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Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle


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Chelsea 3-4 Newcastle

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Shola Ameobi's last-minute header ensured Newcastle triumphed over ten-man Chelsea in a pulsating Carling Cup game at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League champions opened the scoring when two of their rising stars; Gael Kakuta and Patrick van Aanholt combined for the latter to slot home, but they soon found themselves trailing after a quick-fire salvo from Newcastle's Nile Ranger and Ryan Taylor gave the visitors a lead at the interval.

Shola Ameobi then doubled the lead, and injuries to Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun - the latter leaving the Blues with just ten men - meant that Chelsea had a mountain to climb though time was still on their side. They showed brief signs of a recovery when Alex hit the post from distance, and eventually did pull a goal back when Nicolas Anelka finished coolly inside the box from a van Aanholt cross.

With less than ten minutes to play, Alex was fouled in the penalty area and Anelka slotted home the resultant spot-kick to send the Chelsea faithful into raptures, but their joy was to be short-lived as first Paulo Ferreira hit the woodwork with a volley before Ameobi scored in the last minute to win the game for the visitors - a result they probably warranted.

Chelsea were out of sorts and despite bossing the first fifteen minutes were second-best for much of the match. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will perhaps be most concerned about the injuries picked up by Kalou and Benayoun, although young Josh McEachran will no doubt have pleased his manager after he and Anelka instigated a remarkable comeback.

In retrospect, Newcastle's late goal will probably have done the Blues some good; meaning they did not have to face an additional thirty minutes and the dreaded penalty shoot-out that may have followed, and unlike fellow title contenders Manchester United and Arsenal, will no longer have to negotiate further rounds in the League Cup.

The Blues weren't the only 'big name' side to go out at this early stage - Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool were all spectacularly dumped out. Nevertheless the defeat will be hard for Chelsea's youngsters to stomach but no-one can begrudge Newcastle a deserved victory nor criticise the hosts after their second-half heroics. Incidentally, the defeat is the first in normal time that Chelsea have suffered in 21 League Cup matches - the last being against Aston Villa in 2003.

Chelsea got off to the best possible start, but were given a helping hand by some haphazard defending by Sol Campbell who got in a mix-up with keeper Tim Krul; allowing Gael Kakuta to seize the ball and fed it to the rampaging van Aanholt, who finished with aplomb despite the despairing dive of Krul.

However equally lacklustre defending from Chelsea enabled the visitors to restore parity. Young defender Shane Ferguson was given the freedom of the left flank and with no Blues player attempting to close him down, the Newcastle man was able to fire in a cross which Ameobi flicked on and Nile Ranger converted past a beleaguered Ross Turnbull. It was an avoidable equaliser - Paulo Ferreira should have closed down the marauding full-back and van Aanholt was left wanting when he failed to react to Ranger's movement in the box. What would follow five minutes later was equally self-inflicted.

Ryan Taylor curled home a delightful freekick when Jeffrey Bruma's concentration lapsed, culminating with a foul on Ameobi. Turnbull might have done better, but Chelsea were left with a mountain to climb, and a task that would become even more difficult after the interval.

It took just three minutes for Newcastle to extended their lead, and once again it was down to poor play at the back. With John Terry taken off at half-time as he makes he way back from injury, the defence looked out-of-sorts and it was Ferreira this time at fault as his loose pass was gathered by Ameobi, who did not hesitate in firing home. Again, the goalkeeper will be disappointed that he did not do better; if Cech had have been in goal it simply would not have gone in.

Matters went from bad to worse when first Kalou - a half-time replacement for Kakuta - was stretchered off and then Yossi Benayoun limped off the pitch with a hamstring injury. With all three substitutions made by Ancelotti, the Blues were down to ten men. However, in the face of adveristy and defeat, the young Blues began to restore the pride with a superb comeback, instigated by the recently arrived Josh McEachran, who replaced the crocked Kalou.

Alex then looked to fire Chelsea back into contention but he hit the post from the follow-up of a Bruma free-kick, before Newcastle twice had the chance to kill the game off once and for all. Ameobi fed in Peter Lovenkrands through on goal but his shot was woeful and wide, and then the former had a chance himself but skewed it horribly wide. Chelsea had been given a much-needed reprieve.

