Chelsea ease pressure on Potter, Newcastle move up to third

Chelsea ease pressure on Potter, Newcastle move up to third

Chelsea eased the pressure on manager Graham Potter with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace as Newcastle struck late to beat Fulham 1-0 and move up to third in the Premier League on Sunday.

Kai Havertz scored the only goal at Stamford Bridge with a towering second-half header on the day Chelsea paid tribute to former player and manager Gianluca Vialli.

The Italian great died earlier this month at the age of 58 from pancreatic cancer.

A number of Vialli’s former Chelsea teammates joined players from both sides on the pitch for a minute’s silence, as home fans unfurled a banner bearing an image of Vialli against the backdrop of the Italian flag.

The action on the pitch was also overshadowed by the official announcement during the first half that Chelsea had completed the signing of Mykhailo Mudryk for a fee that could be as high as 100 million euros (£88 million, $108 million). .

The former Shakhtar Donetsk winger was presented at half time draped in the Ukrainian flag with the move in place to take Chelsea’s spending in its first season under the ownership of Todd Boehly’s consortium beyond £400m.

There hasn’t been much to show for that investment so far, but Potter’s injury-ravaged side did enough to pick up just a second win in 10 league games.

Havertz made the breakthrough when he rose higher to connect Hakim Ziyech’s cross from a well-worked corner kick in the 64th minute.

Chelsea still needed some feats from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to see the end of the game as the Spaniard made a quick save from Cheick Doucoure’s sweetly hit volley.

“The crowd was great. They recognized the moment we were in, they recognized the young players on the field, and they stayed with the guys and helped us get over the line,” Potter said.

Despite a much-needed win, Chelsea remain 10 points out of the top four after Newcastle kept their title dreams alive at St. James’ Park.

– Super sub Isak –

The Magpies were given a huge relief when Aleksandar Mitrovic had a second-half penalty against his former club disallowed for double touch on the ball.

The Serb slipped taking the shot from the penalty spot and his right-footed shot bounced off his left foot into the net.

Newcastle made the most of it when club record signing Alexander Isak came off the bench to head in the winner with a minute from time.

Isak has now scored three goals in four Premier League appearances, but his last came in September due to injury.

“The goal was a special moment,” Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said.

“Very happy for Alex. You want to start working at a new club and he did before the injury. He had to wait and see the team do well in his absence. He has worked hard. In these moments, the work has paid off.” . .”

The win moves Newcastle back above Manchester United to third in the table on goal difference and six points behind leaders Arsenal.

The Gunners could move eight points clear at the top if they win the North London derby at Tottenham later on Sunday.


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