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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
February 2, 2013
• St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 52314
J. Gutiérrez 41'
M. Sissoko 68', 90'
F. Lampard 55'
Chelsea, meanwhile, will be most disappointed with their part in the game. Their defending verged on the shambolic at times as they gave away three goals all too easily, with Sissoko and Cisse giving them a torrid time at the back. Losing to Newcastle is bad enough, but the fact that Newcastle were the superior side in most respects will trouble fans. It's certainly hard to envisage Chelsea support easing up on Rafa Benitez after that performance as the Blues remain winless in four.
Newcastle will be delighted with both the result and the performance there; they proved dangerous going forward and Sissoko looked a constant threat for the second game running. Though they were susceptible at the back, they coped well with Chelsea's attacking prowess, nullifying Mata and Oscar for the majority of the game. On the basis of this win, their reinforcements should see them safe of the relegation zone by some margin by the end of the season.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Juan Mata
90' + 4'
A Lampard shot is blocked by Steven Taylor, the Chelsea players appeal but to no avail. And, with that, Howard Webb blows the whistle to call an end to an extremely entertaining game!
90' + 3'
Juan Mata is booked after a petulant foul as time runs out on this Chelsea side. Chelsea have a throw-in inside Newcastle's half with seconds remaining.
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
The action is coming thick and fast here as an Ivanovic cross is palmed away by Krul. The ball falls to Lampard who, once again, tries a long-range strike. The ball is then deflected up into the air and Krul clears with his feet.
Assist Davide Santon
Goal Moussa Sissoko
GOAL! And it's Sissoko again! Santon comes down the left wing and lays it back to the rangy midfielder who, from 25 yards out, fires goalwards and just beyond a despairing Petr Cech.
It turns out to be Mata but the free-kick is cleared by the first man. Ramires provides the home side with some respite with a very ambitious long-range effort that flies well over.
The game remains ridiculously stretched; it could go either way. Cole is fouled in a dangerous area and you can expect Lampard to whip this one into the box.
Newcastle are now the ones exerting pressure as Terry and Cahill clear successive crosses; they're pushing for a goal here.
After havoc is once again wreaked in the Newcastle area, a desperate challenge is thrown in by a Newcastle man and the ball breaks to Lampard. The Chelsea midfielder blazes well over with time running out.
It remains end-to-end stuff here as, after Chelsea spurn an opportunity with Oscar proving unable to find Torres, Newcastle surge down the other end. The impressive Sissoko beats Ivanovic with consummate ease but he can only fire into Cech's arms. There might still be something in this with only seven minutes remaining.
Newcastle are sitting back a bit now, inviting Chelsea to come onto them. They do eventually but Mata's shot is blocked and Cisse comes away with it.
Krul claims it with ease and sets Newcastle away. They eventually make it to the other end of the pitch, winning a corner.
Mata wins a free-kick off Gutierrez as the Argentinian goes in a bit late on the Chelsea man. Lampard's looking to whip this into the area.
Gutierrez, typically high on endeavour, bundles over Ivanovic down the left wing as he tries to get by the right-back.
Along with the furious pace on the pitch, there's now a similar furore off it as Benitez and Pardew argue heatedly over perceived time-wasting by the home side.
The pace of this game shows no sign of relenting here as, after Gouffran clears a ball hopefully from Newcastle's half, Sissoko latches onto it and embarrasses Cole down the right wing, outdoing him with his pure pace and power. The shot is palmed wide by Cech but you can't help feeling that there are more goals left in this one.
It's Chelsea's turn to attack now; the pace of this game is relentless. Mata's cross is blocked behind for a corner.
Goal Moussa Sissoko
GOAL! After a little through-ball from Cisse, Gouffran uses his pace to burn down the space afforded him by the lax Chelsea defence. The strike is fired at Cech, who can only palm out into Sissoko's path, who duly puts into the open net to level proceedings.
This really is end-to-end stuff now as Chelsea look to add to their lead while Newcastle look to get back into the game. You sense another goal is imminent.
Yellow Card Papiss Cissé
Yellow Card Ashley Cole
Mata spurns an opportunity to put his side further ahead after lovely play by Oscar down the left wing. The Brazilian found the Spaniard but Mata's acrobatic volley flew well over.
Assist Fernando Torres
Goal Juan Mata
GOAL! Mata puts Chelsea ahead with a beautifully curled finish. Torres laid off to the diminutive midfielder after a deflected cross fell his way and the Spaniard did the rest, curling brilliantly into the far corner.
