Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted his side put in their “worst” performance of the season after Newcastle United cantered to a 4-1 win in the Premier League on Saturday.
Alexander Isak gave the hosts the lead at St James’ Park following a brilliant through ball from youngster Lewis Miley, but Raheem Sterling scored a stunning direct free-kick to equalise just ten minutes later.
It all fell apart for the Blues in the second half, though, after Jamaal Lascelles put Newcastle back in front on the hour mark. A minute later Joelinton jumped on a scuffed backpass from Thiago Silva to put them two goals ahead.
The afternoon would get even worse for Chelsea, who saw Reece James sent off for a second bookable offense. Anthony Gordon put the nail in the coffin with a superb strike in the 83rd minute.
“It was our worst game of the season,” Pochettino, who was serving a touchline ban, told Premier League Productions. “It was tough to be in the stands.
“We cannot complain about the result, we did not read the game from the beginning. We did not play how we should play, we showed a lack of intensity and energy. Even after we scored, at 1-1, it was a chance for us to force them to play deep, but it was so easy for Newcastle. That is why I am so upset with the performance.
“It is a young team, they need this type of situation to realise. We will go to the hotel, then train early tomorrow, no time off. We cannot blame the players, it is the team together. We need to understand the level we need to compete, and learn about this situation.
“There are many details, many things that build confidence and strength. We already know what is going on, and we will try to change the dynamic.”