Chelsea's quality simply too much for Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge

Rafael Benitez is returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was Chelsea interim manager in the 2012-13 season
Rafael Benitez is returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was Chelsea interim manager in the 2012-13 season
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03 Декабря, 2017

"Rafa Out!", "We're Just Not That Int-er-im" and "In Rafa We Will Never Trust" were just some of the banners with which Chelsea fans greeted Rafa Benitez when he was controversially appointed as interim manager at Stamford Bridge in November 2012.

Chelsea were looking to continue their good form having won five of their last six league matches, while Newcastle were hoping to win their first league matches in six.

Regulars Cesar Azpilicueta and Eden Hazard should return to the starting XI after being benched in midweek as part of Conte's rotational policy during a busy period of fixtures.

The Blues then took the lead before half time as Victor Moses found Alvaro Morata with a fierce cross and the striker headed home from close range to give Chelsea a 2-1 lead at the break.

It's been an indifferent year for Chelsea's number 10s, with Eden Hazard the only player delivering consistently for the Champions so far.

But Chelsea, third in the table, quickly fought back, earning two corners and hitting the post before Hazard got on the end of a ball parried by defender Florian Lejeune in the 21st minute. Despite good play early, Chelsea took control of the encounter moving forward.

Chelsea, with their 10th win of the season, are now level on points with second-placed Manchester United, who have played a game less. Benitez's stint as Liverpool manager still remained fresh in the memory.

The second 45 minutes followed a similar theme, with Hazard grabbing his second of the match from the penalty spot. Leaders Manchester City, also have a game in hand, are eight points ahead of United and Chelsea both.

Even though the League form under Benitez was patchy, Chelsea were brilliant in the Europa League.

They have been so effective together, Antonio Conte has switched his formation to a 3-5-2 to allow them to play up top.

'The boys they want me to shoot so every time in training they ask me, "Hey, come on, shoot, shoot!"

Hostile chants and booing could be heard all around the ground but the Spaniard brushed it off by stating: "I didn't realise, I was just focused on the game".

One should keep in mind that Terry's renaissance under Mourinho was largely down to the Portuguese's 'pragmatic' tactics.


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