It really is one step forward, five steps back FC. Chelsea’s performance, marked by naivety, suffered a severe blow as they slumped to a disheartening 4-1 defeat against an injury-plagued Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday. Despite a lively start, Chelsea failed to convert their early chances but of course to no prevail. In a recurring theme for the Blues over the past couple of years, a familiar sense of disappointment set in, and the Magpies capitalized with their first real opportunity in the 13th minute. Marc Cucurella’s lapse allowed Alexander Isak to stay onside, and the Swede seized the chance, slotting the ball into the net from ten yards out.
Sterling’s exceptional goal leveled the contest, showcasing his continued excellent form. Initiating a counter-attack, he demonstrated veteran experience to draw a foul from Trippier. Captain Reece James deferred the ensuing free kick to the former Manchester City player, who, with a clever approach, precision-placed the ball beyond a static Nick Pope.
The Blues’ frustration in the second half was epitomized by James and Sterling receiving successive yellow cards for kicking the ball away after a free kick was awarded to the hosts. These unnecessary fouls came back to haunt Chelsea, with Jamaal Lascelles enjoying the freedom in the CFC box to head the ball beyond Sanchez and restore the hosts’ lead. A rapid 1-2 punch saw Joelinton score a minute later, with a disastrous mistake from Thiago Silva leaving Chelsea facing a daunting task with half an hour remaining.
However, there was still time for the situation to worsen, and it did. With Anthony Gordon breaking away, James pushed him in the back and received another yellow to sent back to the dressing room.
The makeshift defense could only hold for so long, and Gordon secured Chelsea’s collapse with five minutes of regulation time remaining. Neither Silva nor Badiashile could impede his progress as he rifled the ball into the far corner. That was it, and all the work from earlier in the month was undone.