Date: 4th April 2009 at 5:48pm
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Newcastle United were beaten comprehensively by Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea on a night the home side should have at least got a point. With new boss Alan Shearer at the helm, Newcastle started the game brightly, but with a narrow focus on the left-flank, and no distribution or interchange of play, Chelsea picked-off the predictable Magpies until the Tyneside club broke.

As it happened…

The culprit for the first goal was none other than the club’s most expensive centre-back Fabricio Coloccini, who, as recent weeks have suggested, is not a natural central defender, rather, a makeshift centreback preferred at right-back by his national side. Quite rightly so too, as another shambolic moment in the nervy defender’s game gifted Frank Lampard with a simple header to kick the second-half off.

Steve Harper failed to stop a Florent Malouda shot from going in soon after, with Kevin Nolan also putting in a notoriously poor performance at the heart of the Toon midfield. Nolan could not win a header all night, or pass a ball to a team-mate, with each of his passing attempts either falling to an opponent, or him being dispossessed before anything worthwhile developed.

With the scores at 2-0, Michael Owen, and Obafemi Martins combined to put the Magpies ahead, but Owen’s 72nd minute effort was disallowed by the lines-man, and Rob Styles, who failed to spot the ball crossing the line by a good yard.

The match also saw some poor offensive, and defensive play from Spanish left-back Jose Enrique, who may have been ‘The Bull’ in his homeland, but in England, he is not even a mouse.

Some good play from Nicky Butt, and Jonas Gutierrez ensured that the scores remained at a minimum, as free-kick and set-piece opportunities were squandered at the other end by one Ryan Taylor.

Peter Lovenkrands was fouled by Malouda in the first-half with the Dane sustaining damage to his ribs resulting in a emergency transfer to the hospital. The Chelsea man received no caution for his dangerous elbow charge.

The 2-0 scoreline meant that new manager Alan Shearer began his Tyneside career with a loss, and now the Magpies face a tricky trip away from home against Stoke next Saturday.

Thoughts:

Anyone wondering, please don’t blame Shearer for the result. The man gave it his all. It was substandard players such as Argentine calamity-man Fabricio Coloccini, Kevin Nolan, Ryan Taylor, and Jose Enrique who lost Newcastle the match.

Relegation looms in the horizon. Thank you for trying Alan Shearer – but the doom-and-gloom has been crystallized by this defeat.

TEAMS

Newcastle: Harper, Ryan Taylor, Beye, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Nolan, Butt, Lovenkrands, Owen, Martins.

Subs: Forster, Guthrie, Duff, Smith, Geremi, Edgar, Carroll.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Kalou.

Subs: Hilario, Carvalho, Di Santo, Ballack, Deco, Belletti, Mancienne.