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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
3 December 2011
• St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 52305
D. Drogba 38'
S. Kalou 89'
D. Sturridge 90'+
90' + 4'
Yellow Card John Terry
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Ryan Taylor
90' + 4'
Full-time! So the match ends 3-0 but it is a flattering scoreline for Andre Villas Boas' men, who overtake Newcastle in the Premier League table with the win at St James' Park. Newcastle will be disappointed with the result having dominated large periods of the match and hitting the woodwork three times. But goals from Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge gave the Blues a win away from home in an electric encounter.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Goal Daniel Sturridge
3-0 to Chelsea now, and that is resolutely game over. Daniel Sturridge has finally got the better of Krul, coming inwards on the right-hand side of the box onto his left foot and burying his shot in the bottom right corner of the Newcastle net.
Newcastle look defeated now, and they are four minutes of stoppage time away from only their second defeat of the Premier League season.
Assist Fernando Torres
Goal Salomon Kalou
Chelsea score, and it is 2-0 to the Blues now! Kalou is the scorer, who puts the ball past Tim Krul from near the penalty spot after being set up by Fernando Torres from a few yard to his left. The Spanish striker had seen a shot blocked already but recovered the ball and passed to the unmarked Ivory Coast international.
Yellow Card Danny Simpson
Yellow Card Daniel Sturridge
The game is incredibly stretched as we enter the final five minutes. Fernando Torres feeding Sturridge through inside the area, but the Englishmen cannot get his attempt away.
Sturridge denies Sturridge again, the Chelsea striker capitlaising on poor defending by Newcastle to sneak through the back four but the Netherlands international denies the forward a goal.
Off the woodwork once more! I have lost count of how many times the ball has hit the bar or post today! Danny Simpson lashes the ball forward with pace, Shola Ameobi collecting and hammering the ball onto the bar from the edge of the box. His brother Sammy Ameobi collects the rebound but his shot is smothered by Cech.
Chelsea use their final substitution as Didier Drogba comes off for Fernando Torres. Just over 10 minutes remain now, as Newcastle continue to push for their first goal.
Ryan Taylor launches a throw-in from the left which bounces over the Newcastle attackers and Chelsea defenders straight into Cech's arms. Demba Ba goes down in the box but the referee waves away his penalty protests.
A second change for Chelsea: Salomon Kalou on for Juan Mata with 15 minutes left to play, with the score still 1-1 at St James' Park.
So close for Newcastle! It does not take long for an unmarked Sanmy Ameobi to get his first shot away, the England Under-21 attacker denied by John Terry off the line with his shot from the left side of the box.
Sturridge pokes the ball through James Perch's legs for Mata on just inside the box on the right, but the Spain international puts his effort just wide of Krul's left post.
Sammy Ameobi will replace Peter Lovenkrands on the left wing for Newcastle. Moments earlier, his brother Shola Ameobi wins a corner for the home side from Cabaye's accurately looped ball from the centre.
A sloppy pass from Ryan Taylor nearly allows Drogba shot on goal but the rest of the Newcastle defenders crowd around the striker to retrieve possession.
Krul with the ball at the back, ushering his defenders forward and out of the deep line they were playing. The Dutchman blasts the ball forwards to Ameobi who knocks it down for Demba Ba. The Ivorian turns his marker on the edge of the box and hits it with his left but John Terry gets a block and Chelsea clear.
Meireles takes a minute to get up off the floor after his head collides with the boot of Danny Simpson when the Newcastle right-back clears the line.
Lovenkrands dribbles the ball down the left on the edge of the box, his cross deflecting off Ivanovic and into Cech's waiting grasp. Apart from the occasional counter-attack, it has been all Newcastle this half as they look for an equaliser.
Lampard off for Raul Meireles, but the England midfielder does not look happy at having to come off with 30 minutes left in the game.
Ameobi shrugs off Romeu, who rushes in to tackle the Magpie forward, and powers towards the Chelsea defence, unleashing a right-footed effort from 25 yard out which skims along the floor and just wide of Cech's right-hand post.
