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Newcastle United 0-3 Chelsea: Blues go three points clear at top

By Nicholas Mcgee

London, Oct. 30: Reece James' second-half double stretched Chelsea's advantage at the top of the Premier League as he fired the leaders to a 3-0 win at Newcastle United.

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The Blues, without the injured duo of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, initially lacked cutting edge in the final third as Kai Havertz took a central role up front.

Their main threat against a Newcastle team content to sit back and play on the counter was Hakim Ziyech, who saw a goal disallowed for offside and hit the post.

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However, James eventually found a way through, lashing a superb left-footed drive into the top-left corner in the 65th minute before taking advantage of lackadaisical defending from Newcastle, who then conceded a late penalty to enable Jorginho to apply gloss to the scoreline.

Chelsea moved three points clear at the summit after Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by Brighton and Hove Albion while Manchester City lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace.

Ziyech bent beyond Karl Darlow in the 28th minute only to see the offside flag correctly raised against him and then blazed over from close range after Callum Wilson was dubiously ruled to have fouled Andreas Christensen.

The former Ajax star hit the post when a long-range strike deflected off Jamal Lascelles, but Newcastle's resistance was broken in style by James.

His second was less aesthetically pleasing, James slicing beyond a stricken Darlow after Ruben Loftus-Cheek's effort was blocked with Newcastle's defence all over the place.

Darlow's bemusing foul on Havertz allowed Jorginho to coolly convert from 12 yards and help Chelsea solidify their position at the summit in emphatic fashion.

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Story first published: Saturday, October 30, 2021, 21:30 [IST]
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