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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
25 August 2012
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 41718
E. Hazard 22'
Fernando Torres 45'+
That's it for play-by-play coverage of this clash - I hope you've enjoyed reading all about it! Chelsea fans can be pleased with their convincing attacking and defensive display while Newcastle fans can at least say their side put up a fight. Thanks for stopping by folks...
And that's the full-time whistle! Chelsea win their third consecutive game and go top of the Premier League table with this 2-0 home victory over Newcastle United. The damage was done with a goal apiece for Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres in the first half. In the second 45 minutes Newcastle were the more attacking side, but unfortunately for the travelling fans they were not clinical enough in front of goal.
90' + 3'
This match is going to drag itself to be a prolonged death in stoppage time - both teams have lost interest it seems and they're playing on auto-mode.
90' + 1'
Four minutes of added time to be played, however I'd expect that amount to be higher because the Brazilian defender is still down.
David Luiz goes down after an aerial challenge with Demba Ba in the Chelsea box. Don't expect him to be getting up in a hurry.
Swansea City, say goodbye to being top of the table. Chelsea will propel back to the top (admittedly with a game extra having been played) on nine points, with Swansea second on six, who are ahead of Everton on goal difference.
Frank Lampard makes a token appearance in place of Raul Meireles with just two minutes left.
That chance has almost certainly killed off any comeback for Newcastle. Chelsea just look too assured in defence to concede twice in the final few minutes of the match.
Super save from Petr Cech! Demba Ba had a chance to change the shape of the game immensely, but he shoots too near Cech from 8 yards out and he gets down to his right to smother the ball.
Mikel has to get back inside the box to block a cross from Ryan Taylor after Marveaux's ball down the right.
Newcastle have possession but they're hesistant at doing anything with it, just passing it from side to side around the midway point of the pitch.
I was just about to say Hazard hasn't done much this half, when the Belgian bursts down the left with pace but his pull-back is cleared. The rebound comes to Bertrand who strikes low and hard but it's only a corner. Krul claims he didn't touch it though and replays are inconclusive.
Poor control from Ramires on the right after delightful build-up play from Torres on the left.
Gutierrez gives away another free-kick, this time on Ramires down the Chelsea right.
After all that standing around, Meireles spoons the free-kick over the bar.
Frustration within the visiting team as Anita concedes a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Chelsea are taking as long as physically possible with these set pieces, hence the increased frustration among the away side.
Davide Santon comes off for winger Sylvain Marveaux, meaning Gutierrez will drop back to left-back.
Newcastle are passing it around well but they're still failing to get it past the back four of Chelsea.
Newcastle's initial enthusiasm for this half has died down a bit as their legs have tired. A draw would be a massive ask in these final 20 minutes, a win surely impossible.
...but David Luiz sends it a few feet over. Newcastle goal-kick.
A clumsy tackle from Gutierrez hives a free-kick to Chelsea from 25 yards out...
Papiss Cisse really ought to get his header on target from a Newcastle free-kick down the left. Instead, the striker sends it way over the Chelsea bar.
Rpberto Di Matteo makes a change: Ramires comes on for Juan Mata.
Coloccini and Santon combime well at the back to deny Torres a route into the Newcastle box.
Ben Arfa is looking outstanding again today. His twisting and turning down the left win Chelsea a corner out of nothing. Alan Pardew makes his first sub, bringing on Ryan Taylor for Danny Simpson at right-back.
A foul on Cabaye leads to a brief pause in play. A breather for both sets of players.
Santon flies down the left but his cross from along the byline is too deep and goes out of play before reaching the middle of the box.
A fanciful flick from Torres on the right amost sets up a chance for Chelsea, but speedy defending from Newcastle closes down the imminent danger.
Cabaye's shot is blocked but Ba collects the loose ball and forces a save from Cech from the left half of the box, forcing a corner.
Good covering from Steven Taylor to ensure Torres isn't through after a bombarding run from Coloccini well out of his position.
Nothing much to tell right now except that Chelse acontinue to sit back. Branislav Ivanovic takes a throw-in from the right towards his goalkeeper Cech.