Frank Lampard had a golden chance to grab his second there as Chelsea's pressure continues to mount. Mata, bursting down the right wing, was able to find the midfielder in the box and, ten yards out, he could only head straight into the hands of Krul. It's difficult not to foresee another Chelsea goal imminent here though.
Lampard whips a deep cross in and Ivanovic, overpowering Debuchy at the back post, heads towards goal but it ends up flying well wide.
Chelsea seem to be gaining momentum here as Lampard buys a free-kick off Cabaye deep into the Newcastle half - a dangerous position here.
Assist Ashley Cole
Goal Frank Lampard
GOAL! Coming out of nothing, a Cole pass find its way to Lampard, who, though challenged by Cabaye, bundles his way through and fires a shot home from 25 yards out. An excellent strike.
Newcastle relieve the pressure further by winning a corner, Cisse smashing the ball against the legs of Bertrand. From the ensuing corner, the ball drops to Cisse, who whips the ball in, only for Bertrand to clear.
Terry misplaces a pass after the ball is cleared from a Chelsea corner, relieving Newcastle of the ever-mounting pressure the away side are building.
Newcastle come forward eventually but Sissoko places a crossfield pass beyond the reach of Gutierrez and Chelsea have a throw-in deep in their own half.
Chelsea start the second-half in control as, though they haven't crafted a chance as of yet, they set their stall out in Newcastle's half.
Newcastle kick-off the second half as Perch rolls the ball to Cisse.
The teams come back onto the pitch as we eagerly await the beginning of the second-half.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will be disappointed with their first-half showing. They haven't really shown what they can do as, aside from a couple of flashes of brilliance of Mata, their pedigree players have yet to really perform. Nevertheless, they had some excellent chances - both Lampard and Ba spurning golden opportunities - and will feel unlucky to go into the break a goal down. They will be hoping that they can assert themselves on the game more in the ensuing half, with Torres no doubt keen to impress in Ba's absence.
Newcastle will be extremely pleased with that half. They played some nice football and probably had the better of a tightly-contested half; they most certainly have the better of the scoreline, thanks to a rare Jonas Gutierrez goal. Also, as cynical as it may sound, they will be pleased to see the back of the dangerous Demba Ba, who was no doubt chomping at the bit to grab a goal against his old club. It's safe to assume that Chelsea will launch something of a comeback in the second half so Newcastle will be looking to replicate their first-half performance and see out the game.
45' + 4'
Yellow Card James Perch
45' + 4'
Perch manages to get himself in the book just before Howard Webb blows his whistle for half-time, leaving it 1-0 to the Magpies at the break.
45' + 2'
Two corners in quick succession cause havoc in the away side's penalty area, as, from the first effort, Cisse's effort is blocked wide by Ramires and, from the second, Cech comes and fails to claim the delivery. Luckily, nothing comes of them and the ball is cleared.
45' + 1'
Terry heads the Cabaye free kick out for a corner as Newcastle's pressure builds just before half-time.
As four minutes of injury time are signalled, Ivanovic gives away a Newcastle free kick in a dangerous position in the left wing. Cabaye looks set to whip it in.
Just minutes after Ba's substitution, his replacement, Fernando Torres, is looking worse for wear as he seems to have picked up a knock somehow. Chelsea will be hoping he can shake it off as they have no other strikers on the bench.
Ba, after opting out of a headed challenge with Coloccini just prior to the goal, is being brought off due to that nose injury induced by the same defender. Torres is ready to come on.
Assist Davide Santon
Goal Jonas Gutierrez
GOAL! And it's Jonas Gutierrez! Santon, cutting inside from the left wing, puts in a lovely in-swinging delivery. Gutierrez, coming from the opposite wing, gets a lovely flick on the ball to divert it into the bottom corner. Newcastle are 1-0 up with five minutes remaining in this first half.
As Gouffran drags a long-range shot well wide of goal, Ba prepares to return to the pitch, looking very much worse for wear after the Coloccini incident.
It's Cisse's turn to miss a golden chance now! After another Cabaye long-shot falls into the striker's path; Cisse is left one-on-one, ten yards out, but is denied by Cech with an excellent save.
The game gets back underway after Ba is escorted off the pitch. It's most certainly no case of simulation as blood streams out of the striker's face on the touchline.
