Palmer inspires Chelsea to victory and warns: We’ll only get better

Daily News
15 Min Read
Palmer inspires Chelsea to victory and warns: We’ll only get better

Cole Palmer inspired Chelsea to a 3-2 win against Newcastle in the Premier League, assisting one and scoring another on Monday Night Football.

The 21-year-old continued to show why he has been the Blues’ best player this season, picking up an assist inside six minutes as Nicolas Jackson flicked home his shot.

Alexander Isak’s well-taken goal (43) just before the break got Newcastle level before Palmer fired Chelsea back ahead in the second half.

Palmer shot from almost the same place as his assist – just at the top of the area – this time needing no help in beating the goalkeeper (57). It marked his fifth goal-and-assist combination in a Premier League game this season – the highest in the league.

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Cole Palmer restores Chelsea’s lead with a moment of magic at Stamford Bridge.

After the game, Palmer warned that there was a lot more to come from a talented Chelsea squad.

He told Sky Sports: “I think there’s so much talent at Chelsea. The fans don’t see it, you guys don’t see it. But I think the way that the manager works us on the training pitch, it is only going to get better.

“If not next season, the season after. It’s a project, everyone is young and trying to play well. You will see it sooner or later.”

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Cole Palmer reflects on his brilliant goal against Newcastle and explains why he made the decision to leave Manchester City for Chelsea.

The cherry was added onto the cake late on as Mykhailo Mudryk’s cool finish added Chelsea’s third (76), but Newcastle made sure of a nervy finish thanks to Jacob Murphy’s rocketed effort on the stroke of the 90 minutes.

The victory leaves Chelsea on 39 points, three away from Brighton in eighth with a game in hand. Newcastle are ahead by a point in 10th.

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How Palmer inspired Chelsea on MNF

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Nicolas Jackson gets the vital touch to give Chelsea the lead.

Chelsea were back at Stamford Bridge after 36 days, and after a draw against Brentford last time out drew the ire of some fans, needed to impress at home. And it took just six minutes for them to take the lead.

Malo Gusto’s initial shot was only cleared as far as Palmer at the edge of the box. He took on the shot, but it was a clever flick from Jackson from close range that sent the ball past a diving Martin Dubravka.

Team news headlines

  • Chelsea made two changes from their 2-2 draw with Brentford. Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill were not in the matchday squad.
  • Marc Cucurella returned to the XI for his first appearance since December, with Raheem Sterling also starting.
  • Newcastle also made two changes from the Wolves win. Kieran Trippier, who has a calf problem, was replaced by Tino Livramento while Miguel Almiron came in for Jacob Murphy. Lewis Hall was unavailable to face his parent club.

Newcastle perhaps thought their luck was down when Anthony Gordon was taken off with a knee injury, with the Magpies on the cusp of their best spell of the game.

And they made it count just before the break. Chelsea were unable to keep hold of the ball in midfield with Isak driving forward. He then curled the ball around his marker and into the back of the net for a deserved equaliser.

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Isak makes it 1-1 just minutes before the break with a brilliant low finish into the back of the net.

The second half began at a pace with chances at both end. Djordje Petrovic made a superb early save from Miguel Almiron, before Raheem Sterling fired into the side netting after some more Palmer magic.

And it was the 21-year-old – with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on – who inevitably saw Chelsea back ahead. He was picked out by a defence-splitting Enzo Fernandez pass, before rifling home from the edge of the area.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Petrovic (6), Cucurella (7), Chalobah (6), Disasi (6), Fernandez (7), Caicedo (6), Gallagher (7), Gusto (8), Sterling (6), Jackson (6), Palmer (8).

Subs: Mudryk (6), Casaedi (n/a), Chukwuemeka (n/a).

Newcastle: Dubravka (5), Livramento (6), Schar (6), Botman (6), Burn (7), Longstaff (6), Guimaraes (6), Willock (5), Almiron (7), Isak (6), Gordon (6).

Subs: Murphy (7), Krafth (6), Anderson (6), Miley (6), White (6).

Player of the Match: Cole Palmer.

The Blues could have added an immediate third – but were denied by Dan Burn’s thigh. Sterling was through one-on-one with Dubravka, eventually rounding the goalkeeper but his shot was cleared off the line by the Newcastle defender.

