By Jack Wilkinson
Newcastle United 1-2 Chelsea: Late own goal maintains flawless start for Chelsea
Highlights and report as Chelsea maintain flawless start to season
Last Updated: 27/08/18 7:08am
Chelsea made it three wins from three with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Newcastle on Renault Super Sunday.
DeAndre Yedlin's unfortunate own goal on 87 minutes sealed the win for Maurizio Sarri's dominant side - who had 81 per cent possession - after a controversial finale at St. James' Park.
Eden Hazard fired Chelsea in front from the penalty spot on 76 minutes after Fabian Schar was harshly penalised for a foul on Marcos Alonso, but Newcastle were level six minutes later as Joselu's near-post header was allowed to stand, despite Yedlin catching Olivier Giroud in the face with an elbow in the build-up.
Chelsea had the final word, though, as Yedlin turned Alonso's cross into his own net to maintain the Blues' flawless start to the season, and leave Rafa Benitez's men waiting for their first win.
Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Yedlin (5), Clark (6), Fernandez (6), Schar (6), Dummett (6), Murphy (6), Diame (6), Ki (6), Ritchie (6), Rondon (6).
Subs: Muto (5), Perez (5), Joselu (6).
Chelsea: Kepa (6), Azpilicueta (7), Rudiger (7), Luiz (6), Alonso (7), Kante (7), Jorginho (8), Kovacic (7), Pedro (6), Hazard (8), Morata (6).
Subs: Barkley (5), Giroud (6), Willian (5).
Man of the Match: Eden Hazard.
Newcastle, bolstered by four new signings making their full debuts, set their stall out from the start and registered the game's first effort on target, Jacob Murphy's low drive drawing Kepa Arrizabalaga into a save on six minutes.
Chelsea thought they had lost Eden Hazard to injury on 20 minutes but the Belgian shook off a knock, tormented the Newcastle defence and brought the game to life as a contest.
Hazard nearly broke the deadlock on 24 minutes but his effort with the outside of his boot curled away from goal. Six minutes later he embarked on a trademark run, beating three defenders, but he dragged a shot wide.
The subdued encounter was now frantic as two new Newcastle signings nearly provided the opener on 34 minutes, but Salomon Rondon headed wide from Federico Fernandez's cross from the left.
Rafa Benitez made six changes from the goalless draw at Cardiff. Four signings made their full Newcastle debuts, as Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Ki Sung-yeung and Salomon Rondon started. Eden Hazard started for Chelsea as they made two changes from the victory over Arsenal. Hazard replaced Willian, while loanee Mateo Kovacic got the nod ahead of Ross Barkley.
Pedro pounced on a poor clearance from Ki Sung-yeung and whistled a shot wide of the top corner on 36 minutes, before Martin Dubravka produced a fine save to keep the Spaniard's low effort out.
Chelsea picked up from where they left off after the interval. An intricate move released Cesar Azpilicueta in down the right but he fired straight at Dubravka, before Alvaro Morata's touch let him down after the Chelsea captain found his compatriot in space in the area.
Antonio Rudiger rattled the crossbar with a thunderous 30-yard drive on 73 minutes before Chelsea were handed the chance to take the lead when referee Paul Tierney penalised Schar for a trip on Alonso, despite the Newcastle debutant appearing to get a touch on the ball.
Up stepped Hazard who made no mistake from 12 yards, rifling the ball to Dubravka's right, but out of the blue Newcastle were level.
With Giroud on the floor clutching his face after a clash with Yedlin, the Newcastle full-back whipped a wicked ball in for substitute Joselu to power a header past Arrizabalaga.
But an unlikely point was snatched out of Newcastle's clutches as Giroud cushioned Willian's free-kick into the path of Alonso, and his effort cannoned off Yedlin to break hearts on Tyneside.
- Chelsea have registered their first Premier League victory at St James' Park since December 2011 - drawing one and losing four of their previous five visits.
- Chelsea haven't kept a clean sheet at St James' Park since a 3-0 victory in December 2011 - failing to keep a shutout in their last six visits.
- Joselu's goal in the 83rd minute was Newcastle's first shot on target since the sixth minute and their only shot on target in the second half.
- Maurizio Sarri is the fifth Chelsea manager to win his opening three Premier League games in charge of the club after Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho.
- Jorginho completed 158 passes out of a possible 173 (91.3%), 27 more than the whole Newcastle side combined (131).
- Eden Hazard's goal was his 70th for Chelsea in the Premier League - overtaking Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in third (69); only Frank Lampard (147) and Didier Drogba (104) have scored more for the Blues.
Rafa Benitez: "The penalty was soft. The foul was soft [for the free-kick for the winner]. It's a pity because we were very close. We knew playing open against them, with their ability, they can beat players. I think we did a good job, and it's a pity to lose this way."
Maurizio Sarri: "I was surprised, I have never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders. I think it is very difficult to play here for every team - not only us. We were a bit unlucky when they scored to make it 1-1."
Man of the Match - Eden Hazard
On his first start of the season, there was no rustiness from Hazard who was exemplary throughout. He registered three more attempts than any other player on the pitch with five efforts on goal, produced a game-high nine touches in the opposition box, completed 91 of his 101 passes and capped it all with Chelsea's opener from the spot.
What would VAR have changed?
Quite a lot, to be honest, although had Video Assistant Referee been in use, Chelsea still would have won, albeit in less dramatic circumstances. Schar's challenge on Alonso that handed Chelsea their penalty could have been overturned, and Joselu's equaliser could have been chalked off for a foul on Giroud, but Hazard's spot kick would have been the difference.
Newcastle travel to Nottingham Forest in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday - live on Sky Sports Football - before hosting Manchester City in next Saturday's teatime kick-off. Chelsea welcome Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge in one of next Saturday's five 3pm Premier League games.