EPL: Chelsea beat Newcastle 2-0, set for top
Chelsea climbed to the top of the Premier League for the first time in over two years with a convincing 2-0 win at Newcastle on Saturday.
Frank Lampard’s side moved above Leicester on goal difference thanks to Federico Fernandez’s first half own goal and Tammy Abraham’s strike after the interval.
Chelsea are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and haven’t lost in their last six league matches.
With five clean-sheets in their last six matches in all competitions, Chelsea’s third successive league victory was the perfect way to start a hectic period leading up to Christmas.
Maurizio Sarri was in charge the last time Chelsea were in pole position in the Premier League in September 2018.
But Lampard’s squad are more formidable than his predecessor’s fragile team and a serious title challenge looks increasingly possible.
Chelsea could surrender top spot before the end of the day, with both Aston Villa and Tottenham able to go above them depending on their results.
The west Londoners had won only once in their previous seven visits to Newcastle, but for once St James’ Park didn’t prove a house of horrors.
Lampard had complained about having to play in the Saturday early kick off when several of his players had only returned from international duty on Thursday.
Thiago Silva was not even available to feature on the bench after the 36-year-old played for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Tuesday.
German centre-back Antonio Rudiger came in for his first league start of the season, while Ben Chilwell at left-back started despite limping out of England’s game with Belgium due to a back injury. Punch