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Timo Werner on target as clinical Chelsea see off Newcastle to climb to fourth


Clinical, ruthless and back in the top four.

There weeks ago Roman Abramovich didn’t know where Chelsea ’s next win was coming from. Now the Blues’ billionaire benefactor will feel vindicated today over his decision to sack Frank Lampard.

Victory here to sink Newcastle was their fourth on the bounce in the Premier League under Thomas Tuchel and their fifth in a row in all competitions.

It lifted the club above West Ham and Liverpool into a Champions League place, for the first time since December. This really is a crazy season.

Man of the match was Timo Werner whose refusal to accept his rotten luck in front of goal paid off with his first Premier League strike in 14 games, 31 attempts, 100 days and 1000 minutes.



Olivier Giroud is congratulated after opening the scoring
Olivier Giroud is congratulated after opening the scoring

Olivier Giroud had come off the bench to open the scoring after Tammy Abraham had been forced off with injury just 20 minutes in.

Tuchel, who could not have wished for a better start, was even able to breathe confidence into £71million keeper Kepa who made his first top flight start since October, ahead of Eduard Mendy.

Abramovich and his chief negotiator Marina Granovskaia, understandably want a return on their investment in their big signings. The second-half saves made by the Spanish stopper – particularly the 74th-minute one from Joe Willock – will have done him the power of good.



Timo Werner scrambles the ball over the line for Chelsea's second goal
Timo Werner scrambles the ball over the line for Chelsea’s second goal

He was helped overall, though, by Chelsea’s defensive strength (four Premier League clean sheets in their last five) which is providing the platform for their resurgence.

The first-half action was all one way with early Chelsea chances for Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta. Then Tammy Abraham went down in the box under a challenge from Jamal Lascelles.

It looked a penalty. Referee Peter Bankes decided otherwise but Abraham could not continue.



Werner wheels away in celebration after his goal
Werner wheels away in celebration after his goal

Giroud replaced him and Chelsea continued to dominate with Werner setting up the Frenchman for the opening goal.

He crossed from the left, Darlow collided with two of his defenders and Giroud swept home the loose ball for his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

Seven minutes before the break Werner ended his drought to add to his assist. Mason Mount sent in a corner, the ball was flicked on to the back post and there was Werner to sweep it over the line.



Chelsea players congratulate Werner on his strike which helped lift them into fourth
Chelsea players congratulate Werner on his strike which helped lift them into fourth

Newcastle’s defeat ended their brief resurgence which saw them win two of their previous three after eleven games within a win.

Nobody will judge Steve Bruce on what his men do against the likes of Chelsea and next Sunday’s opponents Manchester United.

But his men, seven points clear of the drop zone, can’t afford to take safety for granted. They need to keep looking over their shoulders. Chelsea can start looking up.





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