Palmer influential as Chelsea edge out Newcastle

Premier League

Chelsea 3-2 Newcastle United

Cole Palmer inspired Chelsea to a 3-2 win against Newcastle in the Premier League, assisting one and scoring another on at Stamford Bridge this evening.

The 21-year-old continued to show why he has been the Blues’ best player this season, picking up an assist inside six minutes as Nicolas Jackson (6) flicked home his shot.

Alexander Isak’s well-taken goal (43) just before the break got Newcastle level before Palmer fired Chelsea back ahead in the second half.

Palmer shot from almost the same place as his assist – just at the top of the area – this time needing no help in beating the goalkeeper. It marked his fifth goal-and-assist combination in a Premier League game this season – the highest in the league.

The cherry was added onto the cake late on as Mykhailo Mudryk’s cool finish added Chelsea’s third (76), but Newcastle made sure of a nervy finish thanks to Jacob Murphy’s rocketed effort on the stroke of the 90 minutes.

Alexander Isak celebrates after brining Newcastle level.

The victory leaves Chelsea on 39 points, three away from Brighton in eighth with a game in hand. Newcastle are ahead by a point in 10th.

Chelsea were back at Stamford Bridge after 36 days, and after a draw against Brentford last time out drew the ire of some fans, needed to impress at home. And it took just six minutes for them to take the lead.

Malo Gusto’s initial shot was only cleared as far as Palmer at the edge of the box. He took on the shot, but it was a clever flick from Jackson from close range that sent the ball past a diving Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle perhaps thought their luck was down when Anthony Gordon was taken off with a knee injury, with the Magpies on the cusp of their best spell of the game.

And they made it count just before the break. Chelsea were unable to keep hold of the ball in midfield with Isak driving forward. He then curled the ball around his marker and into the back of the net for a deserved equaliser.

The second half began at a pace with chances at both end. Djordje Petrovic made a superb early save from Miguel Almiron, before Raheem Sterling fired into the side netting after some more Palmer magic.

Mykhailo Mudryk celebrates what would prove to be the winner.

And it was the 21-year-old – with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on – who inevitably saw Chelsea back ahead. He was picked out by a defence-splitting Enzo Fernandez pass, before rifling home from the edge of the area, almost in the exact same spot as his assist for Jackson’s opener.

The Blues could have added an immediate third – but were denied by Dan Burn’s thigh. Sterling was through one-on-one with Dubravka, eventually rounding the goalkeeper but his shot was cleared off the line by the Newcastle defender.

Burn was another injury casualty for Newcastle, coming off in the 69th minute, and Chelsea went on to add another shortly after. It was a sublime moment from Mudryk, who nipped in ahead of Conor Gallagher to pick up a loose ball. He then sent it through the legs of Fabian Schar and around the oncoming Dubravka before coolly slotting home.

The super finishes kept on coming, and Newcastle made sure it would be a fight to the finish. Murphy – who excelled after coming on for Gordon – rolled Marc Cucurella before rifling into the net.

Chelsea host Championship side Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday March 17, kick-off 12.45pm. They return to Premier League action after the international break at home to Burnley on Saturday March 30. Kick-off 3pm.

Newcastle head to Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, kick-off 5.30pm. Their next Premier League fixture is at home to West Ham on Saturday March 30, kick-off 12.30pm.

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