A strangely out-of-sorts Chelsea were blown away by a superb second-half performance from Newcastle
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Luiz crosses high into the area from the right. Williamson heads behind for a corner on the right. The set piece is claimed by Krul, and then the whistle goes! That's ultimately a deserved victory for the home side, who were stunning in the second half. Chelsea fell away dismally in the second period, though they'll be looking back on those two John Terry chances in the first half with sadness in their eyes. A perfect October for them, but November has started in dismal fashion. Newcastle are now in ninth, at least for a couple of hours, while Chelsea drop to third, Liverpool moving up to second without kicking a ball. Still, at least it's not snowing, eh Jose?
90 min +4: Chelsea are firing long balls forward, but everyone knows now.
90 min +3: Remy bombs off down the left with a view to giving the scoreline a slightly surreal look, but he's caught miles offside.
90 min +2: Eto'o's in space on the edge of the area, but his first attempt is blocked by Yanga-Mbiwa and the second flies miles over the bar for three of the rugby union points. That unlikely injury-time comeback has just been upgraded to pipe dream.
90 min: There will be five added minutes. So if Chelsea get something quickly, you never know.
Obertan feeds Anita down the wing. Anita drops a shoulder to make a little bit of space, then pulls a low cross back to Remy on the penalty spot. Remy shapes to meet the ball first time, and fires a stunner onto the inside of the left-hand post, the shot arrowing into the netting on the right. That's a screamer. On the touchline, Mourinho's face is motionless, well aware the jig is up.
88 min: Remy pushes Chelsea back, romping down the inside left. He's held up brilliantly by Terry, who takes the sting out of the shot. The ball breaks out to the left, and then ...
87 min: The ball drops to the feet of Hazard, in a little bit of space inside the Newcastle area, just to the left of goal. He nudges the ball inside and unleashes a daisycutter towards the bottom right. Unfortunately it needs a little bit of inward curl, and fizzes inches past the right-hand post with Krul beaten, despite sticking out a desperate arm.
86 min: Sissokho whips a cross into the Chelsea box from the right. It's a peach, arrowing towards the head of Remy, eight yards out, but Luiz comes across to make an astonishing intervention, a diving header over the bar. Who says this guy can't do nuts-and-bolts defending? Superb. The corner comes to naught.
85 min: The goalscorer Gouffran is replaced by Obertan.
83 min: Ramires embarks on a determined run down the inside right, and is just about to break clear into the area when he's eased off the ball by Santon. The ball nearly breaks to Ivanovic, but Yanga-Mbiwa gets his body in the way to win a free kick. Chelsea aren't giving this up by any means.
80 min: Oscar stands one up from the right, but Schurrle can't get his header on target, the ball flashing wide left of goal. Chelsea are beginning to look dangerous in a sustained manner for the first time since Hazard's opening burst. Newcastle have a long ten minutes ahead of them if they want to hold onto a one-goal lead, you'd fancy.
79 min: Chelsea force Krul into action now! Oscar's low cross from the right is met by Willian on the penalty spot. He welts an effort straight at the keeper, who parries out. Eto'o is on hand to gobble up the loose ball, and the chance, but just as it looks as he's going to whip a shot into the bottom left, Debuchy throws himself in the way to deflect out! What magnificent defending. Chelsea collectively throw their hands in the air in despair, wondering what they have to do to score. They've not been at their best today, but still gone very, very close on three occasions now.
78 min: Ramires is booked, not so much for the common-or-garden foul he concedes in the centre circle, but for refusing to go to the referee and receive his lecture.
76 min: Schurrle curls a deep cross into the Newcastle area from the right. Debuchy clears. Then Cole whips one to the far post from the left. Yanga-Mbiwa gets shot. Chelsea haven't troubled Krul much today at all, though they'll look to Terry's close shaves in the first half if they can't turn this around. It's been a strange game.
75 min: Luiz is booked for a late, and slightly frustrated, shove on Remy.
73 min: This really is in the balance now! Chelsea bother Newcastle for the first time in a while, Ivanovic's low cross from the right met by Eto'o at the near post. Yanga-Mbiwa, sliding around on his back, manages to send Eto'o's close-range snapshot looping out for a corner on the right. Nothing comes from the corner, other than Willian smacking his back into the advertising hoardings. Ooyah, oof.
72 min: Sissoko breaks through two weak challenges down the left - for the moment, Chelsea look broken - and bowls down the pitch. He feeds Remy inside. A quick one-two with Sissoko, and the striker's in space. His low shot is blocked by a desperate lunge from Terry. The corner comes to nothing, but that was so close to the win for Newcastle.
