Newcastle United – Chelsea: Immaturity Leads To Brutal Discipline (4-1)
Towards the end of the first half, Chelsea appeared to turn the game into an entertaining contest. However, consistently conceding cheap fouls will prove costly and Newcastle United ferociously punished their opponents.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
The yearning for hard power in the Premier League has not been expressed more than these two clubs in recent seasons. Whereas one has slowly built a system, still capable of punching above its weight, the other has unveiled a scattergun to see what works. But both met at a crossroads.
Injuries have been the ultimate reducer for Eddie Howe’s team. Eight players were guaranteed to be missing this game, with a further five being doubts. Newcastle’s narrow 4-3-3 set-up is established on intensity being a driving force on and off the ball, but they are now facing repercussions; sliding away in their Champions League group and a surprise defeat at Bournemouth before the international break. Howe needs to find solutions.
Chelsea started the campaign at a slow pace and remained tenth in the table, but Mauricio Pochettino has started to find a gear for them to drive in. Strong spells of control are starting to outweigh the more immature moments, against Manchester City, they showcased that they can produce strong in-possession phases to play through an aggressive press and release their tricky wingers - phases that would go hand in hand if they can replicate that in this fixture.
The Newcastle attack was bolstered by the return of Alexander Isak from a groin injury. This was one of three changes for Eddie Howe, Bruno Guimarães came . . .