While some fans were surprised others were annoyed to see Chelsea displaying logos of Three and Hyundai on their shirts against Newcastle.
These companies have suspended their sponsorship deals with Chelsea, even reportedly asking the Blues to remove their logos from their kits.
According to I newspaper, Chelsea remain in discussions with Three about their agreement and ‘there are no immediate plans’ to take out the logo.
Additionally, the Blues, who now operate under a tight budget based on the recent restrictions imposed by the UK government, might simply have not enough money to order plain kits.
Also, the Telegraph report that the Three logo could stay on Chelsea’s shirts until the end of the season.
Pulisic’s underrated claims pundits while rating Chelsea’s performance in Newcastle triumph
Chelsea narrowly escaped a disappointing draw against Newcastle. Kai Havertz broke the deadlock late in the game, putting the ball past Dubravka after a brilliant Jorginho pass.
It was an emotional victory and as it often happens in such circumstances, the performance of the team becomes less important as we’re swayed by joy and excitement.
But we have to admit that had Havertz not scored and the game ended in a 0-0 draw, everyone in the Chelsea camp would have been frustrated with the quality of football at the Bridge.
So here is our analysis of the game…
The early plan seemed to be simple: play from the back and gradually reach the final third. This works perfectly in theory but in reality, Chelsea faced a number of challenges.
First, the Blues failed to control the midfield area in the absence of Thiago Silva and Kovacic. This made Chelsea look for other routes, notably long balls. As a result, the team made 16 crosses but none looked threatening.
Second, Newcastle committed a lot of men to the back. They saturated the area between the penalty area and the centre circle, blocking passing lanes and making it difficult for Chelsea to enter the box. Credit where it’s due — Newcastle defended really well today.
Third, the front four were toothless in creation. Starved of the ball, Werner wandered around aimlessly, only making 25 touches. Ziyech made 0 dribbles and shots — things he usually excels in. Havertz was marked out of the game and Mount was simply horrible.
Hence, Chelsea’s initial plan didn’t work — but Thomas Tuchel had an ace in his sleeve.
The Blues coach has justified his ‘Tommy Tactics’ nickname as his decisions turned the tide of the game.
Before he introduced Kovacic and Lukaku, it felt as if the game was going to end in a 0-0 draw or even a 1-0 win for Newcastle. After the substitutions, it felt Chelsea would manage to get one past Dubravka. And they did.
Kovacic changed Chelsea’s pattern of play in the way Tuchel had meant it as his gameplan. In 30 minutes, he made almost as many touches as Mount had in an hour: 30 versus 36. With Kovacic, Chelsea felt more in control down the middle which resulted in a more coherent build-up play.
Pulisic, when brought on later, provided a spark. It was perhaps a risky solution to bring him on for left-back Malang Sarr, but Tuchel basically had to choose between accepting the risk and going home with a 0-0 draw. He took a brave choice.
The introduction of the American saw Chelsea revert to a 3-5-2 shape, with Pulisic and Ziyech playing as wing-backs. It would have been suicidal to start a game with Pulisic and Ziyech as wing-backs due to their defensive vulnerability, but as a late-game move, it paid off.
While Lukaku didn’t have much of an impact, his intimidating presence helped as Newcastle defenders had to closely mark him, thus allowing Havertz and Ziyech more time on the ball.
The Magpies appeared to be caught off guard by Chelsea changing formation to 3-5-2. Their defenders had to play against two centre-forwards, not just one. Havertz found the space that opened up behind the defenders’ backs and ran into it as Jorginho fed Kai with a magnificent, Fabregas-esque lofted pass.
Chelsea’s winner was a brilliant goal in terms of individual excellence of Jorginho and Havertz, no two ways about it. But it was made possible by the formation change Tuchel made when he brought on Pulisic.
Game management: 10/10
The Magpies did create a couple of chances to score. Mendy made a great block to deny Almiron late in the first half. The keeper saved Schar’s header a few minutes before Havertz’s opener. These situations aside, Newcastle barely threatened Mendy.
The biggest heart-in-mouth moment happened in the 57th minute, when Chalobah repeatedly pulled Murphy’s shirt in the box. The Newcastle forward then fell in the box after coming in contact with Trev and many thought the referee would point to a spot.
However, VAR rescued Chelsea, infuriating Newcastle fans, who had nothing but to tweet their anger out, making ‘Robbed’ one of the biggest trending words in the UK.
Overall, it was a very solid defensive display. Rudiger and Christensen felt comfortable in a back-four without Thiago Silva’s careful guidance, Malang Sarr was surprisingly good and Chalobah had a nearly spotless outing apart from that Murphy shirt-pull.
Defence score: 8/10
Chelsea are operating under enormous pressure from the outside. The club is going through extremely tough times, with uncertainty over its future.
Yet the players responded to that pressure by fighting for the badge and getting a win in the end.
This team is not just a bunch of excellent football players; this team is full of warriors, and they showed it at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle.
Team spirit score: 10/10
Overall rating: 8/10
Newcastle weren’t particularly pushing forward as Eddie Howe seemed to have accepted a 0-0 as a preferred outcome before the kick-off.