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After a difficult first-half, Thomas Tuchel’s side looked short of ideas amid some key absences in attack, though eventually found a way to convert their dominance into a quantifiable lead when the England international struck in the 65th-minute.
James doubled his tally just over ten minutes later and, three minutes after that, Jorginho ensured a routine win with a trademark penalty after Kai Havertz was brought down in the box by Karl Darlow.
Chelsea, it must be said, weren’t overly impressive for much of the game, although the deep defensive block Newcastle played with could well have had something to do with it. Still, on a day when both Manchester City and Liverpool dropped points, they managed to find a way.
Kick-off-time and venue: 3pm BST, St James’ Park
How to watch
Disallowed Ziyech goal
Full-time: Newcastle 0-3 Chelsea
16:57 , Jonathan Gorrie
90:00 - A potentially HUGE day in the Premier League title race.
Reece James scored twice just as it looked as if his side were missing their big name attackers before a Jorginho penalty wrapped things up from the spot.
With Man City losing and Liverpool drawing, Chelsea sit pretty at the top of the league.
Jorginho: The penalty king
16:48 , Jonathan Gorrie
10 - Jorginho is the first player in Premier League history to have 10 consecutive goals in the competition come from the penalty spot. Specialist. pic.twitter.com/8QnKaGfoeC
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 30, 2021
Chelsea may as well be training
16:47 , Jonathan Gorrie
84:00 - Newcastle have collapsed.
This looks like a training exercise for Chelsea now
GOAL: Newcastle 0-3 Chelsea | Jorginho 80'
16:43 , Jonathan Gorrie
GOAL: Jorginho scores from the spot after Kai Havertz is brought down by Karl Darlow.
GOAL: Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea | Reece James ‘77
16:41 , Jonathan Gorrie
77:00 - The England full-back hits another excellent finish.
Chelsea’s defence is their best attack!
16:37 , Jonathan Gorrie
Chelsea's defenders can't stop scoring 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Rh5Y2GgVG2
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 30, 2021
16:36 , Jonathan Gorrie
73:00 - It’s been all Chelsea since the goal.
James’ strike has their tails up and it looks like a big mountain for Newcastle to climb.
Romelu Lukaku reacts to James’ goal
16:32 , Jonathan Gorrie
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) October 30, 2021
GOAL: Newcastle 0-1 Chelsea | Reece James
16:29 , Jonathan Gorrie
A belter from Reece James inside the Newcastle box.
A winner here would be huge for Chelsea
16:25 , Jonathan Gorrie
City have just had an equaliser ruled out after Gabriel Jesus’ goal was ruled as offisde.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have just been pegged back by Brighton at Anfield with the score now 2-2.
If Chelsea can find a winner, it could be a big day in the title race.
16:19 , Jonathan Gorrie
57:00 - The game is getting a bit scrappier.
After Allan Saint-Maximin looked like breaking, Zyiech brings him down with another cynical foul.
Frustration from Chelsea?
Why is Mason Mount missing?
16:17 , Jonathan Gorrie
The England midfielder was a surprise omission from Chelsea’s match day squad as the early Premier League leaders travelled to St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.
A potential absence for Mount had not been discussed in the build-up to the weekend.
“He should have started but he got ill overnight and so we sent him home to London so that we can take care of him better and that he can recover better,” Tuchel told Chelsea’s 5th Stand app ahead of the game on Tyneside.
16:15 , Jonathan Gorrie
54:00 - The Chelsea midfielder gets a yellow card for a cynical trip on Rya Fraser.
Another Chelsea effort!
16:14 , Jonathan Gorrie
52:00 - This time it’s Jorginho!
The midfielder fires over from about 30 yards with Chelsea camped outside the Newcastle penalty area.
Newcastle looking to take the sting out of the game
16:13 , Jonathan Gorrie
50:00 - After the Ziyech shot and a more routine save from Darlow following Havertz’ attempt, Newcastle are now looking to take the sting out of the game and break the Chelsea midfield play up a bit.