70 min: Chelsea respond by getting shot of Lampard, who has been giving the ball away with monotonous regularity this afternoon. Schurrle is on in his stead.
Much good it's done them! A free kick's conceded by Chelsea in the middle of their own half. Cabaye sets himself to take it. But before he does, his manager calls him across to the touchline and gives him some beneficial advice. Cabaye whips an almost undefendable ball to the far post, where Gouffran stoops to guide a blistering header into the bottom-right corner! On the touchline, Pardew allows a small smile to tease the corners of his mouth, the cat with the cream.
67 min: Chelsea stroke it around awhile, in order to take the heat out of Newcastle's recent charge.
65 min: Gouffran wiggles his hips and cuts inside Ivanovic down the left. He whistles a shot towards the bottom corner, Cech tipping round the post. A fair bit of noise in St James' now. Nothing comes of the resulting set piece, but Alan Pardew will be pleased with his team's recent efforts.
62 min: Mourinho's patience has snapped with Torres. He's done bugger all, yet again a return to form has lasted little more than one match. What a lopsided career this is turning out to be. He's hooked for Eto'o. Also coming off is Mata, sacrificed for Willian. Newcastle make a change, too, with Cisse coming on for Shola Ameobi.
61 min: Well, Newcastle are suddenly on the front foot! And how! First Sissoko breaks clear down the right, and his low shot from a tight angle across the face of goal is feathered inches clear of the left-hand post. Then from the corner, Remy whistles a slapshot from ten yards straight at Cech. Completing the triptych, a long Remy skelp which flies well wide right and high from 25 yards.
59 min: Ameobi breaks through a lame challenge by Luiz down the inside-right, and he's got space in the area. But he can't decide whether he should cross to Remy in the middle, or shoot, and his neither-nor effort is hacked clear by Terry.
58 min: Terry is battered on the bridge of the conk by Shola Ameobi, as the two contest a high ball. "Farckin 'ell mate," he clearly marfs in the cockney vernacular. But it all calms down soon enough.
56 min: Hazard goes racing after a Torres pass down the left, but pulls up. I wonder how long he'll last. "Has no one noticed that photo of Jose at the top of the page?" asks James Galloway. "He looks like a Chuckle Brother without a moustache. I suppose he's got better looking with age, so there's hope for us all. "
54 min: Tiote has been replaced by Anita. He could be soon followed off the field by Hazard, who has gone down feeling his thigh, with nobody around him. He doesn't look happy at all. He hobbles to the touchline, but I think he's going to see if he can run this off.
53 min: Hazard in acres down the left. He's surely got to drop a shoulder to whip past Sissoko, the only man anywhere near him, but opts to check back, and all momentum is gone. A very strange decision, its ludicrousness amplified by Hazard's attempt to get past his man after the event, with plenty of defenders having funnelled back. He clatters into Sissoko and that's a foul, taking all pressure off.
51 min: Hazard rips possession from a dawdling Tiote in the centre of the park. Chelsea sweep forward. The move ends with Ivanovic sweeping a low ball into the area from the right, but it's hacked clear by Cabaye, Yanga-Mbiwa having not been up to completing the job himself. A shaky phase of play for the hosts, but they get away with a couple of minor shockers.
49 min: Cabaye curls a couple of balls into the area from the right, but both crosses are dealt with easily enough. Newcastle look a bit more eager, having been perfectly happy to sit back and soak things up during the first half.
47 min: Newcastle got the half started, but it's Chelsea who have most of the ball in the early exchanges. Mata cushions a long ball down the right for Oscar, who sliderules one down the channel to release Torres into the area. The striker rounds the advancing Krul on the keeper's left, but he doesn't even bother rolling the ball into the empty net, for he's been flagged offside. He was a good couple of yards off, too.
And we're off again! No changes, but hopefully all 22 players have heads full of new ideas. How many of Chelsea's have been given to them by their manager is a moot point; Mourinho's been sitting on the bench for five minutes, alone, out well ahead of his team, seething, a look like thunder on his puss. I'd say his team have been telt. Let's see if it has any effect.
Debuchy has a belt from 30 yards; it flies 30 yards over. And that's that for the half. Alan Pardew will be the happier manager, but then Jose Mourinho doesn't really do smiles anyway, so it's hard to gauge. Hmm, let's see if the next 45 minutes are a little better. The only way is up.
43 min: Mata lobs the ball into the Newcastle net, but nobody bothers celebrating, for the Chelsea man has obviously shoved Williamson in the small of his back while battling for the long ball down the middle.
