A View from the Bridge – Chelsea Vs Newcastle

Stamford Bridge at night.

A view from the bridge.

Walking into Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, chatting to Chelsea fans, it was plain to see that they seemed to think Newcastle were only there to make up the numbers.

But I had a good feeling about the game as we went through the various security checks and finally into the Shed (lower level gate 1). We found our seats then turned our attention to drinks. But this isn’t Ashburton Grove (Goonersville) and it was disappointing to say the least that nothing alcoholic was allowed or even for sale. Weird!

Anyhoo,

The guy with the mic walked onto the pitch to start the crowd ‘wind up’.

It was good to see that Alan Pardew put a good attacking team out. Danny Simpson didn’t make the team through injury but I wasn’t worried by the inclusion of James Perch at right back, as he’s shown us how he’s come on this season recently and was once again a stand out performer.

As the game kicked off there was a great atmosphere in the away end and I felt quite confident. Chelsea made a couple of pushes forward but Newcastle repelled them with ease. Then inexplicably after about 3 or 4 minutes, referee Halsey set his stall out by yellow carding Cheik Tiote for brushing past a blue shirted diver. It was obvious that they’d been sent out to try and get Tiote cautioned and/or sent off early. Very disappointing start from the ref. To his credit, Tiote just carried on as if nothing had happened.

It became clear that Newcastle had been well drilled for this game and were right up for it. We were looking dangerous and generally winning everything in the middle of the pitch. It was great to see Hatem Ben Arfa dropping back discharging his defensive duties, then playing nice triangles out wide, bombing forward, winning the ball back with ease.

Davide Santon looked confident and Captain Colo and ‘Iron Mike’ were rock solid in central defence and James Perch was getting his foot in and playing simple balls out from the back. Yohan Cabaye was starting to purr in the centre without being spectacular but creating a smooth dynamo effect, mopping up after Tiote’s ball winning exploits.

It became apparent that the Blues were very wary of their opponents which stopped them committing too many forward early on. They seemed to lack guile and basic drive, maybe with one eye on the weekends FA Cup final and the other on the Champions League final, Oh! That’s both eyes!

Newcastle started to take control of the game despite being the away team and in spite of the ref. We were closing them down in midfield really effectively, but just couldn’t find the killer ball. That all changed as we approached the 20 minute mark. A nice little breakaway down the left with Santon sliding a great ball into the hovering Papiss Cisse, a deft trap, the ball popped up just right for a sharp left-footed volley that comfortably beat Cech in the Chelsea goal. What a sweet strike!

Chelsea 0 – 1 Newcastle United.

The away end went mental, the other 30 odd thousand went silent.

It was a well deserved lead and you could sense that Chelsea, both team and fans, knew it. That was the cue for what became the total domination of the first half by Newcastle. Whatever Chelsea tried, Newcastle had an answer to. There was one decent cross by Torres that resulted in a misguided header that was dangerous for them. JT was getting all kinds of abuse from us lot and as the half wore on and the Blues’ subs warmed up down the touchline, they were greeted with chants of “John Terry hates you!”.

Demba Ba had a couple of half chances, then he hit a great, low shot that Cech could only turn round the post for a corner. Hatem Ben Arfa almost scored from the corner, but Bertrand was just on his mettle enough to put it out for another corner, then a nicely worked corner ended with Ba rattling the bar as the half drew to a close. We were in great voice now, comfortably getting to half-time one goal to the good.

That has to be one of the best first halves that I’ve witnessed at an away game.

Half-time: Chelsea 0 – 1 Newcastle United.

As we kicked off for the second half, Chelsea had brought on Juan Mata, they needed to do something, though I thought they’d be better off bringing on another defender. They got off to a good start, on the attack and to be fair, we were a bit off the pace. Then the ref began to show his colours and they weren’t Black ‘n’ White!

