James Double Fires Chelsea Further Clear At Top  (Sky Sports)

Newcastle United 0 Chelsea 3

Reece JamesA powerful double from Reece James and a Jorginho penalty helped Chelsea strengthen their grip on top spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 win away to a Newcastle side who will now be dreading a relegation battle.

Chelsea had dominated the first half at St James' Park, with Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech failing to convert a good James cross, and hit the post at the start of the second when a deflection on Ziyech's shot left Karl Darlow stranded.

However, just as their frustration was beginning to grow, James (65) came up with the breakthrough, firing in a superb strike at the back post with his left foot. The wing-back - who had hit the winning shootout penalty in the midweek Carabao Cup tie with Southampton - then lashed home with his right (77) to put the Blues in complete control.

Chelsea's superiority was finally reflected in the scoreline when Jorginho (81) stroked in a penalty after Darlow brought down Havertz, capping a good day for Thomas Tuchel's side, who capitalised on Manchester City's shock defeat at home to Crystal Palace and Liverpool's draw with Brighton to move three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

In contrast, there were some boos from the home fans at full-time, with still-winless Newcastle second-bottom. Alarm bells will be ringing for the club's new owners, with the team facing a scrap for their Premier League status.

Player ratings

Newcastle: Darlow (5), Krafth (5), Lascelles (5), Clark (6), Manquillo (5), Hayden (5), Longstaff (5), Ritchie (6), Saint-Maximin (6), Fraser (6), Wilson (5).

Subs used: Almiron (6), Willock (6), Shelvey (6).

Chelsea: Mendy (6), Christensen (7), Silva (7), Rudiger (7), James (9), Jorginho (8), Kante (7), Chilwell (7), Ziyech (7), Hudson-Odoi (8), Havertz (7).

Subs used: Loftus-Cheek (6), Barkley (6), Saul Niguez (N/A)

Man of the match: Reece James (Chelsea)

How it happened...

Chelsea, who were once again without injured pair Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, were also hit by an overnight illness which ruled out Mason Mount - and they were missing a cutting edge during a commanding first half as a result.

While Newcastle had a couple of looks at goal with Ryan Fraser fizzing an early cross through the six-yard box and Callum Wilson heading over from a free-kick, the hosts were pegged back for the majority of the opening 45, as Ziyech and Havertz saw shots blocked before both miscued from James' cross from the right.

Ziyech did have the ball in the net on 29 minutes, firing past Darlow in fine fashion after a sharp pass from Jorginho, but the Moroccan had strayed offside, and he was then denied by the post three minutes into the second half, when Jamaal Lascelles got a touch on his shot.

Havertz, Jorginho and Antonio Rudiger all had efforts at goal as Chelsea became more frantic in their attempt to find the opener - but 20 minutes into the second half James eventually gave them their deserved lead.

Callum Hudson-Odoi crossed from the left and when Matt Ritchie flicked the ball on, James was there to get it under control before lashing back across goal and into the far corner.

The wing-back was then in a similar spot soon after to add his second, picking up the ball after Ruben Loftus-Cheek's blocked effort, and this time blasting in with his right.

Newcastle were blown away and they were three down in quick succession. Darlow raced off his line but lost the sprint for a through ball with Havertz and took out the Chelsea striker, allowing Jorginho to fire a spot-kick down the middle.

It was nothing less than Chelsea deserved for their display but there will be major concern now in the boardroom at St James' Park.

What the managers said...

Newcastle interim boss Graeme Jones: "For 65 minutes we were competitive. That was the game plan. We had a little bit of momentum in their half when the ball could have dropped our way. We ended up conceding when I was ready to make a couple of positive subs. Three in 15 minutes and the game was dead. It wasn't a 3-0 game for me. The last two goals were a result of the first one. That was the disappointment for me.

"We are in a relegation battle. There's no question about that. We need to face it like men, stick together and believe we'll come through. I haven't spoken to the owners. We'll see what they've got to say tonight or tomorrow.

"I think it needs a fresh face. I think the fans were incredible today. It's not a style of football the fans are accustomed to, we want to attack people, we want to score goals. But this is the stage we're in. We haven't kept enough clean sheets this season and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what the need is at the minute."

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel: "Reece shoots like a horse! It will never be the moment where we celebrate results on the other pitches. Secondly we want to focus on ourselves. And third of all, what goes around comes around. There's a long way to go. If you think we're happier now [because of the results], it's not true.

"The effort and discipline we put into the [performance] was the key today. We had a very good performance off the ball. I'm very happy with the team effort today."

Opta stats

In English top-flight history, only Chelsea themselves (2 in 2004-05) have conceded fewer goals after 10 league games than the three they've shipped so far this term.

Newcastle are winless after 10 league games for the third time in their history, previously doing so in 1898-99 and 2018-19.

Chelsea have won 10 of their 14 Premier League away games under Thomas Tuchel (D3 L1). Only Guus Hiddink and José Mourinho (13) reached 10 away victories in fewer games in the competition than the German.

Courtesy of Reece James' brace today, Chelsea have scored more goals via English players than any other side in the Premier League this season (13).

Reece James has been involved in more goals in all competitions than any other Chelsea player so far this season (7 - 4 goals, 3 assists).

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho became the first player in Premier League history to have 10 consecutive goals in the competition come from the penalty spot.

What's next?

Newcastle go to Brighton in the Premier League at 5.30pm on Saturday November 6, while Chelsea go to Malmo at 5.45pm on Tuesday in the Champions League, before hosting Burnley at 3pm on Saturday in the Premier League.


Newcastle United Darlow, Manquillo, Kraft, Lascelles (c), Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (Almiron 68), S. Longstaff (Shelvey 82), Fraser (Willock 67), Wilson, Saint-Maximin
Subs Not Used Dubravka, Schar, Lewis, Murphy, Joelinton, Gayle
Booked Hayden, Ritchie, Lascelles

Chelsea Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante (Loftus-Cheek 64), Jorginho (c), Chilwell, Ziyech (Barkley 64), Havertz, Hudson-Odoi (Saul 88)
Subs Not Used Kepa, Bettinelli, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Sarr
Booked Kante, Ziyech
Goals James 65, 77, Jorginho 81 (pen)

Attendance 52,208

Referee Paul Tierney

VAR David Coote