Thomas Tuchel has insisted Edouard Mendy remains Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper despite being left out against Newcastle.
The Blues won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and remain unbeaten under boss Tuchel, who sprang a surprise by selecting the much maligned Kepa rather than Mendy in goal.
But the German made it clear afterwards that he simply wanted to give Kepa more game time and planned to recall Mendy.
He explained: “Edouard is the number one. This was clear before the game and this stays like this.
“I am very happy that Kepa continued with a second clean sheet in a row. It was a moment to let him feel the rhythm and build up his confidence.
“Edu will be in goal from now on because he recovers physically and mentally and he is the number one.”
Tuchel said it was “super important” for Timo Werner to end his goal drought.
Werner set up Olivier Giroud for the opening goal and then scored for the first time in 15 league matches to double the lead.
On a less positive note for Chelsea, Tammy Abraham went off in the first half after suffering what looked like a nasty ankle injury.
Abraham was hurt by a last-ditch tackle from Jamaal Lascelles, which Tuchel described as “reckless” and felt should have resulted in a penalty being awarded.
Although he continued after receiving treatment, Abraham was clearly in a great deal of pain and was replaced by Giroud.
“It’s serious enough he had to go out and we worry about him. Hopefully he will not miss too many matches,” Tuchel said.