Chelsea have moved up to 3rd place in the Premier League ahead of today’s 3pm kickoffs following their 2-0 victory at Newcastle in the lunchtime kickoff.
The most controversial decision of the game came inside 4 minutes when David Luiz brought down Demba Ba as the last man. Referee Mike Down only brandished the Brazilian defender a yellow card when the laws of the game state a red would been the correct decision.
Luiz looked shaky early on but Newcastle failed to capitalise on this. At one point the defender got under a cross for which Demba Ba met with a header onto the post. Ba, Newcastle’s top scorer this season had earlier seen an effort well tipped over by Petr Cech.
Chelsea’s first opportunity of the match came in the 14th minute when Yohan Cabaye tripped Daniel Sturridge inside the penalty area. Frank Lampard’s effort from the spot was pushed onto the post by Tim Krul, who had stepped off his line before the kick was taken.
The Chelsea defence put in a solid performance in this game to record their first back-to-back clean sheets of the season. John Terry cleared an effort off the line from Sammy Ameobi at 1-0.
The visitors sealed the victory late on. First, after Fernando Torres had squandered a one-on-one opportunity with some poor dribbling, the £50 million Spaniard poked the ball to substitute Salomon Kalou who smashed home from inside the area.
Then in stoppage time, Daniel Sturridge smashed home an effort to make the scoreline appear emphatic for the Blues. Newcastle, obviously with few players back defending as they went all out in attack in the final few minutes in search of a goal themselves.
Sturridge had several opportunities throughout the game, most of them in the first half. But the young Englishman playing on the right wing and being given endless space by Ryan Taylor was both wasteful and denied on several occasions by Tim Krul. The Newcastle goalkeeper put in a man of the match-like performance.
Back-to-back 3-0 victories in the league will ease pressure on Andre Villas-Boas. This result moves Chelsea up to 3rd place, 7 points behind leaders Manchester City who also have a game in hand.
Chelsea’s odds with Betfair are as follows:
Top 4 finish: 1.47
Top 3 finish: 1.95
Top 2 finish: 4.7