42 min: A yellow for Sissoko, who from behind Ivanovic on the right, hooks his leg round and wallops the Chelsea player on the left shin. That's a no brainer for the referee, and brainpower wasn't a part of that challenge, either, made in the middle of the park with Chelsea going nowhere. Totally pointless.
40 min: Debuchy curls a deep cross into the Chelsea area from the right. Ivanovic is forced to eyebrow it out for a throw on the left, with Gouffran lurking. Then Remy nearly turns clear into the area down the inside-left channel, but can't quite control, and Chelsea hoof clear. But this is better as far as the home side are concerned.
38 min: Terry nearly scores again! Another corner on the right. Lampard swings it out to the far post, where Terry stoops and guides the ball towards the bottom left. Santon, crouching over in the style of a dog, heads off the line. Newcastle scamper up the pitch through Sissoko, who skedaddles down the left, glides past Ramires, and fizzes a ball towards the bottom-left. Cech is down to smother without too much drama, but that's Newcastle's best effort in the match so far. All good news, until you remember on another day the unlucky Terry would already have a couple of goals to his name.
37 min: Silence at rainy St James'. Mike Ashley will be happy, if nobody else.
35 min: A long hoick downfield nearly catches Newcastle out and sends Mata clear, but Debuchy reads the danger and is over to sweep up rather majestically. It's not quite taken off, this game. Newcastle will be happy enough with the way it's developing.
33 min: Tiote and Oscar are on the turf, having clattered into each other. They'll be fine, but that's stopped the game for a little sponge down. "Can Gary Naylor really do no better than an Irish bar?" begins Ed Bayling, though I think he's aware we already know the answer to that. "Sadly I left Rome this morning, otherwise I'd rather fancy throwing a couple of limp-wristed wafts at a total stranger in a tourist dive in one of Europe's more splendid capitals." Of course we also know it wouldn't pan out like that. One glance at the big man and you'd melt in his eyes. He's got a come-hither look like The Wiz, and look how that affected Lainey. You'd be sharing a bottle of wine within minutes, you pair of sophisticates you, perhaps over a plate of egg and chips.
30 min: Remy, on the edge of the D, cushions a long ball back to Cabaye, who lashes a first-time strike at goal. It's straight down Cech's yap.
28 min: Hazard drops a shoulder to skip past Yanga-Mbiwa down the right. He's got plenty of space, and dinks a ball across to Ivanovic, level with the far post, ten yards out. But Ivanovic fails to connect, and the ball flies out for a throw on the other side. Hazard really does look up for this today.
24 min: Hazard and Mata triangulate down the left, making good for the box. Cole eventually hammers a shot goalwards from a tight angle, but Krul gathers. A question that Debuchy might have stuck a leg out to stop Mata, but the penalty's not given, and nobody's really claiming it either. If only Jon Moss and his linesmen, fresh from their jazz interpretations at Anfield last weekend, were here. Krul's soon in action again, gathering a Torres pass down the right intended for Ivanovic.
21 min: A free kick for Chelsea down the left, and one that's only notable for being the worst set piece in the history of All Football. Step forward Mr Frank Lampard, who wellies a very uncharacteristic effort high out of play behind the goal on the right, with the box loaded with eager but quickly disappointed team-mates. "I feel Gary Naylor's pain," begins Simon McMahon. "I happened to be in Rome over the summer as Andy Murray won Wimbledon. We managed to find a local boozer whose proprietor kindly set up a telly showing the match and then proceeded to watch in amazement as several boozed up Scots wearing shorts and sunburn got quickly drunk and started singing and dancing while the locals sat drinking coffee and discussing the latest fashion trends. Wha's like us, eh?"
19 min: This is a wee bit better from Newcastle. Gouffran takes the ball down with his back to goal, on the edge of the D. He turns adroitly, and is very close to slideruling a pass down the inside-right channel to release Shola Ameobi. There's just a little too much juice on the pass, and the striker's on the back foot. But Chelsea were there for the taking.
18 min: Mata jinks around down the left, turning on the edge of the area and whipping a reverse ball into the area. Krul comes out to claim. The home side are living dangerously.
16 min: Chelsea are turning up the heat a wee bit, Newcastle doing little more than sitting back and repeatedly welting the ball long in mild panic. Torres nearly breaks free down the inside right, and has a chance to go over a Newcastle leg in the area, but decides to battle honestly instead. That's nice of him, though I wonder what Mourinho thinks of that.
