Newcastle United drop back into relegation zone after costly defensive lapse

Newcastle United dropped back into the relegation zone after a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Matty Longstaff challenges Willian.Matty Longstaff challenges Willian.
Matty Longstaff challenges Willian.

A second-half goal from Marcus Alonso claimed a third successive Premier League win for Frank Lampard’s side.

The result has left Steve Bruce’s side – who didn’t have a shot on target – 18th in the table ahead of next weekend’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’s Park.

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Bruce had named at unchanged starting XI at Stamford Bridge, where Sean Longstaff had made his full Premier League debut last season. This time, his brother Matty was handed his first away start for the club. The 19-year-old didn’t look out of place.

Newcastle had to defend deep, and in numbers, for spells in the first half. However, they were a threat on the break, with the pace of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin causing problems for the home side.

United had a couple of scares – an attempted clearance from Martin Dubravka struck Tammy Abraham and bounced towards goal – and they had the goalkeeper to thank for a fine stop from Mason Mount, who struck a shot on the turn in the box.

At the other end of the pitch, No9 Joelinton put a header wide.

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Chelsea pressed on after the break, and Abraham struck the crossbar with a header.

They kept on coming, and Lampard – who had sent on Mateo Kovacic late in the first half – replaced Mount with Christian Pulisic in the 64th minute.

Dubravka soon denied Pulisic at his near post, and Bruce replaced Almiron with Andy Carroll. Joelinton was moved to the left. Dubravka stopped a shot from Willian, but he couldn’t keep out a low effort from Alonso, left unmarked at the far post, in the 73rd minute.

And the strike claimed all three points for Chelsea.

CHELSEA: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Tomori, Zouma, Alonso; Barkley (Kovacic, 42), Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi (James, 90); Willian, Mount (Pulisic 64), Abraham. Subs not used: Caballero, Giroud, Batshuayi, Gueji.

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NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Willems, S Longstaff, M Longstaff, Saint-Maximin (Gayle, 85), Almiron (Carroll, 70), Joelinton (Atsu, 83). Subs not used: Darlow, Krafth, Dummett, Shelvey.