As it happened: English Premier League returns – Chelsea go top of the table





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FULL-TIME: NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 2

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In all fairness, Chelsea made heavy weather of what was a routine win… Werner was disappointing and many expensive players strolled. Given the chance, title contenders should throttle teams in this position. Maybe Lampard has a bit of work to do yet…

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Top of the table? Yes. Convincing and clinical against the shoddiest of hosts? No.

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 2

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Severe damage-limitation now for Newcastle with 10 minutes to go. This could have been a lot uglier and  – as is the norm –  they will be better served looking over their shoulder rather than thinking about the top six.

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NO GOAL: NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 2

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Chelsea make merry as Newcastle fall apart but Werner is offside and his strike is ruled out. And off he comes to be replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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GOAL: NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 2

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Game. Bed. Put. As expected, Newcastle pay for their high line and Chelsea’s Werner can square to Abraham as the Newcastle line backtracks and he taps in to secure the points. Chelsea going top of the table!!!!

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Gift! Joelinton does what he does best and passes up a great chance for a leveller by side-footing over the bar. I think he will go down in history as the worst ever buy in the Premier League. How Newcastle could have done with that leveller….

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Thin ice, great defending or poor delivery. It should be 2-0 but Newcastle survive as a sparse defence juuuuust gets back to cut out a cross from Timo Werner when he should have shot. Seems to be more of the same from the first 45 so far.

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Back under way. Can Steve Bruce mastermind a comeback? Or will Newcastle get thumped? Let’s see…

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HALF-TIME: NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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So, in my book Newcastle are lucky to even be at the races. Chelsea may regret those missed chances but I can’t see it happening given their dominance. 

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Half-time approaches. Newcastle have livened up in the last 15 minutes but this is easily Chelsea’s game to lose now. They are superior in every department – it’s like the good old days for the Blues (Pinks?).

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Fair dos. Newcastle are having a go now but every time they push forward, Chelsea pounce on the counter-attack. 

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Newcastle wake up and mount their first decent attack as the Chelsea defence looks stretched. No joy as Mendy smothers after a too-clever back-heel catches everyone out.

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Newcastle cannot even get the ball away from their own area at the moment and a gift of a sclaff allows Timo Werner clean through, but the German international can’t make them pay. Lampard not happy as Timo puts it wide.

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Hmmmm. Joelinton has a go from just inside the Chelsea half. Needless to say it does not worry Mendy and floats wide. Does that count as a shot off-target?

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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It’s all Chelsea now and it’s looking like a long day for Newcastle. The visitors have 85% possession and already Steve Bruce’s side look out of ideas. I will throw in my jinx and say this will end up at least five goals on the wrong side for Newcastle. 

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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It’s almost 2-0 as Tammy Abraham just misses out on a fizzing cross. That is Federico Fernandez’s fifth own-goal in the Premier Leage for Newcastle. Dodgy stuff…

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GOAL: NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 1

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Oh dear! A cross comes in and a stuttering Fernandez has three indecisive steps before squaring a cross past his own keeper. Calamity for Newcastle. Comedy and delight for Chelsea. 

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 0

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Timo Werner looks up for it today. Must have a point to prove after his first-hand experience of a 6-0 thumping by Spain while on duty of Germany. But it is Tammy Abraham who goes close…

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NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 0

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Chelsea settle and start controlling matters in midfield in their ‘traditional’ neon coral strip. Not much of the ‘Blues’ on show today.

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KICK-OFF: NEWCASTLE 0 CHELSEA 0

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We are under way at St JAmes’ Park with Newcastle looking for early pressure. Corner-kick for their efforts. Chelsea mop up.

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NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA

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While a revamped Chelsea look genuine title contenders — they have won 11 straight in all competitions — perennial strugglers Newcastle will move up to seventh with a win. Stranger things have happened.

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NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA

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25 mins to kick-off now and Lampard knows what a big statement for his expensively recruited side. He has gambled big with the chequebook and he knows – flop and yor are gone, basically. All eyes on new boys Mendy in goals, Ziyech, Werner and Chilwell.

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The locals in Dubai are certainly glad the EPL is back as they have been eagerly awaiting the return to business. “For all the international flavour of Dubai, it is the club football that attracts the fans,” says Craig Leader, manager of Crown & Lion, Byblos Barsha Heights. “We had some fans in for the internationals, but as they were mostly friendlies, there was an air of ‘When can we get back to the real stuff?’ We are here now and the safe-distancing table bookings show the guys don’t want to miss out on their games this weekend,”

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NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA
Team news

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Chelsea finished on a high with a 4-1 thumping of Sheffield United two weeks ago. Very similar team today as they have avoided any international injuries. Antonio Rudiger makes first start of the season.
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Zouma, Rudiger, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.
Substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Jorginho, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Azpilicueta, Emerson Palmieri.

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NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA
Team news

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Hosts up first. Callum Wilson will be a big miss as he is out injured. Ciaran Clark, Joelinton, Javier Manquillo and Isaac Hayden start.
Newcastle: Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis, Murphy, Hayden, S Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.
Substitutes:
Schar, Carroll, Shelvey, Hendrick, Krafth, Almiron, Gillespie.

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NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA

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So first up is Chelsea against Newcastle. A win for Frank Lampard’s men will take them top … at least for a wee while as Aston Villa – this year’s surprise package – can usurp them with a win at Brighton. Then Spurs will have their say against Manchester City. It’s a wee Saturday summit merry-go-round.

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It seems like ages since we had some good-old domestic footy to get our teeth into and plenty of title credentials will be tested this weekend. Maybe we got lucky with such a short summer break between the Champions League final and the start of the new season that this international break seemed so long. Anyways, we are here now.

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Fixtures

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Saturday
Newcastle v Chelsea, 4.30pm
Aston Villa v Brighton, 6pm
Tottenham v Manchester City, 9.30pm
Manchester United v West Brom, midnight
Sunday
Fulham v Everton, 4pm
Sheffield United v West Ham, 6pm
Leeds v Arsenal, 8.30pm
Liverpool v Leicester, 11.15pm
Monday
Burnley v Crystal Palace, 9.30pm
Wolves v Southampton, midnight

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Arsenal were left reeling following national duty, with coronavirus, naughty trips to Dubai, kips in the airport and a puch-up to deal with before they even got back on the pitch. Mikel Arteta has his hands full. Read more on that here.

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Welcome back. Enough of that international football nonsense (except for Scotland qualifying for the Euros). Let’s get back to business with a Premier League season that has thrown up many more questions than answers so far.

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We were left with cliffhangers before players went off on international duty, coming back with injuries, COVID cases and a few scandals.

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