because Chelsea are a big club. They were playing to win the game, and draw is a good result for us.”
Tiote was playing against two of his Ivory Coast team-mates in Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, and he had many tussles with the great Drogba.
But his presence in the Newcastle side seemed to transform the side from what it was last weekend, and he provided the springboard for our players to move forward.
And the lads did that with great aplomb, especially in those first 20 minutes or so, before Chelsea woke up – or was it that they warmed up?
Make sure you register your vote for your Man of the Match – with Cheick slightly ahead of Jose Enrique right now.