Chelsea earn win in front of owners to buy Mauricio Pochettino breathing space

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino and Axel Disasi celebrate

Chelsea co-controlling owners Behdad Eghbali and Todd Boehly were finally given something to smile about and it was not just the presence of comedy actor Adam Sandler alongside them at Stamford Bridge.

Eghbali and Boehly, along with shareholder Hansjorg Wyss and Sandler, were in the stands for what could have been an uncomfortable evening for the owners and head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

But with patience running out among Chelsea fans who chanted against Pochettino at Boehly at Brentford, Nicolas Jackson, Cole Palmer and substitute Mykhailo Mudryk, three of the owners’ big signings, lifted the mood around the club – for this week at least.

It should really have been a more comfortable win after Alexander Isak had equalised for Newcastle, but a Jacob Murphy goal in the 90th minute ensured a nervy finale. The final whistle was greeted by a cheer of relief from not only the Chelsea fans, but also from Pochettino and his staff who clearly knew it was a big night under the watchful eye of both Eghbali and Boehly.

“Winning the game was important for us and for our fans, to be a little bit more calm,” said Pochettino. “The most important thing is to try to translate reality. We are all agreed that the fans are right to complain. But we are right to not give up. It was great to see the players fighting, performing, OK, not maybe great but caring about the team. Good credit to everybody.”

Co-owner and Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly
Chelsea chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge on Monday night - Reuters/David Klein

Revealing Boehly had taken his son into the dressing room, Pochettino added: “He came with his son and with Behdad. It was a nice chat. For only a few minutes because I need to come for interviews. But it was good. The relationship is good.”

Chelsea can now go into Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City with optimism, but Newcastle’s season is in danger of unravelling with a last-eight tie against Manchester City to come. Apart from Isak’s brilliant goal, there was little in this sloppy performance to suggest Newcastle will cause a Cup shock against City and Eddie Howe’s men are stuck in mid-table.

Just as his squad appeared to be returning to something nearing full fitness, Howe suffered a new injury blow to Anthony Gordon, who was forced off in the first half, but was hopeful Dan Burn, who also went off, had not suffered a significant problem.

“We’re not sure what the diagnosis is [on Gordon],” said Howe. “He’s got a knee problem. He said he had a pain which just came on. We fear it’s not looking too good. It was a huge moment in the game. Of course he will be disappointed to go off, especially in front of [England manager] Gareth Southgate.”

Newcastle United's Anthony Gordon (centre) after being substituted off for a possible injury as he speaks to manager Eddie Howe

Sandler, the star of Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer, had barely settled into his seat when Chelsea took an early lead. Palmer played a pass out to Malo Gusto, whose cross was not properly cleared by Sven Botman.

Palmer fired the ball back towards goal and Jackson produced a brilliant flick to beat Martin Dubravka. Along with his second-half goal, Palmer’s contribution will surely have impressed Southgate, who was in the crowd and names his latest squad on Thursday.

The goal was Jackson’s 12th for Chelsea and his ninth in the Premier League, drawing him level with the number of yellow cards he has received. With Chelsea on top for the opening half-an-hour, the home fans took the opportunity to remind the club’s owners of their feelings towards Conor Gallagher, whose future remains in doubt. Murphy replaced the injured Gordon and his introduction invigorated Newcastle, who equalised through an excellent goal from Isak.

Gusto was punished for trying to juggle the ball in his own half, as Bruno Guimaraes got hold of it and played in Isak, who made the most of Axel Disasi standing off him to curl a shot into the corner. Newcastle started the second half quickly, as Isak played the ball to Miguel Almiron, whose shot was tipped over the bar by Djordje Petrovic, but Chelsea wrestled the initiative back to retake the lead. And it was Palmer who scored Chelsea’s second goal.

There did not look to be too much danger when Enzo Fernandez gave the summer signing the ball 20 yards from goal, but his left-foot shot went through the legs of Botman and beat Dubravka at his near post.

