Newcastle host Chelsea on the Premier League’s final day this Sunday with the Blues needing a win to have any hope of beating Liverpool to fourth place. But how likely is a victory for the visiting west Londoners?
While Football FanCast aren’t privy to a crystal ball, we are luxury to the best part of 26 years of Premier League battles between the Blues and the Magpies to look back on. So can the recent past tell us anything about Chelsea’s chances of sneaking a Champions League finish this weekend? Here’s the complete Premier League history of Newcastle versus Chelsea…
While Chelsea have won twice as many games as Newcastle during their 45 Premier League meetings to date, superiority in this fixture has continuously swung throughout that time. Their first eleven clashes produced four Newcastle wins and three Chelsea wins, but the Magpies the went on to beat the Blues just thrice between 1999 and 2011, with Sunday’s visitors picking up a vastly greater 14 victories.
But all of those Newcastle wins came at home and that’s been a recurring theme of this fixture. Jose Mourinho never won a Premier League game at St. James’ Park during his two spells as Chelsea boss, and the Toon are actually unbeaten there during the Blues’ last four visits, winning three of them.
Still though, Newcastle’s overall win rate against Chelsea at St. James’ Park remains a somewhat modest 45%.
A current Chelsea legend and a future one find themselves on level terms at the top of this fixture’s scoring chart. While Lampard required 21 appearances to net his six goals against the Magpies though, Hazard’s managed the same total in just eight outings and when adding assists to the equation, he’s averaged one direct goal contribution per match versus the Tynesiders in the Premier League. They have been somewhat spread out, most notably grabbing a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge in 2014, but one more goal will see the Belgian become this fixture’s official top scorer.
Like Lampard, Shearer’s total owes much to longevity too, managing just four from 14 appearances in this fixture – three of which came during the 1996/97 season alone. But Papiss Cisse certainly deserves an honourable mention. No club conceded more goals from the Senegalese during his time in the Premier League, including the unforgettable 2011/12 Goal of the Season which still appears to defy all physics and footballing logic.
Demba Ba didn’t stick around long at either club, spending just one-and-a-half seasons with both, but had a big impact during those short bursts. His strike partnership with Cisse, closely supported by Hatem Ben Arfa, was a crucial part of the Newcastle team that unexpectedly finished fifth in 2011/12, with Ba finishing up the campaign’s top scorer on 16 goals.
A run of 13 in 20 the following season earned the African attacker a January move to Stamford Bridge and although he was nowhere near as talismanic for Chelsea, Ba still made his presence felt with some crucial goals. He famously took advantage of Steven Gerrard’s slip at Anfield to end Liverpool’s title hopes in 2013/14, and in the same season scored against PSG in the 87th minute to take Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
The subsequent summer though, the arrival of Diego Costa signalled his departure to Besiktas.
The season after Newcastle’s incredible 2011/12 campaign proved to be a far greater struggle, partly because they’d sold Ba to the Blues halfway through the season. And just a month after leaving St. James’ Park, the Senegalese found himself back there, this time leading the line for Chelsea to far less effect. In fact, he was subbed off moments after Jonas Gutierrez had given Newcastle the lead with a near-post header on the 41st minute, having been kicked in the face by former captain Fabricio Coloccini.
That forced Chelsea’s much-maligned interim manager Rafa Benitez, now of Newcastle, into a reshuffle and it paid off after the interval. Frank Lampard galloped from deep midfield to net a typical piledriver from the edge of Newcastle’s box, leaving Tim Krul helpless, and Juan Mata equally typically drifted inside from the right wing to curl a beautiful effort past the flailing Dutchman.
But Newcastle weren’t done yet and just seven minutes later, Moussa Sissoko put the Magpies back on level terms. When a lightening Newcastle counter-attack ended in Yoan Gouffran blasting the ball straight at Petr Cech, his French compatriot was there to pick up the rebound.
Chelsea appeared happy to settle for a point away from home, but Newcastle had other ideas. And when they staged a last minute attack, it was once again Sissoko who finished it off – this time, the powerful midfielder tucking home a cutback by drilling a low effort through a crowd of players and beyond Cech.