What an incredible 15 seconds of football! Yohan Cabaye's corner cannons off Drogba's head onto the Chelsea crossbar, the Ivorian nearly scoring at the wrong end after his goal in the first half. The ball comes off the bar and out of the box and Chelsea counter-attack swiftly with Daniel Sturridge, who slides the ball diagonally through to an unmarked Ramires. The Brazilian gets his shot away but is thwarted by Krul, who saves again and the ball trickles past the right post as the home fans breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Chance for Chelsea: Drogba calmly chests down the ball inside the box as he receives the ball from the right wing, before blasting it into the side netting.
The home fans at St James' Park are roaring their men forwards. Lovenkrands whips the ball in from his left wing but it goes over everyone in the box and ends up at Obertan's feet at the opposite flank. The Frenchman passes inside the box onto Ameobi's left foot, who sees his shot on target blocked by Lampard.
Arguably some of the earliest time wasting ever seen on the left flank where Chelsea take over a minute to take a throw-in but Ashley Cole eventually gets around to it.
Cracking statistic: Newcastle have not won when trailing at half-time on the last 48 occasions. Can Alan Pardew's men turn that stat to dust? They have had the majority of possession since play got back under way.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa is withdrawn in place of Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi in the only substitute during the break. Chelsea get the game under way.
The players are back on the pitch and let us not forget things could be so different: David Luiz could have seen a red card for his foul on Demba Ba in the first 10 minutes; Frank Lampard could have put Chelsea 1-0 up not long afterwards when the Blues were given a penalty which Tim Krul saved; and Daniel Sturridge could have scored a hat trick were it not for Magpies goalkeeper’s outstanding performance. Will the final 45 minutes of this exhilarating match provide as much entertainment and drama?
45' + 2'
Half-time arrives at St James Park. Chelsea head down the tunnel 1-0 to the good after Drogba headed the visitors into the lead. Lampard could have put the Blues in front from the spot much earlier in the half, however, but Tim Krul saved onto the post. The Dutch goalkeeper was the standout performer for the Magpies in the game with a string of outstanding saves. Either side could yet finish the match as the winners if the game remains this way though, in a game that is electric and unpredictable.
The Newcastle players look deflated in the aftermath of Chelsea taking the lead. Alan Pardew will be eager for half-time to arrive so that he can marshal his troops and reinvigorate them for the latter 45 minutes.
Lampard slides the ball through for Sturridge who sprints into the box with the ball and is denied again by the Newcastle keeper, who dives down to his left to ensure the score remains 1-0 to the away side.
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Didier Drogba
1-0 Chelsea! The referee gives a Chelsea throw-in correctly on the left flank near the corner flag but the Newcastle fans are furious. The decision proves contentious as Didier Drogba is n the receiving end of Mata's cross from within the box on the left, and the Ivory Coast striker makes sure he powers the header past Krul.
The ball hits the woodwork for the third time! This time it is Newcastle who hit it. Hatem Ben Arfa picking out Guthrie on the edge of the box who lofts the ball onto the head of Demba Ba. The ball beats Cech but ricochets back to Terry who belts the ball against David Luiz and Newcastle are gifted a corner. So close for the home side as they push for the lead.
If this game remains goalless it will be miraculous - both sides are playing with such attacking intent. At one end Gabriel Obertan and Simpson combine well but Simpson's cross evades everyone. A minute later one (courtesy of a free-kick for a foul on Ramires by Guthrie) Romeu has an ambitious but wayward shot at goal which dribbles rather wide of the Newcastle goal
Some truly world class football from Mata, who does a sublime turn to fool Danny Simpson and plays a finesse cross from the left which Sturridge connects to, but it takes a deflection and goes out for a corner.
Alan Pardew is forced to make a defensive substitution: Fabricio Coloccini is injured and leaves the field of play for fellow centre-back James Perch.
Chelsea are definitely targeting the Newcastle left flank. Ryan Taylor is being harassed by Sturridge repeatedly without the protection today of the hardworking Jonas Gutierrez who received a red card after two yellows in last weekend's draw with Manchester United.
At the opposite end of the pitch Lovenkrands sends the ball into the box from the left which Ba connects with and sends the ball goalwards towards the roof of the net. However, it is Petr Cech who keeps the score level this time, tipping the ball over the woodwork with a reaction save.