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Mudryk adds a third for Chelsea as the home side look to wrap up the victory.

Burn was another injury casualty for Newcastle, coming off in the 69th minute, and Chelsea went on to add another shortly after. It was a sublime moment from Mudryk, who nipped in ahead of Conor Gallagher to pick up a loose ball. He then sent it through the legs of Fabian Schar and around the oncoming Dubravka before coolly slotting home.

The super finishes kept on coming, and Newcastle made sure it would be a fight to the finish. Murphy – who excelled after coming on for Gordon – rolled Marc Cucurella before rifling into the net, but the visitors were unable to find an equaliser in stoppage time.

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Murphy’s thunderous strike in the 90th minute gave the visitors hope of finding a way back into the game.

Pochettino: Fans need to trust us in our performance

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino to Sky Sports:

“It’s a massive three points for us. We beat a very good team. They are so good and overall, it was good in some moments, it was quite even. But then we scored three goals, and I’m really satisfied.

“I’m a little bit disappointed in how we conceded the goal because we need to be more mature and find the right capacity to fix this situation. But it’s the first time we’ve played with this defensive line so they need to work and know each other better, but overall, I’m very happy.

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Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has called on the fans and players to come together following their impressive display against Newcastle.

“We [fans and staff] need to realise that we need to stick together. Until the end, we are going to fight and this group of players are going to fight to try to give our fans the best things that we can do. We need to build this relationship and today helped.

“We scored from the beginning and the fans were good. They were behind us and we need to keep going. Our concern is to perform, win games and build this relationship. They need to trust in us in our performance.”

Palmer: We showed the courage to play

Chelsea’s Cole Palmer to Sky Sports:

“I knew when I hit it that it was a bit of a right-foot-swinger, but I am glad Nicolas Jackson got a touch on it.

“We’ve had some difficult results, obviously the cup final against Liverpool, Wolves and many games.

“To get points is vital for us. We showed a bit of passion and had the courage to play because that’s what we need as a young team.

“We are going to make mistakes, everybody is going to make mistakes, it’s just about moving onto the next one.”

Howe: We can defend better than tonight

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Eddie Howe reflected on Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat to Chelsea in what he described as a strange game but was disappointed with manner of the goals in which they conceded.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe to Sky Sports:

“Strange game, frustrating one for us because we started well and conceded with their first attack. I don’t think it was a game with a lot of chances, but it was a high-scoring game.

“We were good in spells but obviously not good enough overall because the goals we conceded were really poor.

“I don’t think we had a problem with the overall flow of the game. We were competitive and creative, the final ball was maybe not good enough today. We had a lot of opportunities to test their back four.

“All three goals [conceded] were similar in their characteristics. We didn’t defend those situations well enough and you’re going to lose games if you do that.

“It is a familiar feeling from the last few months for us on the road. It’s been a tough spell for us and tonight epitomised that for us. We were good, but overall you’re left feeling disappointed because we know we can defend better than that.

On Gordon injury: “I can’t add much to it other than it was a knee injury. Strange, there as no mechanism or moment when he felt it, it was just there in the game according to Anthony at half-time when he was in quite a bit of pain.

“So we don’t know how bad that is.”

On Burn injury: “I don’t think he’s too bad.”

Opta stats – The goalscorer milestones

  • Since the start of November, only Brentford (8) have lost more Premier League away games than Newcastle (7), while the Magpies have shipped the most goals on the road during this period (24 in 9 games).
  • Nicolas Jackson’s opening goal (5:46), was Chelsea’s earliest in a Premier League home game since December 2018 against Fulham (Pedro in the 4th minute).
  • Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk has either scored (2) or assisted (1) in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, with five of his six goals for the Blues coming at Stamford Bridge.
  • Alexander Isak became just the third Newcastle player to score home and away against Chelsea in a single Premier League campaign after Alan Shearer (1996-97) and Dwight Gayle (2017-18).

What’s next?

Chelsea host Championship side Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday March 17, kick-off 12.45pm. They return to Premier League action after the international break at home to Burnley on Saturday March 30. Kick-off 3pm.

Newcastle head to Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, kick-off 5.30pm. Their next Premier League fixture is at home to West Ham on Saturday March 30, kick-off 12.30pm.

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