Chelsea Cruise To Victory  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 4 Newcastle United 0

Tiago heads clear!Chelsea's title challenge shows no sign of abating as a superb second half display saw them break down stubborn Newcastle resolve to claim an emphatic 4-0 victory.

Frank Lampard broke the deadlock just past the hour mark when he controlled on his chest before hammering the ball past Shay Given from eight yards on the volley.

The influential England international then played in substitute Dider Drogba to double Chelsea's advantage, before Arjen Robben added a majestic third.

Mateja Kezman then added his name to a Premiership scoresheet for the first time from the penalty spot as Chelsea opened an eight point gap at the summit.

For much of the game, Newcastle were more than a match for the West London champions-elect but after Lampard's opener, Chelsea were at their electric best.

Such is the proficiency and ruthlessness of Chelsea these days that many had rendered Newcastle mere cannon fodder on their travels to Stamford Bridge.

However, the individual talent possessed in Newcastle's ranks does little to suggest easy opposition and in the opening period, Newcastle played in a manner that reflected such quality.

With Kieron Dyer full of the energy and drive that once made him one of the most sought after players in England and Lee Bowyer a snarling presence on the flanks, Newcastle not only contained their hosts but took the game to them.

Free-flowing on the counter attack and sat deep when disposed of possession, Newcastle caused real palpitations for Graeme Souness just once, when on the half hour mark, Titus Bramble and Ronny Johnsen got in a terrible tangle to allow Eider Gudjohnsen a sighter.

Eight yards from goal, the Chelsea striker looked odds on to dispatch but his precocious dinked finish brought only a collective groan from the home crowd as the ball drifted wide.

Before the Icelander's uncharacteristic miss, save for a disallowed John Terry header chalked off for off-side, it was Newcastle that created the best chances.

First, Laurent Robert, who otherwise had been sloppy in his distribution, brought an excellent two handed save from Peter Cech courtesy of a trademark freekick and then Bellamy squandered the visitor's clearest opening.

Dyer's surging run exposed space behind Chelsea's three man midfield and after he threaded the perfect through ball to Bellamy, the diminutive Welshman could only find the considerable frame of an onrushing Cech.

Tiago threatened to embarrass Given with a shot from distance that the Irishman grasped at his second attempt but at the other end, Paulo Ferreira needed an excellent interception to deny Bellamy at the far post.

Clearly far from enamoured with a lack of fluidity in his side, Mourinho made an instant change at the break when replacing the out of sorts Gudjohnsen with a fit again Drogba.

Within fifteen minutes of the restart and the Midas touch of Mourinho had brought an opening goal, when Drogba headed the perfect lay-off into the path of a breaking Lampard.

It was Newcastle that actually conjured the first chance of the half when Cech again denied Robert from a freekick - parrying strongly low to his right.

However, once Lampard had netted after excellent build up work involving Claude Makelele and Drogba, there was only ever to one manager smiling at the close of play.

Six minutes after his opener and Lampard returned the favour, when he turned from predator to provider, in finding Drogba with a glorious long ball from deep in his own half.

The athletic Ivory Coast international brushed off a lethargic challenge from Bramble and then finished with aplomb past a crestfallen Given to double Chelsea's advantage.

Thereafter and the home side slipped into an emphatic style that looks so befitting of champions, as Damien Duff and Robben finally played their way into the contest.

It was the explosive wide pair that combined to play in Kezman, who rattled the bar, before Lampard forced Given into a sharp stop - with Chelsea in total control.

With the game reaching its death, Duff broke with pace and poise to feed Robben and the Dutchman was the coolest man in Stamford Bridge to rifle the ball home in glorious fashion.

Injury time saw Newcastle's woes compounded, when Given upended Duff in the penalty box. The much maligned Kezman stepped up and duly dispatched the most precious of efforts for his first Premiership goal.

A statement of intent has been issued by Chelsea and the rest of The Premiership will be looking ominously at another imperious display from Mourinho's table toppers.


Chelsea  Cech, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Gallas (Bridge 61), Tiago (Kezman 61), Makelele, Lampard, Robben, Gudjohnsen (Drogba 45), Duff
Subs Not Used  Pidgeley, Parker
Booked  Carvalho
Goals  Lampard 63, Drogba 69, Robben 89, Kezman 90 (pen)

Newcastle United  Given, Taylor, Bramble, Johnsen, Hughes, Dyer, Jenas, Bowyer, Robert (Ameobi 77), Kluivert, Bellamy
Subs Not Used
  Elliot, Harper, Milner, Ambrose
Booked  Taylor, Jenas

Attendance  42,328
 R. Styles

Chelsea Team Name Newcastle United
4 Goals 0
7 Shots on target ( Inc Goals ) 4
5 Shots off Target (inc woodwork) 4
3 Blocked Shots 1
3 Corners Won 2
14 Total Fouls Conceded 17
6 Offsides 2
1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
50% Possession 50%

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