Chelsea further cemented their grip on third place in the Premier League table after securing a late 1-0 win over Newcastle in a game many have described as the Sportwashing Derby.
Before the match even kicked off there was a strange atmosphere in the ground with Blues fans serenading their recently sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich and Newcastle fans hoisting a Saudi Arabian flag aloft – despite the gulf state admitting they carried out a mass execution of 81 people yesterday.
Both sides came into the game in good form but it would be Eddie Howe’s Newcastle who were the better team during the opening period with Miguel Almiron forcing Edouard Mendy into a excellent save from his dipping long-range volley.
As the game entered the second period Chelsea struggled to create much against Newcastle’s well drilled defense and the game seemed destined to end goalless. However, Kai Havertz would pop up with a brilliantly taken winner in the 88th minute to break the Magpies hearts.
The young German attacker taking down Jorginho lofted ball down with a velvet like first touch before firing past the onrushing Martin Dúbravka.
Speaking afterward match winner Havertz was obviously delighted to secure a hard-fought win for his side.
“It was amazing to score in the last minute like this,” Havertz told Sky Sports.
“It was very tough. Newcastle made life hard for us. Up front it was tough – they have big defenders, who always tried to block us and foul us.
“But we talked about this at half-time and how to get round this. We dug in, tried to give our best and in the end it was brilliant for us.”