Chelsea won 3-2 at home against Newcastle, 10th in the Premier League, which they now trail by one point, a slight improvement in the standings thanks in particular to the contribution of Cole Palmer, as often this season. This first success in three league matches offers a little breathing room to the Blues and their contested coach, Mauricio Pochettino, who also have a late match to play, against Tottenham, on a date still undetermined.

“We’ve had some tough results, so taking points is vital for us. We showed passion and courage,” Palmer summed up on Sky Sports. The west London team will be able to look more calmly towards their quarter-final of the FA Cup, Sunday against Leicester (D2) at Stamford Bridge, a stadium where they have lost only one of their thirteen last matches.

On Monday, Chelsea quickly made Newcastle crack with a shot from Cole Palmer deflected with finesse by Nicolas Jackson, with his back to goal (6th, 1-0). But the Blues then eased off and their stubbornness in wanting to restart cleanly, even under pressure, was costly: the French defender Malo Gusto, although diligent and incisive elsewhere, gave a ball that Alexander Isak exploited perfectly (43rd , 1-1). Palmer, the most prominent attacker, put the locals back in front with a tense shot from outside the area (58th, 2-1). This is the 11th Premier League goal for the 21-year-old winger, who arrived this summer from Manchester City.

Chelsea could have taken cover several times but Raheem Sterling wasted a lot, notably after dribbling past the goalkeeper then shooting at a defender who came to the rescue (59th). His replacement, Mykhailo Mudryk, was much more effective, with a breakthrough into the area as technically fine as it was determined (76th, 3-1), five minutes after coming into play. Newcastle reduced the gap with a marvelous strike from Jacob Murphy (90th, 3-2), launched in the first period after Anthony Gordon left due to an injury to his left knee. “We were good at times but not good enough overall. And we conceded some really avoidable goals,” commented coach Eddie Howe, whose team is losing a lot of points this season away from home.

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