After scoring 7 goals in our last 4 games, Newcastle were held in check by a superior Chelsea team last night at Stamford Bridge. A 2-0 defeat was not unexpected but stings nonetheless considering the other results over the weekend.
Fulham moved to just 7 points behind with their 2-0 win at Everton on Sunday. They travel to Burnley tomorrow before inviting Sheffield United to Craven Cottage on Saturday. We’ll have a better idea of how precarious our current position is by kick-off at Old Trafford on Sunday.
I’m trying to stick to an adage my parents told me as a youngster, and still do today actually, ‘stop worrying, it may never happen.’ So for now at least, I’ll try not to worry too much about the Cottagers.
While points were desperately needed last night, the lads weren’t terrible – just completely outclassed by a much better side. There was no catching Chelsea on an off-night as they are still in the afterglow of the new manager bump. Thomas Tuchel had them well-prepared yesterday.
It’s hard to really say if the loss of Callum Wilson had much of an impact on last night’s performance. Newcastle struggled to find openings and didn’t have any real clear-cut chances. Chelsea were just so good at both ends and could have been up by three or four at half-time.
Dwight Gayle is not the answer in a wider role as he’s basically a poacher. Joelinton came on for Dwight in the second half and had a few moments. He offers a bit more on the right in the 4-3-3. Though Chelsea anticipated our plan and executed a perfect counter to it in the first half.
The second half was an improvement as Newcastle pressed higher and increased their tempo. We saw more of the ball but had difficulty with it against the well-schooled Chelsea defense.
All in all, not a terrible performance but a result Newcastle can ill-afford at this moment. However, it’s only Tuesday, Fulham are seven points behind. Newcastle are within touching distance of some of the clubs ahead of us. I’ll try to not panic just yet.