The deep freeze is over as Timo Werner, the £53million signing from RB Leipzig whose existence as a goal-scorer seemed to have gone the way of the woolly mammoth ends the 14 game without a goal run.
Timo Werner grinned and it was worth it after ending the long wait. Meanwhile the long wait was made up of horrible numbers – 14 league games without a goal, or 100 days to put it another way, back when Chelsea played Sheffield United in November. And what of minutes of playing time between strikes? It was a precise and damning 1,000.
But Thomas Tuchel deserves some commendation in Chelsea. He’s indeed performing wonders since assuming duty in barely a month from a shambolic results from former gaffer, Frank Lampard.
Tuchel is working a restoration job at Chelsea, and the output indicators are all trending in a very positive way.
The Blues now go 4th on the Premier League log tonight. Chelsea are tied on the same point with West Ham United but ahead on huge goal difference.
Newcastle weren’t threat to a Chelsea side on the night. Newcastle started the second half with a fraction more enterprise and even had a shot on goal. It came from a Jonjo Shelvey free-kick and Kepa made a decent save, albeit a comfortable one. A moment later Joe Willock stabbed wide and 25 minutes from time the same player forced a block from Kepa, so briefly there was some pressure.
Timo Werner caused all sorts of problems to the Newcastle defence, the Newcastle goal not so much. He is getting closer though as a first-time flick just loops over the crossbar.
Tammy Abraham and Werner put a pair of headers wide and Abraham appealed for a penalty against Jamaal Lascelles. The tackle took man and ball and in the crunch Abraham hurt his ankle, forcing him off for Giroud. One man’s misfortune, and all that.
Olivier Giroud puts Chelsea ahead in the 20th-minutes of the game on the night before Werner increased the tally. No thanks to the injury suffered by Tammy Abraham early in the game but Giroud came on as a super-sub to net in less than 3 minutes.
Indeed, they barely had a look at possession in the first half, and one blocked shot aside, Newcastle didn’t create a single chance of merit in the opening half an hour.
Initially, Chelsea were less than devastating. They held the ball, but not much of it found its way forwards to fun parts of the pitch. It’s another good three points on the night, so good enough that it places Chelsea 4th on the table.