Newcastle have played very well at Stamford Bridge and look a real threat on the counter, especially early on. However, they have not fashioned any chances to threaten Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. They also looked less a threat in the latter stages of the half.
Chelsea have had the better opportunities as their superior quality in the final third has been evident. Though they have forced Martin Dubravka into just a couple of saves. Callum Hudson-Odoi has played very well and played some excellent passes. This 18-year-old’s vision is outstanding.
Allan Saint-Maximin has been a threat whenever he has the ball at his feet. His direct runs put Chelsea under pressure early. Joelinton and Almiron have also provided some sparks in the attack. Joelinton had a few key passes which released Almiron.
Allan Saint-Maximin– very threatening on the left in first half
Newcastle’s defensive organization has been outstanding and it began to frustrate Chelsea as the half went on. Matty and Sean Longstaff have been like terriers in the midfield with their constant pressing.
Chelsea have controlled the game with 70% possession, but Newcastle’s shape has, for the most part, kept them at bay.
They were forced into a change right before the half as Ross Barkley was replaced by the Croatian Mateo Kovacic.
The lads look very well set-up and need to continue in this vein when they come out for the second half. Andy Carroll was seen warming up late in the first half, and we expect he will get at least a thirty-minute cameo in the second half.