Chelsea striker Timo Werner surrounded by Newcastle players at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea cantered to a fourth Premier League win in a row under new head coach Thomas Tuchel on Monday, as the Blues beat a mediocre Newcastle team 2-0 in an unremarkable contest marked by Timo Werner’s first league goal since early November.
Werner, who has enjoyed almost no luck since joining Chelsea, also gave the assist for his team’s opening goal, scored by Olivier Giroud in the 31st minute (Giroud had replaced the injured Tammy Abraham midway through the first half). Eight minutes later, the German made it 2-0 by pouncing on a flick-on at the back post – even then, he couldn’t celebrate immediately as he had to wait for a VAR ruling to confirm the goal.
“Of course for a striker, you always want to score,” Werner said afterwards. “I have had in the past a lot of chances, and I missed them… And that’s the important thing for me, that when I keep going, the goals will come like today.”
Chelsea move up to fourth place in the table, on 42 points, and shouldn’t be ruled out of the title race, not with the uplift the team is seeing under the methodical Tuchel. He has already proved that Frank Lampard was something of a fraud – Lampard never looked like forming a coherent team out of the riches available to him. Tuchel has a much better idea of how to do that.
“We knew we had the opportunity to jump into the top four,” Tuchel said. “We took this chance and the guys get a well deserved two days off now.
“There was a big gap between us when we started. It’s not over. Now we’ve made it and it’s the moment to hang in and keep on showing the hunger we had. We’ve made this big step today. We have to follow up and not lose any intensity or determination.”
Newcastle’s defeat is good news for the three clubs in the relegation zone, particularly Fulham in 18th. The Magpies lie 17th, on 25 points, and look like a team without direction. No change there then.
Man of the match: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)