Newcastle are in the ascendency but they're far from clinical right now. Chelsea are still sitting nice and comfortable on their throne thanks to Hazard and Torres' goals.
Newcastle full-back Davide Santon is really pushing on down that left flank this half.
Ben Arfa goes surprisingly close after dummying on his right foot on the edge of the box, cutting in on his left and slicing his shot a foot or so wide of Cech's right post.
The visitors are pouring forward but the final line of defence that Chelsea possess is currently too sturdy to break for any of the Newcastle attackers.
No sign of Chelsea losing interest in attacking. Mata and Hazard have ventured forwards into the final third a few times already in thes first five minutes of the second half.
Cabaye ssprays the ball from left to right to Ba, but Ashley Cole intercepts.
Nice defending from Chelsea after Newcastle attack from the right, and they pass it clear into the opposite half.
It's pouring down in west London by the way, but (cliche coming up) I'm sure it's not dampening the home fans' spirits.
And we're off! Newcastle start the half for us. Can they stage or comeback or is the game already in Chelsea's hands?
Ahh, now Newcastle are back out. Only seconds from kick-off!
Chelsea are back out on the pitch already. Newcastle are taking their time in returning from the dressing room. Hairdryer treatment or technical analysis?
Half-time! Chelsea go in at the break 2-0 up and it's an Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres show! The £50m striker won the penalty which the Belgian playmaker converted midway through the half. Then, in first-half stoppage time, the two combined to set up a fantastic finish from Torres. A deserved lead for the champions of Europe and it will be hard for Newcastle United to fight their way back into this one!
45' + 4'
Cabaye's down with what might be a troublesome injury for the French midfielder. Then again, I said something similar about Raul Meireles earlier, and he was just fine!
45' + 3'
Assist Eden Hazard
45' + 3'
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL!! A simply stunning goal from Chelsea! Fernando Torres scores a fabulous finish, and what a one-two it was with Eden Hazard beforehand. The Belgian's flick back to the Spaniard was sublime. Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United!
45' + 1'
Torres falls easily again on the edge of the Newcastle box and Phil Dowd's having none of it.
Four additional minutes of added time at Stamford Bridge.
Cisse shoots inside the box on the turn but Cech saves as it's straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper's body. Nice attacking play beforehand from the visitors though.
Meireles is considerably offside when Torres puts in a diagonal ball on the counter attack from that Newcastle free-kick.
The crowd are further incensed when Jonas Gutierrez is brought down on the left for Newcastle by Hazard and the referee gives a foul.
The Chelsea fans are classily chanting about the shape of referee Phil Dowd because Torres was booked.
Yellow Card Fernando Torres
The ball hits the hand of Cahill inside the Chelsea box after superb Ben Arfa dribbling, but no penalty and that's the right call. The Blues defender could not have put his arms any more inside his body and it was completely accidental.
Torres dives and is deservedly booked for a poor attempt at a dive around 30 yards from goal. Some might argue there was contact, but it was so long before the actual fall to ground that it's not really relevant.
They finally venture past that dreaded halfway line, but thee pass is ridiculously long and bounces all the way back to Krul between Newcastle's posts.
This match's momentum has grinded to a dull halt as Chelsea just spend two minutes passing it about in their half. Hardly page-turning stuff right now.
Hazard should be marked by half their Newcastle team, but even then he'd probably find space to shoot. The Chelsea playmaker lashes the ball a few feet over after collecting the ball in the centre of the pitch, 25 yards out.
Hazard flies down the left, plays it to his left once in the box but Mata's ball into the box is cleared for a throw-in by Coloccini from a few yards out.
Ben Arfa wins a throw-in on said right flank despite it clearly coming off him last. Cheeky.
Gutierrez wins a free-kick on the halfway line. Newcastle players pile up...but it's headed out by David Luiz for a throw-in down the right flank.
Simpson and Ben Arfa combine neatly down the right but they struggle to work past Cole.