There were very few fouls in this game, so it seemed that ref Halsey decided to invent a few to give himself something to do. It all culminated in one of the most spineless ‘non-decisions’ that I’ve seen in a game, ever! Tiote had gone in on Mikel. Mikel decided to stay down until we kicked the ball out, it was a minor incident to say the least. Then Mikel took it upon himself to wreak retribution around the centre circle. It couldn’t have been more obvious and the ref couldn’t have been better placed or had a better view. As Mikel committed what can only be described as an assault on Tiote, Tiote fell badly after being elbowed blatantly across the face. The ref blew and made aggressive gestures to bring on the medical teams, yet somehow deemed it not worthy of a yellow card, it should have been red! Tiote was prone for the best part of 10 minutes and eventually made way for Ryan Taylor. He’d put in a great shift, but it was disgusting the way that Halsey had offered no protection whatsoever.

Chelsea now thought they were in with a sniff and pushed forward at every opportunity. Lampard and Drogba were brought on, the latter suffering taunts of “He dives when he wants…” whilst warming up in front of the away support. To be to fair to him, he has a sense of humour and laughed as we chanted “Drogba, Drogba gives us a dive!”

He immediately obliged by going down in the box!

Newcastle’s defence was holding strong but we weren’t getting a lot of respite. Chelsea were pushing on, we were throwing everything in front of the ball. Santon had let a couple of passes go astray early in this half, but redeemed himself when he headed clear a JT headed off the line…

That was close!

Shola replaced Ba, which looked a good move, as Shola’s hold up skills helped a lot. Then Obertan came on for Hatem Ben Arfa in an aggressive move that showed Chelsea we weren’t gonna just sit back. He did upset them with a couple of quick bursts that kept their defence on it’s toes.

As the electronic board went up showing 10 minutes of overtime it was no surprise that this spurred Chelsea on for the big push for an equaliser. But Shola was holding up well and causing problems.

Then came the coup de gras!

We won a throw-in down our left, Ryan Taylor took it, a long, arrowed throw down the line that perfectly found Shola’s chest. It was expertly turned into the path of Papiss Cisse, who, with not a lot on as his new strike partner was assisting him out wide, looked up and as quick as you like, right in front of yours truly, with a deft yet meaningful strike, curled in an inverted banana shot right into the top right corner, leaving Cech with no chance at all. .

It could only be described as a world class strike! Believe me, i was at SJP when Solano scored that amazing goal against Everton a few years back, but this was beyond, off the scale and a true contender for goal of the season.

Wow!

What an honour to see that up close and personal, I knew as soon as he hit it where it was headed.

We went completely crazy, the Chelsea fans right next door looked amazed, bemused and beaten. The crowd started to thin, even with 6 or so minutes to go. They just knew it was all over.

“He scores when he wants, Papiss Cisse, he scores when he wants!” blasted out around an emptying Stamford Bridge. As the final whistle blew, then one of the coolest things I’ve seen at an away game happened: A few of the Chelsea fans sat the other side of the stewards from us actually clapped over in our direction, then some of them actually made their way over to us, going out of their way to come and shake hands with some of our fans, an amazing gesture that I will always remember, they knew that they had been beaten by the better team on the night and appreciated it – Fair play!

As we filed out into the drizzly London night, beaming, I knew that I’d just seen a truly great away result for the Toon, first win at Stamford Bridge since ’87 (in the League), but more especially, we’d just witnessed 2 of the best strikes we’d ever have the pleasure to observe, what a great game, what a great crowd, what a win and what a GOAL!

Chelsea v Newcastle United full match video, extended highlights and interviews.

Chelsea v Newcastle United match highlights.

avatar NUFCBlog Author: CLiNT FLiCK Cut me in half & it’ll say Newcastle United F.C. just like a stick of Black ‘n’ White rock! CLiNT FLiCK has written 42 articles on this blog.

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15 Responses to “A View from the Bridge – Chelsea Vs Newcastle”

  1. 1
    avatar UTD111 says:

    Sounds like you enjoyed a really special night there Clint – thanks for the insight. Loved the bits about Drogba, you could hear the “dives when he wants” chant when I watched the highlights on Sky the next day!

    Great stuff!