Cole Palmer of Chelsea celebrates scoring their second goal with Enzo Fernandez
Cole Palmer scored his 11th goal of the season - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

It moved Palmer to 19 Premier League goal involvements for the season and he has undoubtedly been the bright spot of Chelsea’s season so far.

Palmer’s goal came in the 57th minute and moments later Raheem Sterling should have wrapped up the three points as he was sent scampering away on goal. Sterling only had Dubravka to beat, but allowed Newcastle’s defenders time to get back by taking an age to round the keeper and Burn blocked his eventual shot on the line.

Mudryk replaced Sterling and managed to go one better than his team-mate by not only rounding Dubravka, but also finding the net. Jackson carried the ball down the left and played it inside to the Ukrainian, who nutmegged Tino Livramento and got past Dubravka before scoring.

Murphy hit a stunning goal of his own in the 90th minute to ensure an anxious finish, but Chelsea got over the line.

Chelsea survive late Newcastle surge: As it happened

11:03 PM GMT

So a good result for Chelsea

Like Eddie Howe says, bit of a strange game. Lacking in quality and both sides made a lot mistakes, but five goals, at least three of them excellent. You would back either of these to turn up on any give day with confidence but Cole Palmer is a guy you could build a young side around, and maybe he can keep Pochettino in post for long enough for his ‘project’ to work. Doubt it but there you go. For Newcastle, just too many individual errors. Enjoyable enough game and thanks for following. Matt Law’s report will appear above. Cheers for reading.

10:51 PM GMT

more Wrighty

“I hadn’t learned about linking play. In Sunday games I could just get the ball over the top. I watched videos of everyone, Paul Walsh, Lineker, how Mick Harford held the ball up.

“Mark Bright was like a big brother to me. I never lost that Sunday morning vibe, if we have to go out there in the carpark then come on then. But he would tell me, stay on your feet, how to gamble, when to run.”

10:47 PM GMT

Ian Wright

“I don’t know why I failed trails. I was very grudgeful towards scouts. I scored goals in trials, I had pace. I was having trials at Dulwich Hamlet and Palace offered me a two week trial and I said I don’t know if I can afford to because I had just got a decent job at Tunnel Refineries in Greenwich. Shaun was three, Bradley was just born. I scored at Brighton trial, at Swindon. When they told me you’re not going to make it, I got the train back from Brighton.... I don’t think I could have been lower than that in my life.”

Tells a great one now about getting muddled up and went to Crystal Palace running track not the stadium.

10:43 PM GMT

Lovely little package

about Ian Wright on Sky Sports MNF. Some rightly brilliant tributes from teammates and colleagues, ending with Roy Keane saying “People are going over the top, but you are a decent bloke” (tongue in cheek).

10:35 PM GMT

M Pochettino

“Massive three points. Newcastle are so, so, so good. We scored three, very satisfied. Disappointed with the way we conceded. But this is the first time we played with this defensive line and they will become more coordinated.

“This group of players will fight to give the players the best things. It helped that we scored at the beginning and our fans were behind us. Fans need to trust in us.”

10:25 PM GMT

Eddie Howe to Sky Sports

“Strange game, frustrating for us. We started really well, really good in spells. Few chances but a high scoring game.

“We were competitive, creative. It was more the goals we conceded. First one was out of the blue. We didn’t defend the situation well for all three goals.

“A familiar feeling for us on the road. There was a lot of good but overall we are deflated. The quality we have, we should be defending better.

“Anthony Gordon, there was no one moment where he felt an injury. He was in quiet a bit of pain at half time. We don’t know what it is yet.

“We were inconsistent in the game, some good bits, but we conceded those goals. A strange feeling for me tonight in that there is promise there and I know we can hit the heights but we are not doing that.”

10:12 PM GMT

Cole Palmer to Sky Sports

“We showed passion and courage to win the second balls. We are a young team and we are going to make mistakes.