Ivanovic has a header on goal but it's straight at Krul. If Newcastle aren't careful they could start to see that scoreline rise and rise, and not in their favour...
Fun fact: Two years ago this week Alan Pardew was sacked as manager of (at that time) third division side Southampton. 18 months later he guides Newcastle to a fifth-place finish in the league. Crazy world, huh?!
David Luiz goes down from a heavy blow with Cisse's body in an aerial tackle. Newcastle fans chant something unpublishable at him as he lies receiving treatment.
Meireles, by the way, is playing on for now. Frank Lampard is warming up on the Stamford Bridge sidelines however.
David Luiz showing some of his defensive naivety letting Cisse turn him on the halfway line. But the Senegalese striker cannot find his international team-mate Ba with his ball forwards and it's a Chelsea free-kick.
A moment's breather. Chelsea fans are in full voice after that goal. Spirits lifted after a start that was neither here nor there.
Raul Meireles is down with a knee injury and it might be the end of his evening already. We shall see.
So, that's a goal to add to Hazard's five assists in his first three league games! Not too shabby a start!
Penalty Goal Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard steps up...Eden Hazard scores! Towards the bottom-left corner for the Belgian and it's Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle!
Penalty to Chelsea!! Vurnon Anita is called up for swinging a boot in on Torres inside the box!! Minimal contact but you shouldn't be swinging your foot like that in the Premier League...
Demba Ba wins a corner down on the left...but nothing comes of it. Newcastle edging nearer and nearer to the Chelsea goal, but at the other end you could sargue so at the home side.
Golden chance, half-hearted finish. Torres chests the ball down and taps it square inside the box for Ryan Bertrand who's running forwards at pace. 15 yards from goal the young Chelsea player shoots straight at Krul. Disappointing for the home fans, but Newcastle defender Coloccini deserves some credit for putting Bretrand off with a slide tackle.
Demba Ba gives away a free-kick after falling over on the edge of the Blues' box. Presumably he was backing into the man marking him.
Ooo, Cahill has fouled an opposition player and it's a free-kick around 70 yards from the Chelsea goal. Yep, as I said, not much happening!
Not really much to tell you about from Stamford Bridge. Lots of passing, but nothing of interest coming from it.
Hazard has a shot! He wiggles free of his marker 30 yards from goal, takes a couple of small touches forward, then lashes a strike at Tim Krul. However, there's not much venom on the shot and it's straight at the Dutch goalkeeper.
Chelsea's style of play so far is vastly different to their first 20 minutes against Reading, when they effectively camped in the opposition half until they scored their first goal. Their attacking is a lot more patient tonight. Perhaps they won't get as caught out in defence as a result...
Eden Hazard with some mouth-watering dribbling down the right wing, but his pass into the box for Torres is too hard and goes out before the £50 million man can reach it.
Shots of John Terry in the crowd. The Chelsea captain is sidelined with a neck problem today apparently.
Gary Cahill just about defends Demba Ba well enough to win a Chelsea free-kick from a sneaky Yohan Cabaye through ball. That's the first time Newcastle have been in the Blues' box. I can't imagine it'll be their last time either.
Fernando Torres makes a good run and gives it back to John Obi Mikel, but the Chelsea midfielder blazes high, wide and not very handsome.
Branislav Ivanovic whips a cross in but it's far too heavy and Hatem Ben Arfa collects on the Newcastle right, deep in their own half. The French winger brings plenty of cheers when he fools a Chelsea duo with some trickery, but Ashley Cole gets a tackle in and Newcastle must start their attack from the back again.
Hazard looks like he's having a free role in Di Matteo's side today. He's picked up the ball in every area of attack already it seems.
The free-kick was taken short and came to nothing and shifting over to the right. The Magpies look happy to sit back at the moment and let the hosts press.
Tim Krul launches a free-kick absurdly far into the Chelsea half (seriously, how keepers kick that far?!) but Chelsea get possession at attack, before a mistimed Danny Simpson challenge gives them a free-kick 45 yards from goal.
