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CHELSEA v NEWCASTLE RECAP: Five-star Blues hammer Magpies

Chelsea produced their best performance of the season by demolishing Newcastle United 5-1 on Saturday.

Guus Hiddink's Blues skipped away to a three-goal lead inside 17 minutes as Diego Cost, Pedro and Willian all hit the back of the net as the home side carved up the visiting Magpies defence.

The onslaught continued in the second half when Pedro helped himself to his second just before the hour-mark before Bertrand Traore scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea with a sliding finish from Cesar Azpilicueta's lovely cross form the right.

There was a first Newcastle goal for summer signing Andros Townsend who produced a super finish from outside the area in the 90th minute but it was a mere consolation as the Geordie outfit were battered from pillar to post by the West Londoners.

The win has reigning champions Chelsea up to 12th on the table while Steve McClaren's Magpies occupy 18th, equal on points with Norwich who sit out of the relegation zone.


MATCH OVERVIEW

Chelsea: 5 (Diego Costa 5', Pedro 9'/59', Willian 17', Bertrand Traore 83')
Newcastle United: 1 (Andros Townsend 90')
Stamford Bridge, London - 41,622


TALKING POINTS

- Can Chelsea make an impact in the final few months of the season? Are they good enough to challenge for the to five or six? Can they cause another Champions League upset?

- There is an enormous gap between Newcastle's best and worst. How can McClaren bridge that divide in a bid to bring more consistency to their results?



WHAT'S NEXT?

Chelsea head to France to take on Paris Saint Germain in the CL Round of 16 on Tuesday before hosting Man City in the FA Cup fifth round on the weekend. They then head to in-form Southampton in the league on February 27.

Newcastle will have to wait until March 2 for their next game when they head to Stoke as their schedule February 27 fixture against Man City has been postponed due to the Capital Cup Cup final



TWITTER INSIGHT


QUOTES CORNER

Chelsea's Hiddink on the performance giving the team some extra confidence:

"The European game especially against PSG will be much more difficult, because it's a team unbeaten since August," Hiddink added.

"But this game gave confidence to the team. We have to go there and play with the confidence we showed today."


Newcastle boss McClaren on the loss and what it means ahead of their near-three-week break:

"It's a good opportunity to regroup, get organised, stay calm, be stable, don't let this derail us.

"The 18 days are good. We have to stick together in that dressing room.

"There's enough quality in there. We have to show character and fight."




STATS SPECIALS
*Thanks to Opta


TEAM LEADERS


Chelsea

Goals - Diego Costa 10
Assists - Willian 8
Clean sheets - Asmir Begovic, Thibaut Courtois 4
Yellow cards - Diego Costa 7
Red cards - Thibaut Courtois, John Terry, Nemanja Matic 1


Newcastle

Goals - Georginio Wijnaldum 9
Assists - Moussa Sissoko 5
Clean sheets - Rob Elliot 4
Yellow cards - Jack Colback 9
Red cards - Fabricio Coloccini, Daryl Janmaat, Jamaal Lascelles, Aleksandar Mitrovic 1

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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