Chelsea ease to 2-0 victory at St James’ Park to go top of the Premier League for first time under Frank Lampard; Timo Werner’s stunning second-half assist set up Tammy Abraham’s game-clinching second goal; Steve Bruce rues early defensive Newcastle breach
Frank Lampard singled out Timo Werner for special praise after the German starred in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park.
Werner’s breathtaking second-half surge over the halfway line set up Chelsea’s second goal for Tammy Abraham after an early Federico Fernandez own goal had put the Blues on their way to a fifth straight win.
Lampard said: “He [Werner] had a couple of chances and sometimes it doesn’t go in for you, but I thought he was a real threat for us throughout.
“You need players of that quality to win game and the pace he travels with the ball is something special. He was so unselfish, and you rely on those players who are top-class.”
Instead, he pointed to their defensive display as another reason why they may be in better shape to launch a title challenge.
Edouard Mendy has registered seven clean sheets in his nine appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, with Saturday’s shutout at St James’ Park his fourth in five Premier League games.
“It’s nice to be in the position we are, and to have gained confidence from the clean sheets, which were a problem for us earlier in this season and parts of last, but we need to keep working and be consistent,” he said.
“The international break was challenging but we came here against a team we lost to last year, we dominated possession and we scored our goals, and we could have scored more.”
Bruce revealed he had decided not to risk top scorer Callum Wilson due to recent hamstring issues, but hopes he will be back in the squad for the busy festive period.
“I couldn’t risk him today because of the risk of a hamstring and missing [him] for the next six weeks,” said Bruce. “We’ve erred on the side of caution and we hope he’ll be available for us next week.
“One of the reasons why we bought him was to add some goals for us, which he’s obviously done, and we’ve now got two or three getting back to help that situation, and obviously Callum being one of them.”