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Match Report: Chelsea 0 – Newcastle 2

We slipped out of contention for a top four finish in the Premier League with a defeat at home to Newcastle United.

No doubt with one eye on the FA Cup against Liverpool on Saturday Roberto Di Matteo made six changes to the Chelsea line-up

The game began with us on the front foot.  Fernando Torres looking confident after his hat-trick against QPR on Sunday crossing for Daniel Sturridge but he scuffed the strike on goal.

The Magpies went ahead on 19 minutes when Newcastle left-back Davide Santon cut inside from the wing to Cisse who chipped the ball up with his first touch then struck into the net with his second.

We looked to respond and with nine minutes until the break Florent Malouda skimmed a header across Krul’s goalmouth from a Torres cross then a minute later Branislav Ivanovic nodded over from a corner.

At the other end, Demba Ba would have scored if not for Cech’s stretched save with one minute until half-time.

He then thundered an attempt off the crossbar from a corner.

Juan Mata was brought on for the second 45 minutes in place of Sturridge whipping in a couple of free-kicks but the threat on Krul’s goal remained pretty minimal.

Cheickh Tiote took a heavy blow to the head on the halfway line in an aerial challenge with Jon Obi Mikel and had to be stretchered off after several minutes of treatment on the pitch.

Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard came on after Tiote’s injury as we looked for an equaliser.

On 76 minutes Drogba had his first shot on goal from a 35-yard free-kick while Frank Lampard had his turn with nine minutes left of normal time but skewed his shot wide.

We continued to flood forward and John Terry thought he had scored from one of several corners being poured into the Magpies box but Santon cleared on the line.

Ten minutes of stoppage time were signalled because of the Tiote injury as we pressed Newcastle further but Cisse’s second goal from absolutely nowhere four minutes into added time finally put paid to any comeback.

After the game Roberto Di Matteo said:

‘We’ve been pushing the players very hard and they’ve responded extremely well. Tonight we have to give credit to Newcastle, they played a good game against us.’

‘I selected a strong team to win the game it was our sixth game in 17 days. We can’t ask 10 players to go all the time, it doesn’t go like that,’ the defeat leaves us in sixth spot in the league and Di Matteo admits fourth spot is looking unlikely.

‘It’s going to be difficult now for us, we’re obviously behind,’ he said. ‘The season has proven difficult but we will keep pushing and we won’t give up. ‘We’ve lost many points during this season at many places, and looking back over the whole season that’s why we are in the position we are.’

‘We have a good squad. They’ve given everything, the effort is there and we have asked them to push and push and push. We will regroup, pick them up and we have another big game on Saturday, and we’re going to go again.

We look forward to the FA Cup Final, it’s a great event.’

Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep.

Stats from the BBC website:

Chelsea

• 01 Cech
• 02 Ivanovic
• 17 Bosingwa
• 26 Terry
• 34 Bertrand
• 07 Ramires
• 12 Mikel
• 15 Malouda (Drogba – 60′ )
• 16 Meireles (Lampard – 78′ )
• 09 Torres
• 23 Sturridge (Mata – 46′ )

Substitutes

• 22 Turnbull
• 03 Cole
• 05 Essien
• 08 Lampard
• 10 Mata
• 11 Drogba
• 21 Kalou

Newcastle United

• 26 Krul – Booked
• 02 Coloccini
• 03 Santon
• 06 Williamson
• 14 Perch
• 04 Cabaye – Booked
• 10 Ben Arfa (Obertan – 87′ )
• 18 Gutierrez
• 24 Tiote – Booked (R Taylor – 63′ )
• 09 Cisse
• 19 Ba (Sh Ameobi – 74′ )

Substitutes

• 35 Elliot
• 16 R Taylor
• 31 Ferguson
• 15 Gosling
• 22 Marveaux
• 25 Obertan
• 23 Sh Ameobi

Ref: Halsey

Att: 41,559

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