The inevitable sacking of Steve Bruce well and truly marked the new owners’ arrival at Newcastle United last week, but with the Magpies as yet unable to send shockwaves in the transfer market, results on the pitch have still been underwhelming.
After going down 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur in front of the raucous St James’ Park crowd, Newcastle fell behind at Crystal Palace through Christian Benteke’s header, but Callum Wilson responded nine minutes later to rescue a point for his side.
Under the temporary charge of Graeme Jones as rumours swirl over Paulo Fonseca’s supposed imminent appointment, Newcastle remain one of three sides without a win in the Premier League this season and remain 19th in the fledgling standings as a result.
Eleven goals scored may represent the highest tally out of the bottom five sides, but Newcastle fans will be desperate to see a greater sense of defensive discipline under Bruce’s successor, as their side have already conceded a joint-high 10 league goals on home soil this term.
The Magpies did overcome Chelsea at home as recently as January 2020, but the Blues eased to a pair of 2-0 victories over Newcastle last term and will aim to follow Tottenham’s lead in spoiling the party in the North East this weekend.
Any perceived notion of Chelsea being a defensive side under Tuchel has been firmly eradicated following recent showings, with the Blues marching to an emphatic 7-0 win over basement side Norwich in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful in gameweek nine.
Mason Mount starred with three goals while Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Max Aarons’s own goal completed the rout in the capital, but Chelsea’s performance in the EFL Cup against Southampton was a far cry from their thrashing of the Canaries.
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After Kai Havertz broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time before Che Adams levelled two minutes after the restart, the Blues came up trumps 4-3 in a nail-biting penalty shootout, with Theo Walcott, Will Smallbone and Mount all missing their spot kicks.
However, that last-16 success represented Chelsea’s fifth win on the bounce in all tournaments as they continue to lead the pack at the top of the Premier League rankings, one point above Liverpool and two clear of Manchester City after nine matches.
The Blues have also taken 10 points from 12 on offer away from home so far this term and have conceded just once on the road in the top flight – the best record in the top flight – but there is a new sense of optimism around St James’ Park right now