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Timo Werner scored his first goal since November when Chelsea managed a routine win over Newcastle on Monday night.
The Blues seemed to be in control early on and got ahead early from the start when Werner, who was clearly playing with a point to prove, hit the sideline and threw one towards Olivier Giroud, who converted after the ball finally fell to him.
It seemed like the world was conspiring to deny the German a goal given how many chances he missed, but he finally got his name on the score sheet before the break when he took advantage of Mason Mount’s tremendous delivery to squeeze some effort down the line.
The second half was academic from Chelsea’s perspective. They controlled the game and limited Newcastle to next to nothing, although it took a good save from Kepa Arrizabalaga’s return to deny Joe Willock.
Substitute Reece James almost finished the game within seconds of his introduction, but he would stay 2-0, and here are his player ratings!
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – 6/10 – A surprise inclusion in the team, his first Premier League appearance since October was successful. It was the kind of calm game he would have hoped to get back in, but he confidently kept up a couple of long-range punches and denied Willock with a great reaction save.
César Azpilicueta (CB) – 7/10 – Connected well with Callum Hudson-Odoi to create some interesting overloads down the right flank. He got the ball out of defense well and had no qualms about bursting a stomach to get back into position when he had to.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – 6/10 – Strength and confidence in the air were critical to Chelsea’s dominance of the game.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 6/10 – He seemed a little awkward as a center back playing ball to the left of the three, perhaps a role in which he needs to grow. However, he won his duels and was generally good.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (RWB) – 7/10 – “Wing-back” is a fairly flexible term for his role on the team, which is much closer to what is expected of a traditional winger. But that was how it appeared on the team sheet. Energetic and effective performance even if the end product was sometimes missing.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – 8/10 – He saw more ball than any other Chelsea player and was just barely wrong. Tidy in distribution and unafraid to take a few risks to unlock a compact Newcastle squad.
Jorginho (CM) – 6/10 – Like Kovacic, he saw a lot of the ball, but he wasn’t as ambitious with it. He played it safe most of the time, which was fine for what his team needed.
Marcos Alonso (LWB) – 6/10 – He played a bit deeper than his opposite number on the other side of the field, but still controlled himself and contributed to both phases effectively.
Mason Mount (RW) – 6/10 – The glorious set-piece delivery created Werner’s long-awaited goal. It was one of Mount’s calmest games, but he was still a threat before giving way to 20 to go.
Tammy Abraham (CF) – 5/10 – Shutdown in 20 minutes due to potentially serious injury.
Timo Werner (LW) – 8/10 – Decision making was still a bit erratic at times, but he seemed livelier and more confident than in recent weeks. Great assist for Giroud’s first goal and he was seen begging the football gods for his goal in the first half, which ultimately happened.
Olivier Giroud (Abraham, 20) – 7/10 – Death, taxes and Olivier Giroud from the bench.
N’Golo Kante (Monte, 70) – 6/10 – He added some life and vitality to the midfield just as Chelsea were taking off the gas.
Reece James (Hudson-Odoi, 78) – 5/10 – Immediately tested Karl Darlow with little effort.
Karl Darlow (GK) – 6/10 – He wasn’t particularly busy despite the pattern of the game. He is not to blame for either of the two goals and he is fine.
Emil Krafth (RB) – 5/10 – Positionally erratic and not good enough with the ball to do something in the future.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – 6/10 – He kept things together and landed a couple of thunderous challenges, one of which, unfortunately, ended Tammy Abraham’s game.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – 5/10 – He won’t be the last defender to have a nightmare against Giroud.
Jamal Lewis (LB) – 6/10 – He took a nap for the second goal but covered a lot of ground and held up well against the Hudson-Odoi threat.
Jonjoe Shelvey (CM) – 6/10 – A little wasteful with his final product, but at least he tried to do something for his team.
Isaac Hayden (CM) – 10/7 – He set the pace at Newcastle’s low midfield and recovered the ball on a few occasions. Probably the best performer on your team on a disappointing day at the office.
Joe Willock (CM) – 5/10 – Inexperience shone when the loan from Arsenal really failed to prevail in the game. He did some promising runs late in the game and came up with a good header.
Miguel Almirón (AM) – 5/10 – He seemed to give the ball away as often as he found his man and he wasn’t exactly bursting a lung to get it back later.
Dwight Gayle (CF) – 4/10 – It may have been in single figures for the touches. It’s not even bad, it’s just useless.
Alan Saint-Maximin (CF) – 6/10 – A couple of quality moments but he was isolated for long periods and looked frustrated when he went after Fraser.
Joelinton (Gayle, 64) – 5/10
Ryan Fraser (Saint-Maximin, 72) – 6/10
Andy Carroll (Willock, 79) – 5/10