3 things learned from Chelsea's hard fought win over Newcastle United
Rafa Benitez had the daunting task of stopping a Chelsea side who are looking lively and vibrant under new manager Maurizio Sarri. He has instilled the attacking philosophy which he so famously displayed at Napoli.
After winning their opening two games, Chelsea looked to carry on with their winning streak. Whereas Newcastle were looking to upset the visitors and get a confidence booster.
In the first half, Chelsea was the better team with more passes, more possession of the ball, and more chances created. However, they lacked the final shot to break Newcastle's defense.
The best chance of the first half fell to Rondon, as his header went past the post. The two sides went into the break with no breakthrough.
Chelsea began the second half on the front foot with an Azpilicueta shot which was blocked by Dúbravka. They kept pushing hard for the breakthrough, with some quick movements and short one touch passing. The first real chance for The Blues came from a thunderous long range shot from Rudiger which rattled the crossbar.
Finally the breakthrough came in the 77th minute when Alonso was controversially hacked down in the penalty box. Hazard stepped up to convert the penalty, giving Chelsea the lead.
That was soon canceled out when Joselu headed home from a Yedlin cross, it was all square again at St. James. Chelsea was back in front however when Alonso's low shot was unfortunately deflected onto the back of the net by Yedlin.
Here are the three talking points from the game at St. James Park.
#3 Morata's poor form
Despite scoring two goals, The Blues failed to create many chances despite the large number of passes and possession they had. The lack of a quality center forward is evident. Morata was heavily criticised last season for his finishing, and he similarly looked far from his best in this match.
Chelsea expects a lot from him this season, but if he fails to deliver despite the number of opportunities he is getting, it won't be long before he is benched.