We were surprised at just how competent this Newcastle display was today against Chelsea, and young Shane Ferguson again showed Newcastle have a good future ahead of them, if only because of their outstanding youngsters.
But it was Steven Taylor who was again the hero, when after a hard fought game in which Newcastle twice came from behind, Steven scored the late equalizer after 92 minutes – a minute from the end of the game – with another good header.
But make no mistake about it, this gallant Newcastle performance against one of the top sides in Europe, and on their home ground, deserved something out of this game – and with 12 first teamers missing the side still managed a great point.
It was interesting to look at the two subs benches at the start of the game, as every single player on the Chelsea bench would walk into the Newcastle side, and with their depleted numbers, Newcastle had a number of untried youngsters on their bench.
But that’s because Roman Abramovich has so far paid out over £850M for Chelsea players – which is just completely ridiculous and shouldn’t be allowed.
The game got under way and the Newcastle defense lasted only 1 minute and 57 seconds before Chelsea went ahead.
From a Frank Lampard left wing corner, the ball was headed on by Fernando Torres and Ivanovic headed home easily – but it was terrible marking by the Newcastle defense, who looked half asleep.
It was a calamitous start for the Magpies.
Chelsea had all the early play and things were not looking good until Newcastle got a free kick outside of the box for a foul on Lovenkands, and John Terry quite rightly got a yellow card for the dangerous challenge.
Ryan Taylor took the free kick low, and the ball hit Jonas Gutierrez on the side, as he turned his back on the ball, and the ball flew into the back of the net – Jonas was telling the referee it was his goal and the referee agreed, and the equalizer came after 10 minutes..
Obviously Jonas will say they had practiced that all last week. 😀
It was a seemingly a lucky and fortuitous goal – but we’ll take it.
After the goal, Newcastle were able to get more into the game, and they did as much attacking as the home side. Ryan Taylor and Joey Barton were doing their utmost in central midfield to keep Newcastle in the game.
Shola Ameobi was caught offside too many times and Newcastle have more offsides called against them, than any other Premier League side this season, and Pardew should do something about that.
Jonas Gutierrez was having a good game and young Shane Ferguson was giving another competent display on the left wing.
The 19 year-old Irishman looked like he’s ready for the first team, and could press for that first team place next season, and there’s no way this lad will be sent out on loan next season.
Chelsea were dangerous on the attack but the Newcastle defense held their line well and it was still 1-1 at half time.
The much depleted Newcastle side were giving a decent performance against one of the best teams in the league, and on their ground too. Each side had 3 shots on goal in the first half and in truth if was fairly even at the half.
On 54 minutes the ball went to Torres from a corner but Joey Barton flung himself in front of the ball to make a fantastic block, and courageous play from the captain but Chelsea were starting to dominate again.
Newcastle were trying to be strong in defense, but that was dangerous because Chelsea were getting far too much of the ball, and Newcastle had to keep them honest by attacking more.
After 59 minutes Gutierrez broke from the left inside and hit a nice curling right foot drive, but it was easily saved by goalkeeper Petr Cech to his left.
Shane Ferguson then broke through nicely but was chopped down by Ivanovic, who got a yellow card, and from the free kick Ryan Taylor’s shot was easily saved by Czech goalkeeper Cech.
Then after 65 minutes the Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti had had enough of it, and brought on Drogba (Ramires) Malouda (Benayoun) and Essien (McEachran), three world class players, in attempt to change the game.
After 69 minutes Shane Ferguson went down unchallenged from some sort of leg injury, and he was replaced by 20 year-old Kazenga LuaLua, for his first Newcastle appearance of the season.
After 76 minutes Argentine Jonas Gutierrez was brought off after having a decent game and was replaced by 20 year-old Nile Ranger.
Sammy Ameobi was brought on for his very first Newcastle appearance, as Chelsea got a free kick on the right side after a bad Enrique foul for which he received a yellow card. There were two Ameobis on the pitch.
It looked like the game would peter out to a 1-1 draw, which would be great for Newcastle, but then Chelsea went ahead from that free kick into the box.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul missed his punch completely, as he misjudged the flight of the ball, and Alex headed the ball into the back of the net. Oh no.
It was a bad mistake from young Krul, and he knew it, and that was after Newcastle had done so well to hold the strong Chelsea side. Sammy Ameobi had just come on and defended the free kick – as Shola told him where to go in the penalty area – so to speak.
To their credit Newcastle came straight back at Chelsea – you cannot ever accuse this Newcastle side of ever giving up – and would you believe it, after two minutes of the three minutes of added time Newcastle got a dramatic equalizer.
It was a Joey Barton left wing corner that came over and Nile Ranger beat everybody for the ball and headed it back across goal.
And it was expertly headed into the back of the net by Steven Taylor – a dramatic equalizer – and let’s give young Nile Ranger some credit for this goal.
It was justice for this weakened Newcastle side, who deserved a point against the might of Chelsea.
After the well deserved point, Newcastle remain in 12th place on 45 points, level on points with Fulham who play later today, but Sunderland will now have to win at West Ham next week to get above Newcastle in the league, so this could be an important point.
A win against West Brom next Sunday could very well see Newcastle finish in the top 10 – and that would be fabulous.
The bottom line today is that this Newcastle side did their fans proud – it was another gutsy display against all the odds.
Well done lads!! 😀
Chelsea (4-3-3): Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry (c), Alex, Ashley Cole; Ramires, Frank Lampard, Josh McEachran; Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun
Subs: Ross Turnbull, Paulo Ferreira, David Luiz, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda, Didier Drogba
Newcastle (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Jonas Gutierrez, Joey Barton (c), Ryan Taylor, Shane Ferguson; Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Ole Soderberg, James Tavernier, Alan Smith, Kazenga LuaLua, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger, Shefki Kuqi