This is what Ciaran Clark took from Newcastle United's performance against Chelsea
It had been coming.
For 45 minutes, Newcastle United gave as good as they got at Stamford Bridge.
The pace of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin caused Chelsea problems on Saturday. But it was a different story after the break, when Frank Lampard’s side played with more urgency.
And there was an inevitability about Chelsea’s winner, scored by Marcus Alonso, who had been taunted by the visiting fans about his previous affiliation with Sunderland before the break.
The low strike from Alonso, left unmarked, gave the home team a deserved 1-0 win.
“I think in the first half we limited their chances,” said United’s Ciaran Clark. “We’ve probably looked a threat ourselves going forward, but second half it seemed to be more one-sided and them having all of the ball. We couldn’t keep hold of it. We found it difficult to get out of our own half. It was just that one moment of lapse. We’re disappointed with that.”
Clark put a late header over the bar.
“It was a bit too high,” said the defender. “I heard Jamaal (Lascelles) shouting. I just couldn’t get up and get it back into him. It was one of those. We didn’t really create a clearcut chance.
“We were always a threat going forward with the pace of Max and Miggy. Late on we were chucking balls into the box hoping for that knock-down or someone to get a bit of luck. It never really happened.”
Clark felt that there were positives to take from the defeat, which has left the club in the Premier League’s relegation zone.
“For a lot of the game we did limit them,” said Clark. “There were some great blocks – (DeAndre) Yedlin made one and Martin (Dubravka) made some great saves. We tried to keep them at bay, but in the second half, when it keeps coming back and back and we couldn’t really get out of our half as much as we did in the first half, we found that pretty tough.”
Newcastle take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’s Park on Sunday.
“It’ll be a tough game,” said the 30-year-old. “They’re doing really well. That’s what it’s about in this league.”