Chelsea 4 Newcastle United 0

Last updated : 04 December 2004 By Footymad Previewer
Four goals in the last 27 minutes helped Chelsea consolidate their place at the top of the table but it was not the players that took the plaudits but the mesmeric Jose Mourinho.

For most of the first hour his charges looked sluggish and second best to the visitors.

Mourinho brought on Didier Drogba at half-time for the lack-lustre Eidur Gudjohnsen and then injected extra pace, balance and a striking threat in the 62nd minute when he introduced Wayne Bridge and Mateja Kezman for William Gallas and Tiago.

Within seconds Chelsea took a decisive grip on the game and scored their opener.

Claude Makelele slotted the ball into the Newcastle area and Drogba nodded the ball down into the path of Frank Lampard.

The England midfielder coolly arrowed home a low left-footed shot from just inside the penalty area.

But it was Mourinho's tactical nous that changed the course of the game, that until then had seen Newcastle boss the match - especially in midfield.

But with Drogba powering up front and Damien Duff and Arjen Robben also pushing up wide on the flanks, Newcastle suddenly found themselves out-manoeuvred.

The second goal came within seven minutes. This time it was Drogba who scored having been set up by a long, raking pass from Lampard.

The Ivory Coast striker barged pass Titus Bramble before daisy-cutting a left footer which curled past Shay Given's outstretched left hand and into the far corner of the net.

By now the Chelsea faithful were chanting for Kezman to score a goal - and he almost obliged in the 73rd minute, only to see his right-footed effort rebound off Given's left upright after he had been expertly set up by Duff.

With a minute remaining and Newcastle on the ropes, Chelsea scored their third.

This time it was the mercurial talent of Robben which finished off another quick counter-attack with aplomb.

The Dutchman zig-zagged through the Newcastle rearguard before caressing he ball past the hapless Given.

With the job done, Chelsea and Newcastle were looking for a nice hot shower, but Kezman was to have the final say.

Duff was upended by Given inside the penalty area with just seconds of stoppage time remaining. Regular penalty taker Lampard was nowhere to be seen as Kezman grabbed his chance to notch his first Premiership goal of the season.

The home crowd held their breath as they willed the ball into the back of the net.

Kezman did not disappoint and his penalty strike was a classy affair. He had the audacity to take a short run up and chip the ball delicately into the middle of the net.

Given, fully expecting the ball to go into one corner of his goal, looked on lamely as Kezman ran round the pitch, punching the air in delight.

Newcastle rightly were beaten by a side in inspirational form - out of their last seven games, Chelsea have scored four times in a match on five occasions.

Not content with scoring freely at one end they are almost Scrooge-like in defence having kept 11 clean sheets in the Premiership already.

Much of that meanness was evident against the Geordies. Twice Petr Cech had to save the Blues' blushes.

Both saves were from Laurent Robert - the first in the 17th minute when the Frenchman produced a trademark free-kick which Cech brilliant tipped around the post.

The second, on the hour, was again a low free-kick which the Chelsea keeper did well to keep out.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - Showed just why he is vital to the Chelsea cause as he dug deep to inspire his fellow midfielders.