“With the goal, I thought I am so close to the defender, if I can get it through his legs it will go in.

“I was ready to play week in, week out and it’s worked out. It was a very difficult decision to leave City, I had been there since I was six. But I had a chat with my family and the club and it has worked out.

“If you told me at the start of the season I’d have a chance of being at the Euros I would not have believed you. But I’m not really focusing on that.

“There is so much talent at Chelsea. You guys don’t see it and the fans don’t see it. BUt the way that the manager works with us, things are only going to get better. if not next season, then the season after... It’s a project, everyone is trying to play well. You will see it sooner or later.”

09:59 PM GMT

Full time: Chelsea 3 Newcastle 2

Chelsea had the best player on the pitch, in the shape of Cole Palmer, and probably deserve the win on the balance of things. Both sides have huge flaws but there were some enjoyable goals in this, as it goes.

09:56 PM GMT

90+ mins: Chelsea 3 Newcastle 2

Mudryk gets the ball on a give and go and is hauled down by White. That should give Chelsea enough field position and time to see this one out.

09:52 PM GMT

GOAL! Chelsea 3 Newcastle 2 (Murphy 90)

Woof! It’s not been a high quality game but you cannot fault some of the finishing. Chelsea back off Murphy and allow him to run at them, and the sub has let rip with an absolute howitzer of a shot! He crashes the ball at the goal and beats the Chelsea keeper at the front post.

Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy thunders home
Wang! Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy thunders home - Reuters

09:51 PM GMT

89 mins: Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1

Occasional rather limp thrusts from the Geordies, although Chelsea are sufficiently spineless that you never quite know.

09:49 PM GMT

Todd’s enjoying himself

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly
Heartening sights! Chelsea owner Todd Boehly - Shutterstock

09:46 PM GMT

Here’s the third goal

Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk
Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk - Action Images via Reuters

09:38 PM GMT

GOAL! Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1 (Mudryk 75)

Jackson comes down the left and slips it to Gallagher who is tackled by, erm, Mudryk! But the Ukrainian player surges forward evades a tackle, goes around another man and slots the ball away!

09:32 PM GMT

71 mins: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1

For Newcastle, Krafth and Anderson are coming on for Burn and Almiron.

Chelsea keeper Petrovic is booked for time wasting. Moises Caicedo also sees a yellow for tripping Tino Livramento.

09:31 PM GMT

70 mins: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1

Sterling coming off, the hapless Mudryk coming on.

09:28 PM GMT

65 mins: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1

Newcastle with a long deep ball into the Chelsea area, big Dan Burn gets up, heads it wide and then, well what goes up must come down, poor Dan has landed heavily.

09:20 PM GMT

58 mins: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1

Ah, so nearly three. Raheem Sterling onto a long ball, goes around the keeper, but Dan Burn does brilliantly to get back and clears it off the line!

Jim White: “Hand that man a white shirt immediately. Cole Palmer has just scored a beauty. After a couple of his more ambitious attempts to pass through the Newcastle back line had been interrupted by defenders’ shins, Chelsea’s best player has been rewarded for his ambition. Receiving the ball on the edge of the area, he calmly turned, took a couple of yards and, under no pressure from the defence that appeared to think he is too far out to shoot, put the ball beyond Dubravka into the corner of the Newcastle net. Southgate will surely appreciate that such panache needs to be promoted.”

09:19 PM GMT

GOAL! Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1 (Palmer 56)

Newcastle making so many mistakes, and their latest one is to leave Palmer too much space in the inside right channel. Receives the ball on the half term and strokes it past the keeper. Quality bit of forward play.


09:15 PM GMT

53 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1

Game’s a lot more open, and watchable, than in the first dig. Chelsea have just surged forward and a ball is flashed across goal by Palmer. Again, just needed a touch. Neither Sterling nor Gallagher could get to it.

