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Match Report: Newcastle 1 – Chelsea 1

Salomon Kalou equalised in first-half injury time as we had to come from behind to claim a point at St. James’s Park.

Andy Carroll had given the Magpies a sixth-minute lead when he capitalised on an error by Alex, and although we enjoyed the better of the game Newcastle defended resolutely enough to earn the draw.

Chris Hughton will have been the happier manager after seeing his reshuffled defence keep us at bay.

Last Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Bolton must have proved a sobering experience for Newcastle whose promising start to the season has been dented by a return of just a single point from the last nine on offer. In the circumstances, the prospect of champions Chelsea arriving on Tyneside desperate to avoid another damaging defeat was hardly an appetising one.

Hughton’s men got off to the perfect start, albeit with a helping hand from Alex.

The Brazilian and keeper Petr Cech, who had already clawed away a second-minute Taylor header, were on entirely different wavelengths as they closed in on a seemingly harmless through-ball. But with Carroll hot on his heels, Alex stabbed it past Cech to allow the England striker to round the keeper and tap the ball into an empty net.

Newcastle could have hardly believed their luck, but as they snapped into tackles with midfielder Cheik Tiote in the thick of it following his return from suspension, they went about making life distinctly uncomfortable for us. 

As the half wore on we began to dominate possession, and although the home defence were proving stubborn, we gradually started to get on top. Captain, Didier Drogba forced a fine reaction save from Tim Krul at the near post with a blistering 19th-minute drive, and full-back Jose Enrique had to clear an Alex header off the line seven minutes later.

As we threw men forward, Newcastle threatened on the break with wide men Jonas Gutierrez and Wayne Routledge in for injured captain Kevin Nolan, although the bulk of the traffic was in the opposite direction.

We continued to carve out chances as the half-time whistle approached, and were denied what many considered should have been a 43rd-minute penalty for Tiote’s clumsy challenge on Ashley Cole as he burst into the area.

We finally got our reward in injury time when Kalou carved his way into the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner with the help from a deflection off Taylor’s out-stretched leg.

After half time we returned in determined mood and might have increased our lead when Drogba expertly controlled a long ball and fired in a firm left-foot shot on the turn which Tim Krul got down well to save. But it was the home side who went close six minutes later when Cech had problems dealing with a towering cross and the ball fell to Wayne Routledge on the edge of the box. The winger controlled neatly before blasting a volley towards goal, where Ashley Cole was perfectly positioned to head off the line.

We threw everything we could at Newcastle as time ran down and Drogba had a 77th-minute strike chalked off for handball, but Kalou could have won it three minutes later when Taylor, Campbell and Krul between them allowed the ball to fall to him beyond the far post, but he fired into the side-netting.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge shot across the face of goal with four minutes remaining as we  launched a late onslaught, but Newcastle were not about to surrender a hard-earned point.

We now sit in second place as a result having taken just four points from our last five games.

Next up Everton at home. Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful of a return for John Terry and Frank Lampard with Michael Essien who will have served out his three match suspension.

Gill Reeves – disabled rep CSG

(With thanks to Alan Davidson for main story picture from his Facebook page)

Stats from the BBC website:

Newcastle

  • 26 Krul
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 05 Campbell
  • 12 Simpson
  • 27 Taylor
  • 08 Guthrieyellow card
  • 10 Routledge
  • 18 Gutierrez
  • 24 Tioteyellow card
  • 09 Carroll
  • 23 Ameobi (Ranger 77)

Substitutes

  • 33 Soderberg,
  • 14 Perch,
  • 28 Kadar,
  • 17 Smith,
  • 11 Lovenkrands,
  • 20 Best,
  • 30 Ranger

Chelsea

  • 01 Cech
  • 02 Ivanovic
  • 03 A Cole
  • 17 Bosingwa
  • 33 Alex
  • 07 Ramiresyellow card
  • 12 Mikel (Sturridge 80)
  • 15 Malouda
  • 11 Drogba
  • 21 Kalou
  • 39 Anelka

Substitutes

  • 22 Turnbull,
  • 19 Ferreira,
  • 38 Van Aanholt,
  • 43 Bruma,
  • 46 McEachran,
  • 23 Sturridge,
  • 44 Kakuta
Ref: Marriner
Att: 46,469

Discussion

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  1. Great turnout yesterday and overall the support was positive lets keep the faith with are best players coming back soon.

    Posted by phil | November 29, 2010, 2:47 pm

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