Chelsea ratings: Reece James' superb double sets Blues on way to 3-0 romp as Hakim Ziyech struggles vs Newcastle
30th October 2021

CHELSEA beat Newcastle 3-0 at St James' Park without a recognised striker on the pitch.

Reece James's double set the Blues on the way to their romp but Hakim Ziyech struggled as his Stamford Bridge future was thrown into further doubt.

It was quiet first-half on Tyneside with Hakim Ziyech the busiest attacker with the Moroccan having a goal chalked off for offside.

But after going on goalless, the game exploded into life in the second-half with the Blues having it tied up with nine minutes to go.

James opened his account on 65 minutes with a sumptuous left-footed effort before completing his double 12 minutes later by thumping home a half volley.

Jorginho dinked home a perfect penalty on 81 minutes after Kai Havertz was brought down.

The 3-0 win saw Chelsea move three points clear at the top thanks to Liverpool's draw and Manchester City's defeat.

Here's what SunSport's Simon Phillips thought of the Blues' individual performances.


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Edouard Mendy – 6/10

Forgot that he was even playing at times Newcastle were THAT negative.

He did his job when needed though and his distribution was good.

Andreas Christensen – 6

Some unusually sloppy moments from him today, giving the ball away needlessly.

Frustratingly as well not often looking for the forward pass, looking at the easier options instead.

Thiago Silva – 7

He got beaten a couple of times by the physical threat of Callum Wilson and looked a bit unsteady.

But as always, Chelsea's best defender whilst in possession and that really helped Blues control the game.

Antonio Rudiger – 7

Not really making the most of his possession and got frustrated and hit a pass that wasn't on too often.

But he was pretty solid defensively and his pace is always an asset at both ends and as the game went on he became a lot more influential.

Reece James – 9

The only Chelsea player who looked like a threat during a frustrating first half as the Blues struggled to break down a negative Newcastle low block.

Unsurprisingly he was the one who finally managed to break the deadlock with a lovely goal for Chelsea, and his second finish was EVEN better.

N'Golo Kante – 5

A little bit wasted in a game like this when it is literally attack vs defence and wasn't doing enough in attack for Chelsea.

He was subbed off not long into the second half.

Jorginho – 7

He looked to unlock the stubborn Newcastle defence with a few clever passes but to no avail.

He battled well and was a good body in there on the rare occasion Newcastle did try and counter-attack.

Ben Chilwell – 7

As with Christensen, there were a couple of occasions where he needlessly gave the ball away and despite trying to join the attack he wasn't his usual threat.

He did grow into the game though and become more of an attacking threat for Chelsea when they finally got the goal.

Hakim Ziyech – 4

Awful first 45 minutes from him there are no two ways about it.

Very predictable on the ball, every time he got it he pretty much cut inside and delivered an over hit pass to give possession back to Newcastle.

He broke up so many of Chelsea's own attacks.

He did get better in the second half and was unlucky not to score, but that wasn't enough to save him from being hooked by Tuchel.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – 7

Rather hit and miss first half from him as he did at least try to make things happen and drive at defenders, but those around him weren't really on the same wave length and his final passes were also poor.

He was on the ball a lot in the second half again looking to make things happen.

Kai Havertz – 6

He battled hard as the lone striker, and he was a threat to Newcastle at least.

But he was far too isolated and feeding on scraps, you often saw him dropping in to get on the ball as a result.

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Ross Barkley for Ziyech (63 mins) – 7

A threat as he often is when he comes off the bench and did give Chelsea something different.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Kante (63 mins) – 8

Chelsea looked better when he came on he provided a lot more calmness on the ball and was slick in possession.

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