09:12 PM GMT

51 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1

Jim White writes: “Raheem Sterling’s every attempt at goal is greeted by a chorus of Newcastle fans telling him Southgate was right to drop him from England. I paraphrase. Their critique is a lot more pointed.”

09:08 PM GMT

47 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1

Newcastle make a bright start to the second half. A fierce Almiron shot leads to a corner, and then a whipped ball in that is begging for a touch from a Newcastle forward.

08:59 PM GMT

Hat act

08:54 PM GMT

Half time: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1

Not much to write home about in terms of quality, but it’s well contested. As I understand it, Chelsea were valued at three billion dollars recently. That seems an... overestimation of their worth, in terms of the football team at least. Newcastle were significantly worse yet for some of this but jammed their way back in with a goal. Forgettable fare so far, but perhaps the second half will bring more to charm and cheer.

Here is Jim White.

“Newcastle may have been lacklustre and unadventurous. But fortunately they are playing Chelsea. And a couple of hapless and hopeless attempts to clear their lines (Chalobah’s clearance particularly wretched) enabled Alexander Isak to steal into the area and shoot past Dyoirdje Petrovic to equalise. Terrible defending.”

08:47 PM GMT

45 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1

Chelsea have the ball in the net. Jackson was sent clear. Botman and Schar in a confused moment: one steps up and the other disnae. But they get the lucky break, because Jackson had not timed the run quite right. Decent finish, as it happens, but it’s definitely offside.

08:45 PM GMT

GOAL! Chelsea 1 Newcastle 1 (Isak 42)

A really low quality passage of play as Chelsea and Newcastle take turns to lose the ball but it’s Chelsea who end up paying for it, because this donkey derby business is taking place just outside the Chelsea box. The ball breaks for Isak, who takes a touch and strokes it past the keeper. Low quality game, low quality exchange, but a nicely hit finish - out of nothing really.

These clubs valued at, what, six squillion combined or something but that was amateurish stuff.

Alexander Isak of Newcastle United scores
Alexander Isak of Newcastle United scores - Getty

Ian Wright tells Sky Sports viewers: “The key is to move it quick and then bang. The goalkeeper will not have been able to see it - too precise from Isak.”

08:42 PM GMT

Gutted for Gordon

Newcastle's Gordon suffered a leg injury
Newcastle's Gordon suffered a leg injury under the watching eye of the England manager - Getty

08:40 PM GMT

38 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

We have the game’s first yellow, it goes to Raheem for clipping the heels of Livramento.

And, shame: we’ve just the game’s first sub as well.

Jim White: “That’s it for Anthony Gordon’s audition in front of Gareth Southgate. He went down in a challenge from Marc Cucurella, and, judging by the howl of pain he emitted when the Newcastle physio attempted to right his leg, has suffered a significant injury. He hobbled off, to be replaced by Jacob Murphy.”

08:35 PM GMT

34 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Cucurella shoves and barges Gordon to the floor. The England hopeful has hurt his knee as a result.

08:33 PM GMT

31 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Little spell for Newcastle. They’ve got a corner. Taken short.

Bruno G tries to play it through with a slide rule pass but Chels have plenty back.

08:29 PM GMT

27 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Almiron with signs of life down the left but stopped by a decent tackle.

08:27 PM GMT

25 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Chelsea have been a bit of a shower when I’ve watched them this season, but this is a supine effort from Newcastle so far, my goodness. Second to everything and looking like they’ve only just met each other.

08:21 PM GMT

19 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Wretched from Newcastle who have several opportunities to tackle Sterling, but don’t. Eventually breaks for Jackson to have a shot.

08:16 PM GMT

14 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Livramento, who is in the side because Trippier is hurt, is hobbling.

08:10 PM GMT

9 mins: Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0

Guimares and Caciedo battle for the ball, the latter appears to have been struck by an articulated lorry by a hand in the tummy and is carrying on like he might die.

