Willian snatches a point for Chelsea


Newcastle 2 Chelsea 2

Chelsea salvaged a draw with late goals from substitutes Ramires and Willian after an abject display.

Newcastle seized control after an even first 20 minutes and deservedly led just before the break when Ayoze Perez fired home after Kurt Zouma made a terrible misjudgement.

And Georginio Wijnaldum headed in Newcastle’s first corner to make it 2-0 in the second half.

Ramires raised hopes with a blistering 20-yard strike with 12 minutes left and fellow Brazilian Willian’s inswinging free-kick eluded everyone to rescue a draw.

Chelsea finally showed the urgency and tempo required to match their spirited hosts in the closing stages having been outfought for much of the game.

An encouraging start had seen Zouma send a rasping strike just wide and Loic Remy, who started up front ahead of Radamel Falcao in place of the suspended Diego Costa, divert an instinctive first-time shot past the post following a good run and cross by Branislav Ivanovic.

But Newcastle’s pressing game started to force Chelsea into mistakes in the centre of the park and they went close through an Aleksandar Mitrovic header and a Moussa Sissoko shot that went just wide.

And keeper Asmir Begovic also had to make fine saves to deny Perez and Daryl Janmaat in quick succession.

Perez did put the hosts ahead when Zouma and Ivanovic hesitated and, although Chelsea dominated the first 15 minutes of the second period, Wijnaldum’s near-post header looked like securing a first Premier League win of the season.

However, Ramires crashed in a stunning goal from the edge of the box after being teed up by Eden Hazard and Willian’s set-piece earned an unlikely draw.

Ramires could have grabbed a winner, but his header was beaten away by keeper Tim Krul in a frantic finish.

Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic [Willian 61], Fabregas; Pedro, Oscar [Ramires 73], Hazard; Remy [Falcao 61].
Subs not used: Blackman, Terry, Mikel, Kenedy.