Another terrific opportunity for Chelsea and for Sturridge. Mata gives the attacker a dinked through ball and the forward was one-on-one with the keeper but Krul saves his left-footed low attempt well and smothers the ball excellently.
After an electric period of play, Chelsea had slowed the game down a tad. However, Sturridge - who is looking confident and dangerous today - takes a shot from outside the box which bends just wide of the top left-hand corner of the goal. The Dutch goalkeeper would have had no chance of saving the shot had it been goalbound.
Sturridge, who won gthe Blues their penalty minutes earlier, nearly sends Chelsea ahead now, slamming a shot in from the right side of the area which hits the post. The Newcastle defence have had a busy few minutes.
The England midfielder sees his penalty saved onto the post! Tim Krul - who his having a magnificent season - keeps the sides level with a dive to his left to keep Lampard's low penalty out of the back of the net. It remains 0-0!
Penalty save Tim Krul
Missed Penalty Frank Lampard
Penalty to Chelsea! Daniel Sturridge uses his pace and trickery to bring a foul inside the box from Yohan Cabaye. Frank Lampard to take it...
The Newcastle players are not giving the Blues a moment to think, pressing the west London side into making mistakes in troublesome positions. Chelsea are still fighting to get a hold of the match but the Magpies are putting up quite a fight.
John Terry makes an important slide tackle to prevent Danny Guthrie from getting a shot on traget on the right-hand corner of the penalty area. The England casptain had to get back to make amends for Luiz' mistake on the ball after the former Benfica defender was tackled too easily off the ball by Ba on the edge of the visitor's box.
Ryan Taylor's free-kick from around 24 yards out strikes the wall, imminent danger averted for Chelsea.
Yellow Card David Luiz
David Luiz is lucky to still be on the pitch, but is only yellow carded by referee Mike Dean.Peter Lovenkrands sends Demba Ba through on goal but the striker is brought tumbling to the floor by the Brazilian last man. Villas-Boas will thank the lucky stars his centre-back is still on the pitch. Newcastle manager Pardew looks furious, on the other hand.
Ramires makes a mazy run down the centre, carving through the Newcastle midfield but he cannot put Juan Mata through the score and the Tyneside club regain possession.
Chelsea just passing the ball around, Frank Mapard instrumental as the visitors make the Magpies chase shadows in midfield for the moment.
Newcastle get the game under way and the home crowd roar their side on.
A minute's of applause in memory of Gary Speed at St James' Park, who died last Sunday. Emotional scenes in the capacity crowd as they remember the man who had turned around the fortune of a young Wales side. Speed spent six years with the Toon Army and a minute's applause will held at every Premier League game this weekend.
It was 2003 the last time Newcastle faced the Blues ahead of them in the table. If Chelsea win they will leapfrog the north east club in the Premier League table. Fernando Torres will have to hope he can help from the substitute bench as Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata start as the attackers. Oriol Romeu, signed from Barcelona in the summer, is given the nod in the middle of the park. Only a couple of minutes until kick-off now.
In the Newcastle team then, Peter Lovenkrands starts on the left as a replacement to the suspended Jonas Gutierrez. Hatem Ben Arfa starts just behind striker Demba Ba up front, with Danny Guthrie maintaining his position in the centre of midfield in the absence of injured Ivorian Cheik Tiote.
It was at this stage last season where the Stamford Bridge side began to fall apart under former manager Carlo Ancelotti, and Villas-Boas will be well aware how owner Roman Abramovich does not take kindly to poor performances at his club. Can today be a turning point for the Portuguese coach? Or will the Tyneside team add to his misery?
An interesting comparison between the pressures on both Premier League sides today. The Magpies have exceeded expectations - to say the least - to reach their lofty position of fourth in the table and manager Alan Pardew has been rightly given credit for their remarkable form this campaign. The Blues, on the other hand, have lost five of their last nine matches and boss Andre Villas-Boas is under huge pressure to turn results around.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Romeu, Lampard; Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.
Newcastle United: Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor; Obertan, Cabaye, Guthrie, Lovenkrands; Ben Arfa, Ba.
Welcome to Goal.com’s live commentary of Newcastle United against Chelsea. The game kicks off in 15 minutes and we will be bringing you the details of everything that happens at St James’ Park. Starting line-ups coming up.
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