Timo Werner netted his first Premier League goal since early November as he helped Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Newcastle to lift them into the top four.
Chelsea quickly set about applying pressure to their struggling visitors, Thomas Tuchel’s side earning an early succession of corners, although goalkeeper Karl Darlow wasn’t overly troubled in the opening exchanges.
The Blues also saw a penalty appeal waved away on 15 minutes as Jamaal Lascelles challenged Tammy Abraham in the box, getting the ball but also getting some of the man, with Abraham eventually being replaced with an issue with his right leg.
Chelsea did eventually take the lead in the 31st minute though, the industrious Timo Werner causing problems down the left with his direct running. The German advanced towards the byline before putting a low cross into the middle which was not dealt with by the Magpies, the ball dropping to substitute Olivier Giroud who fired home.
Eight minutes later and Chelsea made it two, Newcastle failing to deal with a corner, the ball falling at the feet of the unopposed Werner at the back post as the summer signing finally ended long-standing goalscoring drought.
Newcastle showed signs of improvement after the break, but rarely really challenged the recalled Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Chelsea seeing out the game with relative ease.
Timo Werner has had plenty of critics since moving to the Premier League, though the 24-year-old put in a good performance which on another day could have seen him score more, and the former RB Leipzig forward was understandably happy to end his long barren spell in front of goal.
1000 – Timo Werner has scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea in exactly 1000 minutes – since netting against Sheffield United in November – ending a run of 31 attempts without finding the back of the net in the competition. Relief. #CHENEW pic.twitter.com/1DaodRBhBU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 15, 2021
“First half was really good form us, we played very good football,” Werner told Sky Sports.
”Happy that I scored finally and there’s still a long way to go but if we keep going like this is will be a good end for us.
“As a striker you always want to score, the last month was hard I was not happy with not scoring. But at the end it’s a team sport, when we win everything is good. Helping my team with assists and glad I scored today.
“For a striker it’s worse when you can’t get in the right situations and have the chances. I’ve had a lot of chances which I’ve missed, my team brought me a lot of situations where I could score today, when I keep going the goals will come like today and the assists as well.”
Chelsea have now won their last four games under Thomas Tuchel to see them move into the top four, just four points behind second-placed Manchester United.
“Really important, that’s important for us to reach Champions League at the end. At the start of the season we were favourites of the title, the last two months have showed we are no and we have a lot of work to do to close the gap with City and other clubs.
“The football we’ve played and the games we have played which have not been easy but we’ve showed that with some development we can get better.”
Next up for the Blues is an away trip to face a Southampton side who have lost six league games on the spin.