Newcastle v Chelsea Match in Pictures
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Injury did not stop Romelu Lukaku from enjoying Chelsea’s 3-0 second-half demolition of Newcastle as the Blues showed they can cope without their talismanic striker and Timo Werner comfortably. Thomas Tuchel’s side huffed and puffed in the first half but held their nerve before eventually scoring three times after the break to move three points clear at the summit.
Reece James sent his side on their way with a left-footed thunderbolt that gave Karl Darlow no chance, in what must surely be one of the goals of the weekend.
And the right-back then added a memorable second to continue his hot-streak, having now scored four times in his last five outings.
James would have had the chance to complete his hat-trick had Jorginho handed him the opportunity to take Chelsea’s penalty after Kai Havertz was fouled by Darlow.
The Italian was not prepared to be complacent though as he drove his penalty home from 12-yards.
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His team-mate Lukaku, who stayed behind in London as he steps up his recovery from an ankle injury, summed up Chelsea’s performance perfectly.
The Belgian tweeted “Sheesh” as the Blues made it three, while Liverpool surrendered a two-goal lead against Brighton and Crystal Palace won 2-0 at Manchester City.
Lukaku was clearly engrossed in the action on Saturday afternoon, tweeting, “Get in” as James blasted home the first.
“Bang,” was the responding message as the right-back added the second.
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Havertz was deployed as a false-nine in Lukaku and Werner’s absence.
Chelsea were dealt another blow though shortly before the game as Mason Mount was ruled out with illness.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech provided support for the German but both were lacking composure in front of goal.
That wasn’t the case with James, who was clearly delighted with his afternoon’s work and he admitted Chelsea feared what Newcastle side they might face following the takeover.
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“I think the first one was probably the better goal on my weaker foot – it was a good finish,” he told Match of the Day.
“We knew coming here would be a tough game. We had to break them down and it took a lot of time.
“A lot has happened with their club since the start of the season so you never knew what their approach would be like when things are new.”
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