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Magpies go from one extreme to another after Chelsea win
Final score: Newcastle United 2 Chelsea 0
LOSE to Sunderland, get knocked out of the League Cup and then beat title contenders Chelsea – it’s just another week in the weird and wonderful world of Newcastle United.
The Magpies have been known to go from one extreme to another in such a short space of time and the predictable nature of Alan Pardew’s side was once again on show when Jose Mourinho brought his high-flying team to St James’ Park.
It has been a difficult week on Tyneside for reasons both on and off the field and you could forgive those supporters who were left scratching their heads as to how the Magpies can beat a team challenging for the title after losing to their arch-rivals, who hadn’t won a game all season, six days earlier.
You could spend days, maybe weeks or even months trying to figure out who the real Newcastle United is, but one thing was certain on Saturday – they deserved to win this one.
They showed real spirit to overcome early pressure from Chelsea and stay in the game despite allowing the visitors to take control even if there were a couple of heart in your mouth moments when John Terry saw his header crash off the bar, before another was cleared off the line by Davide Santon in the first half.
They also defended as well as they have all season with Mathieu Debuchy turning in his best display for a long time, while Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mike Williamson were solid.
But what was arguably most impressive on Saturday was Newcastle’s desire to kill off a team when they were in the ascendancy. That characteristic was sorely missed at the Stadium of Light, but against Chelsea they showed real balls to keep their big-spending opponents at bay and keep the pressure on.
Even though Yoan Gouffran gave Newcastle a 68th minute lead, there was always a lingering feeling that Chelsea could get themselves back into the game at the drop of a hat with the attacking quartet of Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar, but the Magpies continued to press the out-of-sorts Blues and were rewarded when Loic Remy finished off a good move involving Vurnon Anita.
The Frenchman improved massively after a poor first 45 minutes and showed real class to hold his run for Anita to pick him out in the box. It was his sixth goal in seven games since joining on loan from Queens Park Rangers in the summer.
In his short time at the club, Remy has seen how good life can be at Newcastle, but the striker has also tasted how bad it can be, and he admits he is getting used to the extreme highs and lows English football can produce.
“I understand (how it can go from good to bad). This is typical of the Premier League,” Remy revealed. “In France, if you have Paris Saint Germain against the bottom club they would have a 90 per cent chance of winning. In England, it is different. When I arrived, I was very surprised, because the team at the bottom can beat the big teams. That is how alive this league is. You just never know.
“We worked hard to win this game. It was not easy to win because Chelsea are a top team and in the first half it was very difficult for us. We used a lot of energy defending.
“In the second half we picked up our game and tried to play more quickly and we scored two good goals. All through the game we had the possibility to score and then when I finally managed to score I was very happy.”
There has been a lot of animosity between supporters and the club’s hierarchy over the last few weeks, but when the crowd sensed Newcastle were in with a shout of beating Chelsea, they raised the noise level inside St James’ Park.
Remy was the last player to leave the pitch at the end and the 26-year-old admits the reception he received confirmed what everybody has been telling him about the club’s supporters.
The striker remained coy over his future on Tyneside beyond the end of the season, though, and insisted discussions over a permanent move would not take place until July.
He said: “Before I came here I heard about the fans, the atmosphere and what it means for the club, but I didn’t really understand until I felt it on the pitch after the final whistle. When you get a big win like this …wow. I play football to have these kinds of moments.
“We knew after Sunderland and Manchester City that the fans were very disappointed but it is magic being at this club because even three days after you lose a big game the atmosphere remains loud.
“I am happy here. It’s important that I have a good relationship with them (the fans).
“To be honest, I feel very good here, but now I am only on loan and this is a question that we have to speak about with the owner and everybody in July, I think.”
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