AVB Relief in North England (Newcastle vs Chelsea)

Didier Drogba scored his first league since September, putting Chelsea ahead in their tough visit to Newcastle which somehow turned into a tad lying scoreline of 3-0. Tim Krul had a huge match against at the Newcastle goal, but as his centre backs dropped like flies, Daniel Sturridge and Salomon Kalou gave Andre Villas-Boas, finally, something to smile about.

It’s been rough recently for Chelsea fans, but mostly at home. Actually, only at home. Between the two Liverpool defeats and that stunning 5-3 match against Arsenal, Chelsea have won now three consecutive matches away from home. If you mark off the QPR loss, Chelsea haven’t lost in the Premier League when they leave London.

For Newcastle, the trio of matches that put their true identity and top-league credentials to the test, it was a huge disappointment. The Magpies did manage to create more than a few decent chances at the shaky Petr Cech (not today), but finished with only one point from their three matches against United, City and Chelsea. Slowly but firmly, the drop toward their natural league position continues.

Chelsea, for once, weren’t physically beaten, and didn’t lose their wits. Daniel Sturridge found himself infront of Tim Krul again and again, but the Dutch goalkeeper emerged again as the man of the match (despite the three goals) like in the Old Trafford visit. Didier Drogba’s head finally made a difference to keep Chelsea clear of Newcastle for most of the match.

Losing Fabio Coloccini early on was bad enough, as James Perch never really managed to keep up with pace. Later on, Steven Taylor’s injury while Newcastle were out of substitutions helped Fernando Torres set up the Kalou goal and later on Sturridge get the goal he deserves, as his maturing into Chelsea’s leading front man continues.

The Ameboi brother connection didn’t really change the surface of the planet when it happened, although Sammy does look like a quicker footed player than Shola. Demba Ba’s inaccurate day meant Alan Pardew’s side didn’t have anyone else to look to for salvation. Chelsea are temporarily back at third place, seven points behind Manchester City.