Here is Jim White

“In the race to attract Gareth Southgate’s attention, Cole Palmer has just stolen a march on Anthony Gordon by conjuring up a fine goal. Picking up the ball after a poor clearance from Sven Botman, he steered a smart shot goalwards, which Nicolas Jackson flicked on its way. 1-0 Chelsea. And in the race for an England place, 1-0 Palmer.”

Cole Palmer shoots
Cole Palmer shoots........... - Reuters
Jackson celebrates
.... and Jackson gets a touch to beat the keeper - Reuters

08:08 PM GMT

GOAL! Chelsea 1 Newcastle United 0 (Jackson 6)

A soft goal. A weak cross comes in from Chelsea, it’s lazily half cleared by Botman. Cole Palmer hits a dribbling shot into a crowd and Jackson produces a cunning, if fortuitous, flick that sends it past the keeper.

08:05 PM GMT

3 mins: Chelsea 0 Newcastle 0

Nice sweeping move from Chelsea, Cole Palmer drifting out right and making good ground. The cross is insufficient.


08:03 PM GMT

2 mins: Chelsea 0 Newcastle 0

The away side are enjoying plenty of territory so far.

08:00 PM GMT

Chelsea will kick off

They are all in blue, Newcastle in their correct barcode outfit.

07:59 PM GMT

Two changes for Eddie as well

Kieran Trippier has a calf problem. Tino Livramento replaces him.

Miguel Almiron comes in for Jacob Murphy.

07:57 PM GMT

Players are in the tunnel

Where’s your money?

07:55 PM GMT

Sandler’s in

07:51 PM GMT

More from Jim - on Gareth Southgate

“He’s not appeared yet in the stand, but will be interesting to see if Gareth Southgate is here to watch Cole Palmer and Anthony Gordon slug it out for a place in his England squad this week. Both are in form, both critical to their team’s performance. Maybe he could pick both.”

07:48 PM GMT

Jim White is at Stamford Bridge for HMDT

Over to you, Sir Jim.

“With kick off not far away, there is a very muted atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge. Trepidation appears to be keeping everyone quiet. There seem to be more people gathered on the touchline - a combination of corporate guests and international television reporters - than there are in the stands. Newcastle fans attempted to break the silence with a brief chant. But it was largely drowned out by the thumping music from the public address system.”

07:40 PM GMT

Kick off in 20

Quincy Williams of the New York Jets
Quincy Williams of the New York Jets - Getty

07:25 PM GMT

Pochettino on his challenges

“I feel young,” he said. “I don’t feel 52. It’s true that (the players) are young, but we like to help them. We like to talk, to train, to support. We are supporting them.

“The fans don’t know. The players are so young, playing at Wembley in a final. Maybe they didn’t sleep the night before. Sometimes, to analyse with different parameters and the way that you assess is completely unfair.

“Today it is a different Chelsea. If you are going to judge us, comparing the past of Chelsea, for sure no-one is going to win. No-one is going to succeed. No-one is going to be nice with you.

“The fans are not going to love any more another coach at Chelsea. If you compare with the past, when you are in a different project, people need to understand. I’ve tried to explain. I talk, I move my mouth, but you don’t hear.

“I knew it was going to be tough. I knew we were going to need time and belief. The project is about young players, building a new team.”

Asked if he would consider walking away, he replied: “No. Why? Never.”

“We love challenge,” Pochettino said. “We came from a different project at Paris St Germain.

“Here the challenge is massive. We accepted to come here knowing that it’s never easy. The pressure and the feeling that you are Chelsea and you need to win.

“But we are so excited to be here and support this project.”

07:24 PM GMT

Decent grub

07:15 PM GMT

Eddie Howe arriving a few minutes ago

Eddie Howe arriving at Stamford Bridge
Eddie Howe arriving at Stamford Bridge - PA

07:09 PM GMT

Poch speaks to Sky

Gallagher and Cucurella?

“Marc has had a very good week in training, he is ok to start. Conor is in a very good condition, he is ready to play.

