Newcastle United 1-0 Chelsea: Toothless Blues downed by Hayden late show
Isaac Hayden scored in the final minute of stoppage time to earn Newcastle United a smash-and-grab victory over wasteful Chelsea.
Heading into Saturday’s fixture on the back of a 3-0 demolition of Burnley, Chelsea had almost 70 per cent of the possession, yet could not pick their way through Steve Bruce’s well-drilled side and came unstuck in the final minute of stoppage time.
Having cleared a corner, Chelsea switched off when the ball was worked back in, giving Hayden the chance to head in from point-blank range, though Kepa Arrizabalaga could have done better.
Prior to Hayden’s winner, it had been all Chelsea, with Tammy Abraham spurning two great chances, though Joelinton had hit the crossbar midway through the second half.
Ultimately, though, the Blues’ dominance counted for nothing as Frank Lampard’s fourth-placed side suffered their first defeat in four top-flight matches.
Newcastle were dealt a blow early on, Jetro Willems taken off on a stretcher with an apparent knee injury following an innocuous coming together with Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Despite Chelsea’s stranglehold on the game, Newcastle would have been ahead had Joelinton’s header not struck the bar.
Abraham’s improvised flick hit the woodwork at the other end just after the half-hour, though the striker was flagged offside, before Martin Dubravka made a fine save from N’Golo Kante’s close-range strike.
Chelsea looked set to finally break the deadlock when Abraham latched onto substitute Ross Barkley’s deflected pass, but he failed to keep his composure after rounding Dubravka.
Newcastle’s goalkeeper almost gifted Chelsea an opener with 10 minutes remaining with a bizarre save, though he just got enough on it to deny Abraham and set the stage for Hayden to nod home Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross in the 94th minute.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 18, 2020
What does it mean? Lack of a finisher gives Lampard the Blues
Lampard has insisted he will not make any “kneejerk” decisions when it comes to potential incomings this month, though with Olivier Giroud out of favour and reportedly on the move and Michy Batshuayi having only scored one league goal this term, the Chelsea boss may feel more of an urgency to add more firepower.
Hayden rewards resilient Newcastle
Bruce’s side have gone through a tricky run as of late, but this could prove a massive three points in their bid to avoid a relegation scrap. Hayden had been shifted back into defence as Newcastle looked to hold out for a point, but he stayed upfield to meet Saint-Maximin’s inch-perfect delivery.
Abraham fluffs his lines as Kepa fails to cover himself in glory
It has been a fantastic season so far for Abraham, but the striker miss two glorious opportunities on Tyneside and Chelsea were made to pay. At the other end, goalkeeper Kepa did not have much to do, yet despite getting two hands to Hayden’s header, he failed to keep it out.
It’s the small matter of a London derby against Arsenal on Tuesday for Chelsea, while Newcastle face Everton at Goodison Park.