Newcastle United make unwanted history in front of Amanda Staveley
The wait goes on.
Newcastle United, only for the third time in their history, have failed to win any of their first 10 league games.
The club remains 19th in the Premier League following a 3-0 loss to leaders Chelsea at St James’s Park.
What had been a rugged and resourceful performance unravelled in the space of 16 second-half minutes which saw Reece James net twice and Jorginho score from the penalty spot.
United had not been expected to take anything from the game, but, for 65 minutes, they showed a resilience which has been lacking this season.
And that quality will be needed over the coming weeks and months as the team attempts to claw its way up the table.
The club’s next manager, if he was watching on TV, will have seen enough to convince him that he has something to work with up to January’s transfer window.
Graeme Jones had named an unchanged team, and the game kicked off after a stunning Wor Flags banner the size of the Gallowgate end had been briefly unfurled.
Newcastle attempted to get on the front foot – Ryan Fraser flashed the ball across the face of goal in the first minute – but they soon found themselves pegged back. United had to defend deep, and in numbers, as Chelsea pushed for a breakthrough.
When they did get the ball, they couldn’t find Allan Saint-Maximin, who was tightly marked by the visitors.
There was a let-off for Newcastle in the 34th minute when Hakim Ziyech, at the back post, put a right-wing Reece James cross over the bar.
Jamaal Lascelles should have done better with a header from a Ciaran Clark cross late in a largely one-sided half.
However, the resilience on show from United will have pleased Jones, who took over from Steve Bruce on an interim basis earlier this month while the club looks for a new head coach.
There were boos for referee Paul Tierney, who had angered fans with a couple of decisions late in the half.
One of them concerned Saint-Maximin, who was flattened as he attempted to get a run at goal.
An unchanged Newcastle were again on the back foot after the break, and the club’s fans attempted to rally their team, which, at that stage, had had a little over 25% possession.
United kept their shape without the ball, and, time and again, frustrated the European champions. They were tiring, and Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock were readied to come on. However, as they waited for their introduction, Chelsea got their breakthrough.
A cross was hit to James to the right of Karl Darlow’s goal in the 65th minute, and the defender controlled it before lashing a fierce, left-footed strike into the far corner of the net.
James made it 2-0 in the 77th minute with another well-hit shot as Darlow attempted to recover from a dive, and Jorginho added a third from the penalty spot in the 81st minute after a lunge from Newcastle's goalkeeper brought down Kai Havertz in the box.
United also failed to win any of their first 10 league games in the 1898/99 and 2018/19 seasons, though the club stayed up both times.