13 min: Oscar diddles around down the right and wins a corner. The set piece is whipped into the area by Mata. Terry leaps and hammers a header off the crossbar, which twangs a Bootsy Collins bassline. Ivanovic attempts to guide the loose ball goalwards, but his effort is deflected out, shaving the top of the crossbar again. That's more of a glissando. The resulting corner is cleared. That was close, though.
12 min: Newcastle launch it long down the inside right. The full back Debuchy is on the end of it, on the edge of the area, leaping for a header that flies well wide left of goal, harmlessly so. Then another long ball, Shola Ameobi meeting this one too, but his header glances harmlessly towards Cech.
10 min: A fairly subdued atmosphere inside St James' Park at the moment, with little going on. Newcastle are beginning to see a little of the ball, though, spending some time in the opposition half without getting anywhere in particular. In other news, our favourite old pal Gary Naylor is on his travels. "I'm living up to the stereotype Brit abroad by finding the place most like home - in my case, an Irish bar in Rome (who knew?) We have the football on one television and the cricket on the other and a Smithwick's in front of me. If I can just stop staring at all the beautiful people walking past, I'm set for the afternoon." Is there anyone in Rome who can
pop in and beat Gary up? advise Gary how to take his mind off all these hunky and saucy local types sashaying in and out of his sightline wearing tight t-shirts, expensive coats and complicated shoes?
7 min: Newcastle have hardly touched the thing yet. This game might as well be played on the side of a mountain. It's all in Newcastle's half. But then Krul hasn't had anything to do yet, so it's a solid enough start for the home side, who will be looking to ease themselves into this as the clock ticks on.
4 min: Luiz blooters the free kick miles over the bar, and it's off target to the left, to boot. Even if it had whistled into the corner, it wouldn't have counted, for Ivanovic was attempting to saucily tug the Newcastle wall apart, perhaps in a misguided attempt to recreate this Rivelino masterpiece:
Anyway, it doesn't work. Nope.
3 min: Another dainty dance by Hazard down the inside left. He makes it into the area, and pulls a ball back towards Torres, but the in-form one-league-goal-in-a-row striker can't get anything going. But no matter! Hazard really looks in the mood for this, and he embarks on his third jig of the day down this channel. He's taken down 20-odd yards from goal by Williamson. This'll be a free kick in a very dangerous position.
2 min: A jink and a jiggle by Hazard, and he nearly sends Cole into space down the left, but the ball flies out for a goal kick. Weather report: it's nippy in Newcastle.
And we're off! Chelsea get the game started. They knock the ball around at the back for a bit, testing its physical properties, its shape, the way it reacts to having pressure applied to one side of it by the foot, etc.
But first a minute's silence for those who gave up their lives in some terrible wars. Impeccably observed by all at St James' Park. The referee blows his whistle, applause, and we'll be off in two shakes.
The teams are out! Newcastle are in their famous black-and-white stripes, Chelsea their renowned blue. Before the game, the teams line up with a view to holding each other's paws and moving them up and down in a rhythmical but respectful style. And of course please be upstanding for the regional anthem:
Newcastle leave Hatem Ben Arfa on the bench as Shola Ameobi retains his place, with Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy also back after League Cup hiatus: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Sissoko, Tiote, Cabaye, Gouffran; Shola Ameobi, Remy.
Subs: Elliot, Tavernier, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Ben Arfa, Cisse.
Chelsea make nine changes from their Capital One Cup midweek heroes, with Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres returning to the team: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Subs: Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Mikel, Willian, Schurrle, Eto'o.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)
Fancy predicting the score of this one? Chelsea are the form team and favourites, yet we'd not waste your time trying, if you want our advice for free. Last season, Newcastle won this fixture 3-2 in a lead-swapping rollercoaster, Moussa Sissoko scoring the winner in the last minute. The one before that, Chelsea stormed the St James' citadel, a glittering array of striking talent in Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge securing a thumping 3-0 win for the London team. And the season before that, well, it was 1-1, not that interesting compared to the other two we mention, but they did do that.
And then of course there was José's first season at Chelsea: an FA Cup fifth round meeting in the snow, in which he made a triple substitution at half-time, watched in horror as Wayne Bridge was stretchered off, Damien Duff got crocked, and Carlo Cudicini saw red. He watched in horror like this:
Or how about this one? Admittedly this was played at Stamford Bridge - during that famous old stadium's majestic cars-behind-the-goals era - but does include a comical own goal, some exquisite Gazza playmaking, the odd goal-line clearance, missed penalties, the searing pace of Gordon Durie, and Mirandinha faffing around far too much, so is therefore worth five minutes of anyone's time:
So, for today's entertainment: anything like any of those matches, really, please.
Kick off: 12.45pm.