  2. 2
    avatar Tony Toon says:

    After the more usual and bitter comments from opposing fans after losing to us, I have to say that a lot of comments over the last few days from Chelsea fans have been most refreshing and complimentary.

  3. 3

    Good report Clint – sounds like you enjoyed your night.

  4. 4
    avatar B1GSTEVE says:

    Great write up Clint, really enjoyed reading that. Fair dos to the chelski supporters, they were complimentary on the radio too.

  5. 5
    avatar Hoolie says:

    I wish I was there, this one of those games that you’ll never forget where you were. I was sat watching the game at home live on-line, channel YES on Sopcast!

    You could see from the off that Newcastle were 100% up for it. I had the colly wobbles even before Cisse’s first goal went, they were simply all over Chelsea.

    An excellent display by Newcastle and you could tell that there were more goals to come. However, it seemed Chelsea were intent on pulling it back in the second half by bringing on Drogba and Lampard, who were supposed to be resting!

    For the last 15-20 mins of normal time, Newcastle were defending like crazy and could do nothing but soak up some relentless pressure that Chelsea’s big guns were plying them with.

    …Then Cisse scores THAT goal… game over!

    That was the best Toon performance I’ve seen all season and I’m pleased – but not totally surprised to hear about the Chelsea supporters who came over to the Toon supporters to show their appreciation after the match – and credit to them.

  6. 6
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    Cheers lads,
    it was a real treat to be there, honestly… a massive thanx to those that made it possible, it’s me birthday next friday (shared with Wor Jackie, no less), so i’ll accept it as the best gift i’ve had for years…beating notts f back in the day 5-0 to get CL was pretty good too like.
    ;)

  7. 7
    avatar Paul in Hollywood says:

    Nice one Clint! Maybe you’re a good luck charm. Can you make it to the Man City game and then over to Goodison?

  8. 8
    avatar workyticket says:

    Aye, that’s a very good write up, Clint, especially the bit about the Chelsea fans. Cheers!

    Hope you didn’t mind me slipping the Arthur Miller reference into the title there. You divven’t get that on many other NUFC Blogs. :-)

  9. 9
    avatar workyticket says:

    Paul in Hollywood says:
    May 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    “Nice one Clint! Maybe you’re a good luck charm.”

    He was at the Arsenal game with me. The ref gave ‘em a year of extra time and we lost right at the end there, Paul. ;-)

  10. 10
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    No sweat worky,
    i shoulda thoughta that meself really…der!
    Paul, we don’t lose very often when i get to the game, the arse game was the first for a very long time like. But with howeird webb ya’ rarely get lucky.
    We’ve got him tomorrow but the mancs reckon he’s a manure fan, should be interesting then.
    ;)

  11. 11
    avatar Stephen C says:

    to be honest its not just the mancs fans that think he is a man u fan. its everyone.

    although i think this will go against us. he might give the game to us and pave the way for man u.

    or he might clean the air by giving them some dodgey decision.

    to be honest i think he might prove he is “not” a Man u fan and give us a rough time.

    but either way. with the Arsenholes only drawing today its a game we need to win.

  12. 12
    avatar Matt Aistrup says:

    I watched the match in a pub in Manchester with my black and white top on. The amount of people who came up to me to shake my hand after Cisse’s goal it felt like I’d scored it!

    Great write up, and aye you’re right workyticket, you don’t see many Arthur Miller references on footie blows. Who says the Toon Army aren’t a cultured bunch?

  13. 13
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    Aye,

    the blues fans went up in my estimation after that game.

    It turned out well for them today too, beating liverpool in the cup.

  14. 14
    avatar workyticket says:

    Matt Aistrup says:
    May 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    “Who says the Toon Army aren’t a cultured bunch?”

    Well, some of the ones in my day who’d spend all Saturday getting absolutely mortal watching the strippaz, then would stagger over to SJP and piss themselves right down the Gallowgate terraces left something to be desired in the cultural department, Matt. They weren’t the kind who’d drink their Federation ale with a little finger sticking out.

  15. 15
    avatar Matt Aistrup says:

    Ha! That sounds like a special kind of ‘cultured’.

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