16:10 , Jonathan Gorrie
48:00 - The fast start continues.
A shot from about 25 yards out from Ziyech takes a deflection, leaves Darlow stranded but hits the post!
16:08 , Jonathan Gorrie
46:00 - Ziyech has an early shot saved with relative ease by Darlow after a fast start to the second-half from Chelsea.
The fans have voted!
15:59 , Jonathan Gorrie
It seems like a number of supporters want to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek brought on in the second-half.
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) October 30, 2021
What’s going on elsewhere in the Premier League title race?
15:57 , Jonathan Gorrie
A bad day for Manchester City, who trail Crystal Palace by a goal at home and have seen Aymeric Laporte sent off.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are ahead at home to Brighton but did see their 2-0 lead halved, setting up a potentially tasty final 45.
This feels like a big day for Chelsea if they can find a winner.
15:51 , Jonathan Gorrie
A frustrating afternoon for Chelsea so far.
They’ve dominated but could not find a final pass.
15:48 , Jonathan Gorrie
44:00 - A brilliant Ziyech free-kick is just inches away from finding the top right-hand corner from a distance.
What an effort.
15:47 , Jonathan Gorrie
43:00 - A Callum Wilson header almost causes Mendy a problem after Thiago Silva took it off the Newcastle striker’s head.
The hosts haven’t been up to much but how many times have we seen a smash-and-grab before?
15:43 , Jonathan Gorrie
42:00 - More wasteful play as Hudson-Odoi overhits a cross from the byline.
Tuchel’s makeshift attack doesn’t look convincing yet.
Rudiger doing Rudiger things
15:41 , Jonathan Gorrie
38:00 - Antonio Rudiger has pretty much just sprinted the length of the pitch with the ball at his feet but his pass to Ziyech was overhit just as Chelsea entered the Newcastle box.
A bad day for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup opponents
15:40 , Jonathan Gorrie
Earlier today, Chelsea drew West London rivals Brentford in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
After a spirited performance against the Blues a few weeks, the wheels appear to be coming off.
GOAL Burnley 3-0 Brentford (36 mins)
Maxwel Cornet cuts in from the left and bends a glorious shot into the far corner to make it 3-0#BURBRE
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 30, 2021
Missing Mason Mount
15:37 , Jonathan Gorrie
35:00 It’s not that Chelsea haven’t had chances but they can’t seem to find a way to play through the low Newcastle box.
Mout, you feel, would at least provide some sort of guile.
15:36 , Jonathan Gorrie
33:00 - Ziyech fires over from close range after excellent work from Reece James on the opposite flank.
It looked easier to score!
15:32 , Jonathan Gorrie
28:00 - Ziyech find himself in a good area and curls a great shot past Darlow.
Excellent finish but it’s ruled out as the forward was stood in an offside position.
Tuchel is FUMING
15:30 , Jonathan Gorrie
27:00 - Thomas Tuchel is NOT happy on the touchline.
The German seems to believe Darlow is wasting time from a goal-kick.
Looks like one of those days for Chelsea so far.
The Timo Werner curse
15:28 , Jonathan Gorrie
24:00 - Both Ziyech and Havertz have strayed offside and ruined promising attacks in this first 25 minutes.
Chelsea not quite there
15:24 , Jonathan Gorrie
21:00 - Chelsea not quite clicking.
Often, they’ll find themselves camped on the edge of the Newcastle box but have largely either been crowded out or have seen their final ball let them down.
15:20 , Jonathan Gorrie
18:00 - Isaac Hayden goes into the book for a foul on Christensen.
Rudiger in amongst it
15:18 , Jonathan Gorrie
15:00 - Callum Wilson and Antonio Rudiger are in some sort of battle already.
The Chelsea star is just pure box office, isn’t he?
15:16 , Jonathan Gorrie
13:00 - First chance for Newcastle.
A wide Matt Ritchie free-kick sees Callum Wilson head over.
You feel, if Newcastle are going to get anything, it’s going to be from a set-piece.
15:14 , Jonathan Gorrie
10:00 - Chelsea causing all sorts of problems.