Eden Hazard tries to do some fancy flicks but the ball gets stuck in his feet and Newcastle bodies tackle, but the Belgian winger earns the ball back through some tidy hustling on Chelsea's left flank.
Chants of "Toon, Toon, barmy army" echo around Stamford Bridge as Anita hoofs the ball out play in the middle of the park. Neither side pressing heavily yet, but possession is bouncing back and forth like a yo-yo.
And we're off!! Chelsea get us started.
It's worth pointing out that the visitors this evening played a match on Thursday in the Europa League - a 1-1 draw agauinst Atromitos. However, that shouldn't have too much of an impact on today's game as Pardew has made NINE changes to the team which started that clash.
Chelsea are firm favourites for this clash, but remember that a) Newcastle won this match last season, b) the Blues finished one place below the Magpies last season in the league, and c) the pitch is absolutely drenched. Wet pitches = absolute chaos, in my experience. Expect the unexpected, to use a cheeky cliche.
The 2012 European champions have had a shaky start to the season. Sure, they've taken all six points from their matches, but they were far from easy. In fact, Reading were 2-1 ahead on Wednesday and it required a late flurry-of-goals comeback to secure a win on the night. They'll be praying this evening goes more according to plan...
Let's not forget, in that Stamford Bridge defeat Chelsea were mere days away from an FA Cup final and their minds were elsewhere one expects. Tonight, no excuses.
Three home games ago Chelsea were defeated 2-0 thanks to Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. I was covering the match report and I was left speechless when he scored THAT stunner which sealed the win late on. A physics-defying banana-shot which stumped Petr Cech, Cisse will struggle to beat that goal's quality in his whole career nevermind tonight!
That attacking threat that Di Matteo mentioned? Demba Ba ended his goal drought in the first game of the season with a beautiful finish, and Hatem Ben Arfa was the star of the match last weekend for Alan Pardew's men, scoring the penalty (after winning it) which gave them victory. And...hmmm...who's that other attacker that Newcastle have...?
Roberto Di Matteo before the match tells ESPN: "It was important for us to start well season. We managed to get those two wins and now we are playing a team [step forward, Newcastle] we always find it hard to play against." The Italian added: "They have players that can be a big threat and we have to try and limit their attacking threat."
Anita makes his full Premier League debut at the home of the current European champions. No pressure then for the newest Magpie in the Tyneside flock!
"Newcastle's changes please?" Two of them from their 2-1 win over Tottenham, since you asked so politely! Captain Fabricio Coloccini comes in for James Perch at centre-back, while Cheick Tiote doesn't even make the bench because of an injury picked up last weekend. New signing from Ajax, Vurnon Anita, steps up to replace the hard-tackling midfielder. Up front, Demba Ba shakes off a knock he reportedly has, and starts this evening alongside Papiss Cisse.
First up, I'll waffle through the Chelsea starting 11 for you! Roberto Di Matteo makes three changes to the team which beat Reading 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. John Terry misses out altogether through injury, which means David Luiz (who missed the midweek match) steps up into the centre of defence. In midfield, Frank Lampard and Ramires are dropped to the bench for Raul Meireles and Ryan Bertrand. Eden Hazard or Juan Mata are expected to have a more contral role as a result. Fernando Torres continues to grin his little Spanish pants off as - without Didier Drogba looking over his shoulder - he gets his third successive start of the Premier League season.
Newcastle United: Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez; Ba, Cisse. Subs: Harper, Williamson, Perch, Marveaux, Amalfitano, Obertan, R Taylor.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Meireles; Mata, Hazard, Bertrand; Torres. Turnbull, Essien, Romeu, Lampard, Ramires, Oscar, Sturridge.
"WHAT ARE THE LINE-UPS?!" we hear you cry. Boys and girls, it's your lucky day...
I hope you've enjoyed the football so far this Saturday! I'm Miles Chambers and I'm sat here crossing my fingers and toes that we're in for another cracker. Come on Chelsea and Newcastle United - let's blow those other Premier League matches out of the water this evening with unbridled entertainment!
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