Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle


Plenty of entertainment but plenty of mistakes at Stamford Bridge as a much-changed Chelsea side suffered a first home domestic cup defeat for two years.
Patrick van Aanholt, one of the four young starters revealed yesterday by Carlo Ancelotti, gave the Blues an early lead against the club he represented on loan last season, but we were 2-1 down by half-time.
Matters got decidedly worse after the break as Newcastle quickly scored a third and then two senior squad players were forced off through injury. Salomon Kalou's departure had required a third sub used as two changes were made at the break so when Yossi Benayoun was also forced off, Chelsea were down to 10 men for the final half-hour.
Still they fought back and first Anelka finished well from a good move before he converted the calmest of penalties inside the final five minutes.
Yet Newcastle, who had proved a physical test all game, finally won it from a set-piece, Shola Ameobi heading in a corner with two minutes on the clock.
There were mixed fortunes for young and old on the pitch, Ancelotti selecting juniors in defence and attack but an experienced midfield of Ramires, Benayoun and Zhirkov. It was Josh McEachran, a second-half sub, who impressed more.
Among the unused subs for the first time were 17-year-old right-back/right midfielder Billy Clifford and 15-year-old central defender/midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah who would, had he come on, have taken Ian 'Chico' Hamilton's record as Chelsea's youngest player.
Zhirkov's was the first shot of the game, after three minutes, hooked wide. The second Chelsea attempt gave Van Aanholt his first Chelsea goal.
Continuing the recent happy habit of early Chelsea goals, this one took just five minutes. Of all the young players starting tonight, the 20-year-old Dutch left-back was probably the least fancied to score but he robbed a dozing Nile Ranger, exchanged passes with Kakuta, and although shooting close to fellow Dutchman Krul, the Newcastle keeper's save was a weak one and the ball was diverted high into the net with Van Aanholt leaping away in triumph.

That should have settled some nerves but Sol Campbell from a corner wasn't too far away from a rapid equaliser.
Ryan Taylor, who would later make a more positive contribution to his team, was the game's first booking on 10 minutes when he sent Kakuta flying with a chop across the shins.
Chelsea's passing in the final third wasn't quite reaching its targets with Kakuta, perhaps trying too hard to impress, failing with a couple of difficult passes.
However on 24 minutes the 19-year-old struck the delivery of the game so far, from wide on the left and fired in with such velocity that Krul did well to push it away, Anelka poised to capitalise.
Newcastle equalised two minutes later in what was proving an open first half. It was a goal of several Chelsea mistakes, Ferguson allowed to advance from left back and hit a cross unchallenged that Terry couldn't head away. Van Aanholt was there at the far post but was unaware of Ranger just behind him, the young Englishman turning the ball in.
Ranger could have had a rapid second from a near identical position but kicked air. The Tynesiders needed only wait until the 32nd minute to take the lead.
Bruma was being tested by Ameobi and was booked for pulling back the striker. The free-kick was in a dangerous location and Taylor's strike was sweet and wide of the wall, although not heading for the very corner. Turnbull was beaten and Newcastle were suddenly looking strong.
Van Aanholt did well to slide and save a cross reaching near-certain scorers after Ameobi had powered away from Bruma and beaten Turnbull with his ball across.
The Newcastle man was then the next name in to the book for a wild challenge, his on Ferreira.
The Blues improved in stoppage time but were lacking control in midfield. Ancelotti had some work to do.

One of his changes was a planned one - Alex for Terry; Kalou for Kakuta was due a back injury obtained in Taylor's early foul challenge.
The response was not the one wanted as the Blues went 3-1 down just three minutes into the second half. This time it was the experienced Ferreira first at fault, carelessly passing inside. Ameobi latched on to it and although the shot was low, it was no rocket but still it beat Turnbull.
The bad news kept coming. Kalou, sprinting into the area clutched his thigh and dropped to the floor. It was a muscle injury bad enough for him to be carried off on a stretcher. Seventeen-year-old McEachran was the sub for the sub, and soon launched a 20-yard shot at the keeper.

On 62 minutes it was Benayoun's turn to go down, the Israeli instantly signalling his night was up. Chelsea would play on with 10 men.
Sturridge had earlier hit a free-kick into the wall and when another was won, Bruma had a go with the same result but Alex cracked the rebound and Krul had to save well.
Lovenkrands should have made it 4-1 after the Chelsea defence was outmanoeuvred but the former Rangers man shot wide and then Nile Ranger scooped over as Turnbull dived at his feet.
Chelsea's second, scored on 69 minutes was the goal of the game so far, the ball played down the left to Van Aanholt, a willing forward runner all game, who swept it to Anelka for a perfectly placed shot across the keeper.
Now it was the Blues on the front foot. McEachran, comfortable with the ball at his feet and making himself available, had given the team something they had been missing in the centre of the park.
Into the final 10 minutes and there was still much to play for, Sturridge slipped unfortunately as he chased a Ferreira pass into the area and then Turnbull blocked and then grabbed a Ranger header.

Anelka was next to show, drifting in from the left and testing Krul with a thunderous shot. How different that was from his penalty that levelled scores with five minutes to play. Alex, to Newcastle disgust, was judged to have been fouled by Williamson as he turned away from goal. Anelka simply rolled the spot kick gently into the bottom corner.
Extra-time looked inevitable but with 88 minutes played the Geordies won a corner and Ameobi, one of the few players who could beat Alex to the ball, did so to power a header in.
McEachran, with tight control, worked a shooting opportunity in the six minutes stoppage time played, but his effort went wide, although the real hearts-in-mouth moment came from a howitzer volley from of all people, Paulo Ferreira before Newcastle's winner.
Last year in this competition at Blackburn, the Portuguese was on-target late on to send a 10-men Chelsea (after another Kalou injury) into extra-time. This time it bounced off the outside of the post and we would go out of the Carling Cup.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Turnbull, Ferreira, Bruma, Terry (c) (Alex h-t), van Aanholt; Benayoun, Ramires, Zhirkov; Sturridge, Anelka, Kakuta (Kalou h-t) (McEachran 56).
Unused subs Cech, B Clifford, Chalobah, Mellis.
Scorers van Aanholt 5, Anelka 69, 86 (pen).
Booked Bruma 32.
Newcastle (4-4-2): Krul; Taylor (Tiote 63), Campbell, Coloccini (Williamson 63), Ferguson (Barton 90+3); Ranger, Smith (c), Vuckic, Gutierrez; Ameobi, Lovenkrands.
Unused subs Soberberg, Ben Arfa, Nolan, Carroll.
Scorers Ranger 26, Taylor 32, Ameobi 48, 88.
Booked Taylor 10, Ameobi 42.
See the full 90 minutes on Chelsea TV from midnight.
Attendance 41,511.
Referee Phil Dowd.
Shots on Chelsea 6 Newcastle 5
Corners Chelsea 1 Newcastle 3
Fouls Chelsea 7 Newcastle 9
Offsides Chelsea 3 Newcastle

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