Chelsea close on best defensive run since Mourinho days as Frank Lampard singles Rudiger out for praise

Chelsea’s win over Newcastle United this afternoon has since seen the club’s remarkable defensive improvement summed up in an impressive statistic.

Pensioners roll on

The Blues returned to action following the international break a short time ago, with a trip to St. James’ Park.

Chelsea of course headed into proceedings hoping to carry on from where the club left off two weeks ago, with Lampard’s men having not fallen to defeat since the back end of September, a run of 8 outings across all competitions.

This included a stretch of 4 consecutive wins, and clean sheets in 5 of their last 6 fixtures.

Chelsea’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech (3R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on October 31, 2020. (Photo by Alex Pantling / POOL / AFP)

And, when all was said and done on Tyneside, keep their fine spell of form alive is precisely what the Londoners managed.

An altogether dominant display on the part of the visitors at St. James’ eventually saw Chelsea emerge with a 2-0 victory.

The afternoon’s scoring was opened with 10 minutes on the clock, when Mason Mount’s wicked delivery from the right was diverted home by the unfortunate Federico Fernandez.

Newcastle, to their credit, on the back of an abysmal first-half display, did work their way back into things following the interval, with Timo Werner’s wastefulness in front of goal having handed the Magpies a lifeline.

The German, though, eventually went on to play a key role in putting Chelsea out of sight.

25 minutes from time, an explosive burst through the heart of the Newcastle backline allowed Werner to slip in Tammy Abraham, with the English international having made no mistake with his finish, notching the away side’s 2nd of the day, and making sure of all 3 points.

Highlights: Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea

Brilliant Blues

On the back of proceedings coming to a close at St. James’, though, it is not Werner, or goalscorer Abraham, who have taken centre stage in the post-match chatter.

Instead, it is Chelsea’s ever-improving backline.

On the back of a shaky opening to the campaign, the Blues have of course looked markedly improved from a defensive standpoint of late.

This upturn can be attributed in no small part to the contributions of summer additions Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva, who have added a long overdue element of assuredness to Frank Lampard’s charges.

The latter, though, actually played no part this afternoon, having been rested on the back of a trying couple of weeks with his country.

In turn, there had been concerns heading into the clash that Chelsea’s solidity could take a significant hit.

This, in the end, though, evidently did not prove the case.

And, as outlined above, the latest clean sheet secured by the capital giants has since given rise to a remarkable statistic, as showcased below:

The man to have replaced Silva in Chelsea’s backline versus Newcastle, meanwhile, was Antonio Rudiger.

The stopper, frozen out by Frank Lampard early in the campaign, has returned to favour somewhat over recent weeks, and did his chances of securing further game-time no harm with a fine display this afternoon.

As such, it came as little surprise to see Rudiger singled out for special praise by his manager during his post-match press conference, with Lampard having explained:

‘I’ve got confidence in Toni. I think he came in and thought his performance alongside Kurt they were very strong. Anything that came in the box they dealt with very well. They had a lot of the ball and they moved it well. I’m really happy as it’s hugely important to have a strong squad this year with the schedule as it is. For Toni to come in and play and keep a clean sheet was brilliant for him and brilliant for me.’

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Chelsea’s win over Newcastle United this afternoon has since seen the club’s remarkable defensive improvement summed up in an impressive statistic. Pensioners roll on The Blues returned to action following the international break a short time ago, with a trip to St. James’ Park. Chelsea of course headed into proceedings hoping to carry on fromFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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