Chelsea have been warned that they “must do more” in order to challenge for the Premier League title, with Ruud Gullit questioning an apparent over-reliance on Eden Hazard.
The Stamford Bridge outfit have enjoyed a faultless start to their 2018-19 campaign, with a third successive victory collected at Newcastle on Sunday.
Maurizio Sarri is considered to be implementing a winning blueprint in west London, with the Italian seeking to embrace a more expansive footballing philosophy than his predecessor Antonio Conte .
A 2-1 victory at St James’ Park did, however, see Chelsea struggle to break down Newcastle, with Gullit suggesting that a greater cutting edge is required to compete with the very best.
The Dutchman told BBC Sport : “Blues midfielder Jorginho completed more passes - 158 - than the whole of the Newcastle team combined.
“But for all that time on the ball, Chelsea did not do very much. They managed only three shots on target - one more than Newcastle - and ultimately needed a fortunate own goal to take three points.
Hazard, on his first start of the season, proved to be Chelsea’s key man once more on Tyneside , with the Belgian converting from the penalty spot after being a serious thorn in Newcastle’s side.
Gullit added on the 27-year-old: “There were rumours that Real Madrid wanted Eden Hazard in the summer.
“It was crucial that Chelsea kept hold of the Belgian.Without him it is going to be very difficult for them. He is the one player who poses a consistent threat.
“On Sunday he was fouled five times - more than twice as much as any other player on the pitch - and Newcastle constantly had four or five defenders around him in an attempt to nullify his threat.
“He is world-class but it would be interesting to see how Chelsea cope without him.
“Against a defence as drilled and tightly packed as Newcastle's, if you cannot get crosses in from good positions, Hazard is the only one who can unlock things with a piece of skill.”