“Really important game, Newcastle and us are playing for the same things, I think.

“A good performance is important to create the atmosphere to help us achieve what we want. Good energy helps the players to perform.”

07:06 PM GMT

So two changes for Chelsea

Two changes from the side that played Brentford. Marc Cucurella coming back from injury with Raheem Sterling also coming into the XI.

07:03 PM GMT


Chelsea: Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Chalobah, Cucurella, Fernandez, Caicedo, Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling, Jackson. Subs: Sanchez, Thiago Silva, Mudryk, Madueke, Chukwuemeka, Casadei, Deivid Washington, Gilchrist, Acheampong.

Newcastle: Dubravka, Livramento, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Willock, Almiron, Isak, Gordon. Subs: Lascelles, Ritchie, Targett, Krafth, Karius, Jacob Murphy, Anderson, White, Miley.

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire)

07:02 PM GMT

Eddie How speaks to Sky

“Very enjoyable, challenging season. We want to hit our best level on a consistent basis for the rest of the season.

“Tactically we are different every game. Today, we have prepared specifically for Chelsea. There has been a focus on our defence because we have not defended well this season and that will be the key.

“Great to have Willock back, the sort of player who arrives late in the box.”

07:01 PM GMT

Newcastle team

07:00 PM GMT

Chelsea team

06:58 PM GMT

Team news coming up

from Stamford Bridge.

06:45 PM GMT

Mikel Arteta’s progress

“I hope it is this season. I think it will be this season” (that Arsenal win the League). That’s what Ian Wright reckons, but what about you? Let us know who is going to win the League in the comments below.

06:43 PM GMT

Poch arriving

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino arrives
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino arrives - PA

06:41 PM GMT

Who’s the Sky Monday night football guest?

It’s Wrighty. Ah, lovely stuff. He’s got a little hat on.

06:39 PM GMT

Fancy a flutter?

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at the offers on these best betting sites.

05:52 PM GMT

Mid-table moneybags get it on

Good evening and welcome to our live blog of the Monday evening football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United. Chelsea sit in 11th place, with 36 points from 26 games, and their visitors this evening travel down from the North East on 40 points, one place ahead of the Blues, albeit that Newcastle have played a game more. A lot of dosh to finish mid-table, you might well say, and both of these managers are no doubt fully aware that a failure to deliver European football might well mean the old P45.

My brilliant colleagues Matt Law and Luke Edwards know all there is to be knowed about Chelsea and Newcastle respectively and a quick look at the stories they’ve done recently give you a snapshot of how money and off-pitch issues seem to be perennial preoccupations with these two sides.

Here’s Matt: Exclusive: A written agreement between Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital allows the club’s chairmanship to be shared between them

And here’s Luke: Newcastle’s £28m man Lewis Hall never plays – and that is a concern for Chelsea

And how about this, from our chums on the business desk?

“An Instagram influencer who had become close to the head of Saudi Arabia’s £500bn sovereign wealth fund received a multimillion-pound fee from the takeover of Newcastle United despite not playing “any substantive role”, it has been alleged. Carla DiBello, a former reality television producer with connections among Arab elites, was paid at least £2m by the financier Amanda Staveley to secure the purchase of the club by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), according to High Court documents.”

All a far cry from Wor Jackie etc, isn’t it? Instagram influencer ‘paid more than £2m’ in Saudi Newcastle takeover

Anyway, no matter how much money they’ve got, it’s still 11 against 11 when they cross the white line shortly before 8pm. We will have the team news at around 7pm and then the kick off is at 8pm.

Chelsea have an exceptional home record against the Mags: in 28 Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are W20, D7, L1. That L was all the way back in 2012. And Newcastle’s away form has collapsed, they have lost six out of their last eight on the road. Only hapless Sheffield United have a leakier defence away from home than Newcastle, who have played ten away games in a row without a clean sheet.

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