Talking Points: Newcastle United 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea beat Newcastle United at St. James Park on Sunday afternoon for the first time since 2011, in a game that saw the Blues dominate for large periods.
It was a tough test against the Magpies but goals late on saw Chelsea clinch three straight victories in the Premier League
Here’s three things that we were able to take from the victory against Newcastle:
1. 'Sarriball' highlighted in the statistics
Possession: Newcastle United 19% - 81% Chelsea
Shots: Newcastle United 6 - 15 Chelsea
Touches: Newcastle United 405 - 1098 Chelsea
Passes: Newcastle United 200 - 913 Chelsea
These statistics were exactly what Maurizio Sarri would have wanted, well the result is more important, but the Blues were in complete control of the game throughout. Even though it wasn't easy to break Rafa Benitez's compact and defensive minded defence down, we got the vital goals and the three points, albeit with a slice of luck. To record those numbers, it's refreshing and exciting moving forward - playing attacking football and dominating with high press is all we want to see!
2. Andreas Christensen should start ahead of David Luiz
David Luiz' role at the back has been under serious question over the past couple of weeks after he was caught out multiple times against Arsenal and then on Sunday against Newcastle. The Brazilian was at fault for the Newcastle equaliser; a cross came in from Yedlin and Luiz was caught asleep, and Joselu powered a header home to then level the game, and cost the Blues of a clean sheet. Yes it's early days, but should Luiz be starting? No, I think we should be seeing Andreas Christensen start. Despite him making several mistakes last season under Conte, which ultimately cost him his place in the side, his performances prior to those errors were outstanding, particularly due to the fact he is only 22-years-old. Christensen now needs to be given a chance under Sarri - he's proved himself abroad, he's got age on his side and his future is very bright.
3. Keeping Eden Hazard was so important
The biggest relief of the summer for all the Chelsea fanbase, despite several additions, was keeping Eden Hazard. The Belgian has come off the bench in the opening two games after returning late to pre-season and he made a difference especially against the Gunners last weekend. His cameo performance led to him assisting the winner for Marcos Alonso, showing how good he really is and how important he is to this Chelsea side.
Likewise on Sunday, Newcastle were fully focused on keeping Hazard quiet, constant fouls but he got the better of his opponents, again. A goal from the spot, and his level of performance is very promising considering he isn't at full fitness yet. His best is yet to come in this 'Sarriball' system, definitely.
Written by 29Role