Ba is so close to breaking the deadlock there! Lampard lofts a lovely through-ball over the top for the striker whose strike, deflected by the incoming Coloccini, is palmed out by Krul. Ba then goes for the rebound, but heads just wide of goal and gets a nasty boot in his face, courtesy of Coloccini, for his troubles.
Yellow Card Ramires
The home support are baying for Ramires' blood as he puts in a dangerous tackle on Gutierrez. Webb deems it only worthy of a booking though, much to Pardew's ire.
Ba, vehemently booed whenever on the ball by the home support, gets on the ball just outside the Newcastle area, and knocks it back post. The cross is headed behind for a corner.
Increasingly end-to-end stuff here as, after a Chelsea attack, Newcastle counter with Gouffran down the right wing. The new signing tries to cut a cross back but it's deflected into the path of compatriot Sissoko, who fires well over goal with a fairly dismal effort.
Chelsea counter as Bertrand and Cole exchange passes down the left wing; they are unable to get a cross in though as Newcastle's defence snuffs out the threat.
Newcastle are putting Chelsea under some concerted pressure now; after a cross is headed clear, Santon tries, presumably taking cue from Cabaye, a long-range volley which, while slightly closer than his teammates effort, still flies well wide.
Cabaye, always willing to have a crack from outside the area, has another go with a speculative volley from a tenuous headed clearance by Cahill. He doesn't quite get it right though and slices it well wide.
Newcastle truly trouble Cech for the first time in the game as, after Sissoko threads a ball through to Cisse, the striker opens his body up and tries to put it in the opposite corner; the goalkeeper is equal to it though and the game remains goalless.
It's Oscar's turn to get involved now as, after receiving the ball about 25 yards from goal, he swivels on it but, as Lampard did minutes before, blazes well over.
Chelsea are controlling proceedings now, with Mata becoming more and more involved in the game; worrying signs for the home side.
The first real chance of the half comes Chelsea's way and Lampard spurns it. After a lovely ball by Mata, Cole cuts it back adeptly and Lampard, on his left foot and ten yards out, blazes well over. He has to be disappointed with that effort, he had plenty of time and space.
After a nice spell of possession from the away side, Bertrand whips in a dangerous ball but no-one is there to capitalise on the cross.
It's become a little scrappy in the last couple of minutes as neither side has been able to retain the ball, with Chelsea attempting to assert themselves after an impressive start from the home side.
The Magpies are continuing to keep possession well here, the likes of Mata and Oscar have yet to feature in this game yet.
Cech makes another fairly comfortable save but Newcastle have started well here; Santon cut in from the left after receiving the ball from Gouffran, only to shoot straight at Cech from distance.
Newcastle are showing encouraging signs here; after the Magpies push forward, Cisse turns smartly and almost manages to get a shot away, but Terry does well to block.
Newcastle have started this match slightly in the ascendancy as a Gutierrez cross is cleared by Terry.
A high-tempo start here as Gouffran forces Cech into an, admittedly comfortable, save within the first sixty seconds.
The St. James Park crowd are in full voice as the teams get ready to kick off today's action.
Rafa Benitez, meanwhile, rotates his squad as both Petr Cech and John Terry return from injury to replace Ross Turnbull and Cesar Azplicueta respectively, with Demba Ba also coming in for Fernando Torres from the team that surrendered a two-goal lead against Reading on Wednesday.
The home side stick with exactly the same line-up that earned them their first win in six games, as newcomers Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko both make their second start for their new club.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Mata, Bertrand; Ba. Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Azpilicueta, Ake, Benayoun, Marin, Torres.
Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, S.Taylor, Coloccini, Santon; Perch, Cabaye; Gouffran, Sissoko, Gutierrez; Cisse. Subs: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Bigirimana, Anita, Marveaux, Obertan, Shola Ameobi.
And here come the team line-ups...
This could be a close one today as both teams have been struggling of late. Newcastle, prior to their win against Aston Villa, had lost five of their six previous games, while Chelsea are winless in their last three. However, whereas the former have reacted to their bad form by bringing in a legion of Frenchmen, the latter have decided to keep faith in their current squad, making no additions after the signing of Demba Ba from their opposition at the start of the window. With the former Newcastle man surely eager to please against his old club, and the French reinforcements still looking to settle, it should make for an interesting encounter – here's hoping!
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Chelsea, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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