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Timo Werner scored his first Premier League goal since November, as his instrumental performance helped Chelsea beat the Premier League 2-0 over Newcastle United.
Werner’s drought, dating back to a 4-1 win over Sheffield United on 7 November, has been well documented, but he landed the goal his performance deserved in a routine win.
His goal followed a first goal by Olivier Giroud in the 31st minute by Werner, and Newcastle never threatened a comeback after two goals in the space of eight minutes.
Chelsea comfortably completed a league double over Newcastle and moved into the top four as a result of a fifth straight win over Thomas Tuchel, who has been undefeated in six since replacing Frank Lampard.
A brilliant start at Chelsea saw Dwight Gayle forced to head a header from Cesar Azpilicueta behind for a corner from which Tammy Abraham sent a wide free header.
Abraham was forced to retire due to injury in the 20th minute after having previously fallen under a strong but fair challenge from Jamaal Lascelles, and the VAR rejected the penalty requests.
Werner turned down an excellent opportunity when he reached for Marcos Alonso’s header, but only managed to deflect it.
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 15, 2021
But creating Chelsea’s first goal in the half hour, his low cross fell into the path of Giroud, who lunged at an unguarded net in his 100th Premier League appearance as a substitute.
Werner then lifted a half volley over the crossbar, but his drought was finally over when Mason Mount’s corner drifted his way into the far post and got enough contact to swing the ball over the line before Karl Darlow could start it. .
Newcastle was more of a threat in the second half, Kepa Arrizabalaga forced a nosedive save from Joe Willock, but the three points were never in doubt for Chelsea.
What does that mean? Tuchel continues to change
Tougher tests await Chelsea, who were in command here from kick-off, especially next week when they face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League before taking on Manchester United.
But the way they swept Newcastle is cause for further optimism that Tuchel’s good form can be sustained. A meek display from the visitors suggests a prolonged fight against relegation, with Fulham gaining ground over the magpies, which is ranked 17th.
Wait for Werner
Werner’s goal was his first in exactly 1,000 minutes in the league and ended a streak of 31 attempts without finding the net. It was just a reward for an energetic and thorough display of the Germany international.
1000: Timo Werner has scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea in exactly 1000 minutes, since scoring against Sheffield United in November, ending a streak of 31 attempts without finding the back of the net in the competition. Relief. #CHENEW pic.twitter.com/1DaodRBhBU
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 15, 2021
Newcastle offers nothing
Newcastle have seen something of a fortune resurgence in recent weeks, but their lack of attacking threat here was marked. Steve Bruce’s men failed to get a shot on goal in the first half and the signs of life after the restart yielded nothing tangible.
Opta key facts:
Chelsea have won eight consecutive home games in the top flight against an opponent (Newcastle) for the first time since winning nine in a row against West Brom between 1984 and 2013.
– Thomas Tuchel has added 13 points in his first five Premier League games with Chelsea (4 wins and 1 draw), tied with José Mourinho’s first five with the club and surpassed only by Carlo Ancelotti and Maurizio Sarri (15 sts each).
– The German is only the third manager to see his team concede just one goal in his first five Premier League games as manager, after Mourinho with Chelsea and Peter Taylor with Leicester (no manager has scored any goals in his first five matches in charge in the competition).
– In his 100th Premier League appearance as a substitute, Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud scored his 21st goal in the competition from the bench, with only Jermain Defoe scoring more (24).
– Giroud has scored nine Premier League goals against Newcastle, their best overall performance against an opponent in the competition (also 9 against Aston Villa).
On Saturday Chelsea visit Southampton, Newcastle visit Old Trafford to face Manchester United a day later.