Every time a ball is whipped into the box, the Newcastle defenders look anxious and are forced to clear into the high heavens.
Promising signs for the away side.
15:10 , Jonathan Gorrie
07:00 - Chelsea settling now with Newcastle sitting back.
Reece James has a fizzing cross caught by Darlow while some confusion after a long ball leads Ciaran Clark into some last-ditch defending.
As you might expect, Chelsea are dominating.
City down at home to Palace
15:09 , Jonathan Gorrie
Could be a big day in the early portion of the Premier League title race
6. Goal to Crystal Palace.
Zaha with the opener.
🔵 0-1 🦅 #ManCity
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 30, 2021
Open game so far
15:07 , Jonathan Gorrie
03:00 - Both sides have poured forward already which, given the recent off field events at Newcastle, you’d expect with the crowd in such a good mood.
If the game is open, however, Chelsea’s individual quality will surely come to the fore.
Game plan clear
15:04 , Jonathan Gorrie
01:00 - Right from kick-off, it’s clear what Chelsea want to do.
A floated ball to Hudson-Odoi is well caught by Karl Darlow but it’s the pace of the winger Chelsea will seemingly want to exploit behind a fairly slow Newcastle backline.
15:03 , Jonathan Gorrie
0:00 - We’re underway on Tyneside where a Mason Mount-less Chelsea are in action against one of the Premier League’s worst sides on current form.
14:52 , Jonathan Gorrie
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 30, 2021
Tuchel not planning to spend in January despite injury problems
14:29 , Jonathan Gorrie
The Blues have been without the two forwards since they were both forced off with injuries during the Champions League win over Malmo earlier this month and neither are expected to return until after the international break.
Having sold both Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham in the summer, those absences have left Tuchel light on attacking options, with Kai Havertz pressed into service as a false nine.
Tuchel has also been without Christian Pulisic, who has played through the middle in the past, for a longer period but insists bad luck, rather than poor planning, is to blame.
When asked whether he would be forced into the market in January, Tuchel said: “Oh no, you cannot predict that you lose your three offensive key players at the same time. This is quite unlucky.
“You cannot have a squad with four, five, six, seven key [attacking] players and three of them constantly waiting for another three to get injured. This does not exist in real life.”
Fond memories for the Blues on Tyneside
14:17 , Jonathan Gorrie
A closer look at today’s office for Chelsea
14:15 , Jonathan Gorrie
No Mount - Bad news for the FPL players!
14:11 , Jonathan Gorrie
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) October 30, 2021
Confirmed Newcastle XI
14:01 , Jonathan Gorrie
🚨 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠-𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🚨
Graeme Jones names an unchanged starting XI.
HWTL! ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/ZbwnPnQ4LV
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 30, 2021
Confirmed Chelsea XI
14:00 , Jonathan Gorrie
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 30, 2021
Your Evening Standard prediction
13:50 , Jonathan Gorrie
With only Norwich conceding more often than Newcastle, it’s not hard to imagine Chelsea proving able to rack up the goals again on Saturday.
Chelsea to win 3-0.
Early Newcastle team news
13:35 , Jonathan Gorrie
As for Newcastle, led by interim boss Graeme Jones while the club search for a permanent successor to Steve Bruce, Jonjo Shelvey is suspended and Martin Dubravka and Paul Dummett remain sidelined. Freddie Woodman is rated as 50/50.
Early Chelsea team news
13:25 , Jonathan Gorrie
Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are back after missing the midweek win over Southampton.
But Mateo Kovacic will miss the game after injuring his hamstring during training.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic are all missing too.
How to watch today’s action
13:20 , Jonathan Gorrie
Saturday’s match will not be televised live in the UK, but you can watch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC One from 10:30pm BST.
You can also keep up to date with events on Tyneside with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.
12:27 , Jonathan Gorrie
Welcome to Standard Sport’s coverage of Chelsea’s trip to Newcastle United in the Premier League.
The game is scheduled for a 3pm BST kick-off at St James’ Park.