Is possession overrated? Certainly, it seemed that way to Chelsea as they maneuvered the ball up and down a series of dead ends and dead ends before seeing that all that effort was reduced to nothing when Isaac Hayden led the winner of Newcastle United’s detention time.
Sometimes, the side of Steve Bruce seemed to have developed an alarming allergy to the passage, but few occupants of the Gallowgate End were worried about that, since Allan Saint-Maximin picked up the fall of a corner of Matt Ritchie partially cleared and Hayden rose by on top of all attendees to close three precious points
The game had just begun before Newcastle’s already extensive list of injuries grew a little more. Jetro Willems sprained one knee and landed awkwardly after a fight over the ball with Callum Hudson-Odoi and soon departed on a stretcher, apparently crying.
A hip problem had left Andy Carroll sitting in the stands, protecting his ponytail from the cold of northeast January with a flat cap. He was almost out of his seat when Joelinton connected with a perfectly weighted cross by Federico Fernández and connected an unstoppable header and clearly from Carroll, only to see him bounce off the bottom of the crossbar.
If the ball had crossed the line, it would have been Joelinton’s first goal in the League since August. That would have left Frank Lampard feeling a little hard at a juncture when Chelsea enjoyed about 70% of possession.
However, despite some high-caliber crossings and passes by the exciting and intelligent Reece James, Chelsea was largely limited to half-opportunities. Of course, Martin Dubravka made a couple of decent saves from N’Golo Kanté and then Tammy Abraham, but Newcastle created the best early starts, especially when Jonjo Shelvey’s fabulous high free kick was deflected by the undisputed Fernandez. .
As halftime approached and the cold of the night intensified below zero, the biggest winners seemed to be Barbour International, the South Shields-based clothing company and winter coat specialists. Barbour has recently signed a new sponsorship agreement with Newcastle that involves an apparent takeover of the electronic billboards of the field and local players even arriving for the game wrapped in the company’s insulated jackets.
Much of Chelsea’s game seemed to be semi frozen, lacking the fluidity and fluidity needed to untie Bruce’s back. As much as James delighted in reminding everyone that Gareth Southgate of England has many options to choose from, many of his teammates allowed his undeniable technical safety to be undermined by the absolute stubbornness of the immaculate Newcastle organization.
With this evidence, Southgate should enroll Bruce to train some of those “out of possession” training sessions so dear to FA technocrats in St George’s Park. Certainly, the way Willian closed persistently, diligently and quickly seemed like a great hard job on the training ground.
When the minutes of the second half passed, Lampard’s behavior was that of a man who played with the dials on a portable radio, struggling to find the correct frequency in an area with unreliable reception. His team was not at the correct wavelength and, trying to correct it, the Chelsea manager replaced Mason Mount with Ross Barkley.
A replacement for Newcastle almost gave Lampard’s side to the first game. While the concession of possession of Sean Longstaff offered Abraham a rare clear chance of the striker committing a disaster, his mistake seemed somewhat emblematic of the entire game.
With James limping injured, Chelsea seemed out of ideas when it came to knocking down Newcastle and they paid for such lack of imagination when Joelinton won that decisive corner of detention time, Hayden eluded Kepa Arrizabalaga and Steve Bruce challenged a suspicious and modern knee to give a celebration jump almost as high as the scorer’s. Who needs possession?