Warner ends goal drought as Chelsea beat Newcastle go fourth

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Timo Werner scored and assisted as he ended a 14-game goal drought to help Chelsea to victory over Newcastle in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge. Werner’s cross rebounded out to Olivier Giroud to net Chelsea’s opener in the first half, after the France striker replaced the injured Tammy Abraham. Summer signing Werner then made it 2-0 eight minutes later, scrambling in a flick-on at the back post.

Victory sees Chelsea move back up to fourth place, ahead of West Ham. The Hammers, who comfortably beat Sheffield United earlier on Monday night, are level on points with Chelsea but both sides sit above defending champions Liverpool as competition for Champions League places heats up.

“We knew we had the opportunity to jump into the top four,” Tuchel told BBC Sport. “We took this chance and the guys get a well deserved two days off now. “There was a big gap between us when we started. It’s not over. Now we’ve made it and it’s the moment to hang in and keep on showing the hunger we had. We’ve made this big step today. We have to follow up and not lose any intensity or determination.”

1,000 minutes, 31 attempts, 14 game

Timo Werner
Werner looked back to check his strike had crossed the line before celebrating

Werner came into this match having not scored since a 4-1 win against bottom side Sheffield United on 7 November. He had chances within the opening half an hour with the best coming from Marcos Alonso’s header which Werner poked wide.

It threatened to be a similar story for Werner, who has been creative for Chelsea this season but has failed to deliver goals following a high-profile move from RB Leipzig in the summer. But after taking a whack in the face from Newcastle defender Jamal Lewis and running off to receive treatment, Werner returned to the pitch to provide a cross that ultimately came to Giroud to coolly thump into the net, and the German added Chelsea’s second from a corner before half-time.

It was Werner’s first goal in exactly 1,000 minutes of Premier League action for Chelsea and ended a run of 31 attempts without scoring – he even had to wait for a video assistant referee decision before being allowed to celebrate properly, which he did with a relieved smile. His performance capped off another positive result for Chelsea under new boss Thomas Tuchel, who handed a start to out-of-favor goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and came through unscathed.

It was Arrizabalaga’s first league start since a 3-3 draw with Southampton on 17 October after losing his position under former manager Frank Lampard. The Blues have now picked up 13 points from a possible 15 under the new leadership, winning four successive league matches in a row for the first time since November 2019.

Tuchel described it as “the perfect evening” but admitted Abraham’s injury was “serious enough he had to go out and we worry about him”.

Premier League table graphic
Chelsea and West Ham sit level on points, while defending champions Liverpool slip to fifth in the table

Newcastle struggle to compete

Newcastle had picked up two wins from their previous three league matches after a burst in form but they struggled to compete with an in-form Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge. Abraham’s injury, as a result of Jamaal Lascelles’ strong recovery tackle in the box, saw the introduction of Giroud, who has enjoyed playing Newcastle and scored his ninth goal against them in the league.

Werner caused the defense problems too, and when Newcastle were able to get on the ball creative players Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin were short of options. Newcastle did ride a wave of pressure in the second half as Reece James, Werner and Mason Mount all came close to adding to Chelsea’s tally.

But the visitors’ best chance – Joe Willock’s header which was scrambled away by Arrizabalaga – did not come until the 74th minute, when Chelsea were in complete control. Almiron drilled another effort wide minutes later and Newcastle had all four of their shots on target after the break but they never really threatened to get into game.

Newcastle players react to conceding
Newcastle sit seven points above the relegation zone in 17th place

 

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