Kai Havertz stayed on the pitch despite VAR review of a bloody foul and scored the 89th-minute winner as Chelsea secured a controversial 1-0 win over in-form Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Newcastle’s plan to let Chelsea have the ball and counter with vigor nearly paid off, as the Magpies took one fewer shot than the Blues.
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The problem? A sensational 89th-minute goal from Havertz was the difference and not without controversy as Havertz dodged a red card for cracking Dan Burn in the head with an elbow and Trevoh Chalobah dodged a penalty for his double shirt-pull on Jacob Murphy.
Chelsea keeps its nine-point lead on fourth-place Man United and is seven back of second-place Liverpool. Newcastle remains in 14th with 31 points, nine clear of the bottom three.
Chelsea vs Newcastle final score, stats
Chelsea 1, Newcastle 0
Goals scored: Havertz (89′)
Shots: Chelsea 8, Newcastle 7
Shots on target: Chelsea 3, Newcastle 2
Possession: Chelsea 73, Newcastle 27
Three things we learned from Chelsea vs Newcastle
1. Atmosphere chaotic, frenetic, troubling: Chelsea’s fans love their club and have seemingly embraced a — pardon the term — siege mentality around is as Russian owner Roman Abramovich has been forced to leave the club amid perceived close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the country’s much-condemned invasion of Ukraine. The combination of newly-rich Newcastle supporters chanting their financial superiority and more than a few Chelsea fans in very proud defiance of Abramovich was not a welcome situation and perhaps that uncertainty translated to the pitch for a foul-happy affair. Here’s the latest on all of the uncertainty at Chelsea.
2. In-form Havertz falls out of form, dodges red, : Six of Kai Havertz’s 15 goal contributions for Chelsea this season have come in February, the 22-year-old finding chemistry with Christian Pulisic amongst others. But Havertz struggled in the first half and was perhaps fortunate to stay on the field into halftime when he swung his arm into Dan Burn during an aerial challenge, sending the gigantic Newcastle defender to the turf with a head wound. VAR decided Havertz’s yellow suited the incident, and he continued the match.
Trevoh Chalobah had a physical 50:50 with Jacob Murphy just before the hour mark that ended with a Newcastle corner and the Magpies winger incredulous on the turf. VAR upheld the call despite replays showing a fistful of shirt (twice). And the match reached near fisticuffs when Hakim Ziyech’s boot caught Bruno Guimares’ head .
3. Chalobah dodges penalty: Trevoh Chalobah had a physical 50:50 with Jacob Murphy just before the hour mark that ended with a Newcastle corner and the Magpies winger incredulous on the turf. VAR upheld the call despite replays showing a fistful of shirt (twice). And the match reached near fisticuffs when Hakim Ziyech’s boot caught Bruno Guimares’ head. Again, no red card. For all of the terrible news off the field, the Blues caught nearly every break on it.
Man of the Match: Jorginho — Havertz’s first touch on his terrific late winner was sensational, but Chelsea’s metronome opened the top on Newcastle’s back line with his invitation. Working against Newcastle’s midfield hasn’t been easy of late, but Jorginho continues to show his class on a near-weekly basis regardless of opponent.
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Havertz takes his (second) chance
As well as Newcastle has played, Magpies fans might’ve not expected to see the game 0-0 heading into the final 20 minutes. But that’s when Allan Saint-Maximin subbed into the match for Newcastle to match Chelsea’s insertion of Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic. It was clear we were in for an entertaining finale in a match that Chelsea — given the below controversy — was probably fortunate to remain a part of the affair. Of course, red-card dodger Havertz scored an incredible goal in a thrilling final 20 minutes.