In the first home game of the post-Roman Abramovich era against a side who are just getting started under a questionable ownership of their own, it was Chelsea that came out victorious with a wonderful winner from Kai Havertz.
With the club megastore and the concourse kiosks closed, it seemed as though Martin Dúbravka in the Newcastle goal was keeping his doors locked too, but for Havertz’s goal on 89 minutes.
Story of the match
With a lack of first-half opportunities created by both sides although Chelsea ‘keeper Edouard Mendy was called into action; the main talking point of the opening 45 minutes was the goal scorer’s VAR incident.
A 50-50 including Havertz battling against Newcastle’s January signing Dan Burn saw the German come in with force as the centre-back received an elbow to the face.
VAR however, felt the foul deserved nothing more than the yellow card handed to Havertz from on-field referee David Coote.
After the interval, it was Eddie Howe’s side the quicker of the two out of the blocks.
Bruno Guimarães – another one brought to the club thanks to heavy investment from the Saudi consortium – forced Mendy into a save early in the second-half, with the Brazilian’s half-volley needing to be tipped round the post.
The Chelsea backline who was without Thiago Silva, were tested again soon after.
Jacob Murphy’s weaving run twisted young defender Trevoh Chalobah inside out, before Murphy fell to the deck with most expecting referee Coote to point to the spot.
Chalobah seemed to have a hold of the winger’s shirt, which followed up with a careless swipe.
Again though, it was the VAR who stuck with the on-field decision, as the corner led to no damage to Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Those at Stockley Park were called into action moments later, as Timo Werner rounded the Newcastle goalkeeper and went down, but the German was offside in the build-up to the incident.
It was on 75 minutes where the hosts produced their first effort on target.
A trademark whipped inswinger from left-footer Hakim Ziyech wide from the right-hand side spotted the run of Havertz, but the former Bayer Leverkusen nodded straight into the hands of Dúbravka.
Tuchel sent on Mateo Kovacic and Romelu Lukaku, but the reinforcements made no real drastic change, as the game looked to be concluding as a goalless affair.
It was left late though, as Jorginho’s clipped ball forward found Havertz who had peeled off the back of old foe Burn.
The 22-year-old’s deft touch landed straight into his path, before poaching home to give Chelsea all three points.
Takeaways from the match
The winner means Havertz has now reached the 20-goal mark in Chelsea colours, with six of them coming in the last seven; a real sign of the £71m man finding his feet.
As for Chelsea, the result means the World champions have won their last five Premier League fixtures, beating Norwich, Burnley, Palace and Tottenham previously - a run that dates back to 23 January due to involvements in other cup competitions.
The win also strengthens the grip on third place for the Blues, who are currently well on their way to sealing Champions League football for a seventh consecutive season.
As for Newcastle, they sit in 14th place, currently nine points clear of survival thanks to Eddie Howe’s incredible work since coming in.
Since the turn of the year, the Magpies have now only been beaten once in the Premier League.