It’s still a 100% winning start to the 2018/19 season for Chelsea – but they had to continue that run the hard way with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Newcastle.
It looked like the Blues were set for a point after Joselu’s late header cancelled out Eden Hazard’s 76th-minute penalty.
But DeAndre Yedlin inadvertently diverted Marcos Alonso’s volley into his own net to give the Blues all three points at a ground where they have struggled to get results in recent seasons.
Chelsea didn’t create too many opportunities in the first-half as they found it hard to break down their very passive opponents.
Jacob Murphy had a shot early on but perhaps should have passed left to Paul Dummett who was in acres of space.
The visitors first threatened through Pedro, who was denied his third goal of the season when he forced Martin Dubravka into making a smart save.
After the break, Cesar Azpilicueta forced the Magpies glovesman into another save after slick build-up play from Chelsea.
On the hour, Fabian Schar did brilliantly to intercept Pedro’s inviting cross with Alvaro Morata waiting to pounce in the box.
It looked like the game was drifting into a goalless draw but things burst into life when Antonio Rudiger’s long-range effort slammed against the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Alonso went down in the box after a challenge with Schar and a penalty was awarded. However, Newcastle can feel hard-done-by as Schar managed to get a touch on the ball.
Hazard made no mistake from the spot to put the away side 1-0 up.
Newcastle – clearly feeling aggrieved at the penalty – came out of their shells and found themselves level when substitute Joselu snuck round the back of David Luiz to head the ball inside the near post.
Both sides were looking for the winner but it was Chelsea who found it when Yedlin turned Alonso’s menacing volley into his own net to preserve the Blues’ 100% start to the season.
This was not an easy match for Chelsea to express themselves going forward but Hazard was still streets ahead of anyone on the pitch.
His penalty put Chelsea ahead but perhaps what the Belgian should be credited for more is the fact he was able to continue getting up despite being hacked to the floor time and again by the Newcastle players.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The first 70 minutes were pretty forgettable but it all seemed to get going after Rudiger’s long-range shot hit the bar.
From that point, it was a very exciting contest as both sides threw everything to try and get the result they wanted. Perhaps Rudiger’s shot woke everyone up!
Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Schar (Muto 79), Clark, Dummett, Murphy (Perez 73), Ki, Diame, Ritchie, Rondon (Joselu 62)
Subs not used: Sterry, Darlow, Atsu, Longstaff
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic (Barkley 78), Pedro (Willian 68), Morata (Giroud 65), Hazard
Subs not used: Loftus-Cheek, Caballero, Zappacosta, Christensen