Chelsea kept up their 100 percent start to the English Premier League (EPL) season by snatching a 2-1 win at a stubborn Newcastle United on Sunday.
The Blues grabbed a dramatic victory at St. James Park, thanks to a late own goal by DeAndre Yedlin.
Eden Hazard had blasted Chelsea ahead in the 76th minute from the penalty spot after Swiss defender Fabian Schar had tripped Marcos Alonso, allowing the visitors a breakthrough after they had monopolised possession.
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez had played a dogged 5-4-1 formation in an effort to shut out his former club.
They created little drama at the other end, but they drew level when Spanish forward Joselu headed in at the near post in the 83rd minute.
Chelsea got back in front with a fortuitous goal four minutes later from Yedlin, who had stretched his foot out to block a shot from Alonso, which had looked to be going wide.
Chelsea join Liverpool and Watford at the top of the table on nine points after three games while Newcastle have one.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez in his post-match reaction blamed his team’s loss for some unquestionable decisions taken by the referee, adding however, that his team was depleted.
“Both the penalty and foul leading up to it were very doubtful.
“We had six players out. Jonjo Shelvey was not there for us today but we did a good job and it was a pity.
“We showed last year that we finished 10th and didn’t make mistakes in terms of decisions.
“We don’t have any issues. We have some injuries and it’s something we have to manage,” he said.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, on his part admitted that it was a very tough game against the hosts, adding that it was a hard earned victory for his side.
“I have never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders. It is very difficult to play here for every team – not only us.
“We were a bit unlucky when they scored to make it 1-1.
“Eden (Hazard) has played very well, but maybe it was better if he played for only 75-80 minutes, but (Mateo) Kovacic asked me to be replaced so it was not possible,” he said. (Reuters/NAN)