KENYA BROWN - Monday, November 4, 2019
Christian Pulisic fine form continued for Chelsea as his goal helped them to a win over Watford while DeAndre Yedlin and Newcastle held to take all three points at West Ham United.
Watford 1-2 Chelsea
Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic supplied the goals, but it would be the goalkeeping heroics of Kepa that saved Chelsea from losing points as the Blues came away with the win over last-placed Watford at Vicarage Road.
Pulisic maintained his spot in the starting line-up for Chelsea as he went on to play 83 minutes in another fine performance that should earn him another start in their Champions League game against Ajax at mid-week.
After a strong performance against Burnley the previous weekend, mixed in with a disappointing loss against Manchester United that saw them eliminated from the League Cup, the visitors were looking to keep things rolling.
And that's exactly what they did just five minutes into the contest when Jorginho set up Abraham for the first goal of the game. A scintillating through-ball from the Italian midfielder curled into the path of the English forward, and he slotted his shot past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Chelsea came very close to doubling their lead in the 18th minute when Pulisic was on the spot to send a looping header at the goal from a Willian corner kick. It looked similar to the header he scored at Burnley, but Foster was able to make a spectacular save to keep the ball from going in.
That effort was followed up by Mason Mount just before halftime when he fired a blistering shot at goal from outside the area. Foster was able to get a hand on the ball as it came rattling off the frame.
Chelsea continued their assault on the Watford goal in the second half, and Mount had a clear opportunity to score in the 48th minute when Willian teed him up for a strike, but Foster once again denied the English midfielder.
Foster's heroics were admirable, but he could not stop the Blues from scoring their second on the night in the 55th minute. Willian would flick the ball to Abraham on the right side of the area, and with Pulisic recognizing the open space in the center, the American made his run into the spot to tap-in the low cross from his teammate.
Pulisic nearly scored his second goal just two minutes later when he dribbled the ball into the area on the left side to attempt a shot at the far post. However, Foster would get his foot on it to end the threat.
Chelsea clearly dominated the game but found themselves in trouble late in the game when Gerard Deulofeu went down in the area after allegedly being tripped up by Jorginho. The Chelsea players said it was a dive, but the video assistant referee had the final say as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty.
Deulofeu then stepped up to convert the spot-kick to cut Chelsea's lead in half and make the last 10 minutes of the game interesting.
And Watford nearly came away with the leveler deep into stoppage time when Foster came upfield to push for one last effort. The former England goalkeeper put a header on target, but Kepa would make a heroic save to make sure that Chelsea held onto the three points in the end.
Chelsea remains in fourth place in the standings with 23 points.
West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United
Newcastle found their goal-scoring form but had to hold on late in the game to secure the win over West Ham United at the London Stadium to move them further away from the relegation zone.
DeAndre Yedlin would take up his usual spot at right back for the Magpies and played the entire 90 minutes.
While Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce has been working to prevent his team from leaking goals, it has been their production on the other side of the field that has been lacking. In the first 10 games of the season, the team has only amassed six goals. Their record summer signing, Joelinton, has only scored one goal thus far.
The likes of Newcastle greats such as Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, and Andy Cole were not walking through the door, but the team finally got their first multi-goal game of the season in the bag thanks to other players.
Ciaran Clark opened the scoring in the 16th minute as Joelinton headed Jonjo Shelvey's free-kick into the path of the Irish center-back to head past West Ham goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.
The visitor doubled their lead six minutes later when Federico Fernandez headed in his own goal after Jetro Willems put the ball in the area.
The momentum was clearly in favor of the Magpies, and Shelvey went on to extend their lead in the 51st minute when his free-kick from distance got past Jiminez.
Despite the comfortable lead, West Ham fought their way back into the game as they cut the deficit in the 73rd minute when Fabian Balbuena tapped in the loose ball from a corner kick. Robert Snodgrass followed suit with a goal right at full time with a volleyed shot on the edge of the area.
However, the Hammers' comeback would end there as Newcastle held on for the win.
The win moves Newcastle up to 15th place in the standings with 12 points.
In the Championship, Duane Holmes started for Derby County as they shutout Middlesbrough in their 2-0 win.
Eric Lichaj and Hull City came out on top over Tim Ream and Fulham in a 3-0 victory.
Matt Miazga started for Reading in their 2-1 win over Millwall to see them go three games unbeaten since making the coaching change during the last international break.
Antonee Robinson got the start for Wigan Athletic as they conceded a stoppage-time penalty in their 2-1 loss to Swansea City.
Down in League One, Matthew Olosunde came off the bench for Rotherham United as they blanked Gillingham in a 3-0 win.
Giles Phillips had a spot on the bench as first place Wycombe Wanderers secured a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town.