They needed no second invitation following their let-off. Anelka restored hope when he fired home on the instep after good work by van Aanholt; the finish giving Krul no chance. The unthinkable happened moments later when Cheik Tiote fouled Alex in the penalty area. It was a soft decision but one gratefully accepted by Anelka.

Considering the last penalty he took for Chelsea was the one which allowed Edwin van der Sar to win the Champions League for Manchester United, Anelka showed considerable poise. The finish was exquisite; possibly one of the coolest and clinically-dispatched penalties seen at Stamford Bridge.

McEachran was enjoying a superb cameo - he was being encouraged by the home fans for his every touch, and on two occasions he effortlessly dribbled past tackle after tackle before testing Krul from distance. He may not have scored or ended up on the winning side, but a star was born.

Last season, Paulo Ferreira scored a last minute leveller at Ewood Park in a pulsating Carling Cup quarter final that ended 3-3. Chelsea lost on penalties but similarly they were down to ten men that night. Ferreira almost repeated his late heroics but his volley from the edge of the area clipped the post. Krul was nowhere near it. It was the game if it found the inside of the woodwork.

Ameobi scored at the other end to leave Chelsea ruing what might have been - the Blues showed admirable character but Newcastle were not to be denied a deserved triumph as Chelsea lost at home for the first time in six months.

However, there are bigger fish to fry and despite the defeat Ancelotti will have been impressed by van Aanholt and McEachran's contributions, as well as the displays of Anelka and Alex. And it could have been worse - at least we didn't lose on penalties to a League Two team.

___________________________________________________________________

Chelsea - Turnbull, Ferreira, Bruma, Terry © (Alex 46) Van Aanholt; Benayoun, Ramires, Zhirkov; Sturridge, Anelka, Kakuta (Kalou 46) (McEachran 56)

Newcastle - Krul; Taylor (Tiote 63), Campbell, Coloccini (Williamson 63), Ferguson (Barton 90+3); Ranger, Smith ©, Vuckic, Gutierrez; Ameobi, Lovenkrands

The TalkChelsea.net Man of the Match was Newcastle's number 18, Jonas Gutierrez

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I know im going to have a target on my head but after tonights game i regard mceachran higher than kakuta

McEachran was superior to Kakuta tonight, but Gael's quality is undeniable.

Now kalou & benayoun will be watching from the sidelines, kakuta will hopefully get another opportunity to shine.

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Both are great talents who play on different positions.

I was watching Euro U-19 games and Kakuta wasn't looking like boy from Chelsea youth team. The Kakuta who humiliated 4 Man Utd players.

He is changing his game to much more serious one. So don't expect "Messi play" from him yet.

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I think Kakuta looked a little lost on the pitch tonight, he switched flanks a couple of times and put in one very dangerous cross, but ultimately I think he would do much better in a central role, influencing play. He clearly has excellent vision and gave glimpses of a good range of passing. It's a bit of a shame really that at Chelsea we don't really have a position for a traditional 'playmaker', right behind the strikers.

Of course now with Kalou injured, I just wonder if either Sturridge or Kakuta will get a chance vs Marseille.

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Just saw that Ferreira chance again. My word what a stunning goal that would have been, he fucking rattled it!

Such a shame it didnt go in!!!

That and the Alex shot both deserved to go in, the keeper was nowhere near them. Oh well.

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Man of the match for me was Patrick, he was class at left back. A couple of small mistakes here and there but his all round game was class. His vision when going forward and when defending was great. I could not fault him tonight. Josh was also very good when he came on, he did everything right and impressed me a lot. I was a proud Chelsea fan tonight to watch these young guys show what they can do.

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I honestly think Josh has much more potential then Kakuta, he could be our midfield maestro that gives us the creative spark.

On the basis of coming off the bench against a Newcastle second string ?. Kakuta was not playing in his natural position, kakuta needs to play behind the forwards like he did against apoel. Josh will be brilliant but he will not break into the first team for a few years yet.

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