Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle Match Report – 13th February 2016

Chelsea got a much-needed victory as they hammered Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. It was hard to tell if the Blues had returned to form, or if the Magpies were just abysmal. Diego Costa and Pedro capitalised early on, before Willian, Pedro again and Bertrand Traore boosted the scoreline. The visitors got a consolation, denying Chelsea a clean sheet.

Guus Hiddink made a few changes from the sidethat faced Manchester United, with John Obi Mikel a surprising absentee. Nemanja Matic’s suspension in the Champions League explains why Hiddink left out his favourite Nigerian here. Eden Hazard returned to the team, while Oscar missed out through injury, as Pedro stepped up to take his place.

It was a stronger team than many expected, as Hiddink could have been forgiven for starting with a weak XI here ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game at Paris Saint-Germain. The team he did pick made a blistering start in this one, with Diego Costa hitting the opener within two minutes of the match starting. Costa was forced to wear a protective mask after breaking his nose in training, but that didn’t stop him turning in the first goal of the game.

The flying start kept going, as the Blues were 2-0 ahead within 10 minutes. Pedro was sent clear of a poor Newcastle defence after an error from Rolando Aarons, and he finished well to put the champions in charge of this clash. At that stage, the Toon defence looked about as confused as the Stamford Bridge faithful.

Costa turned provider for goal number three, as he sent Willian through to further the lead. The Brazilian scored his fourth league goal of a season, a total which seemed low given his great season so far. That was enough to give Hiddink’s side a big half time lead, a scoreline that we’ve not seen for a while in league action. The only blemish on that first half was an injury to John Terry, who hobbled off to be replaced by Adbul Baba Rahman.

Pedro got his second goal of the game, his fourth goal of the season, just before the hour mark. The Spanish winger didn’t impress with his play in general, but he was pretty ruthless with his finishing, adding more gloss to an impressive score, dumping more misery on to the travelling Newcastle fans.

Following that, Hiddink replaced Diego Costa, giving him a rest before Tuesday, with Bertrand Traore coming on to replace him. The young forward got on the scoresheet 20 minutes after joining the action, getting his second goal for the club following his cameo in the cup against MK Dons. Andros Townsend struck late for Newcastle, but it didn’t do much to ruin the Chelsea fans’ day.

Following that game, focus turns to the Champions League in midweek, with a trip to Paris on Tuesday night. Next weekend is cup action, with Manchester City the visitors to the Bridge.

LCN Man of the Match: Cesc Fabregas