Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said he would be “foolish not to be excited” by the second half of the season after a Joe Willock’s delightful goal against Chelsea moved the Magpies back to third meaning, they will be in a Champions League place at Christmas for the first time since 2001.
A fifth successive Premier League victory, against an admittedly out-of-form Chelsea, was achieved with England striker Callum Wilson starting on the bench after illness.
Having worked Graham Potter’s side hard in the first half, Willock finally found a breakthrough when he curled in from 18 yards following a surging run by Miguel Almiron.
A youthful Chelsea, without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling, improved in the second half after the introduction Christian Pulisic.
The American’s run led to a Conor Gallagher shot, which was well saved by Nick Pope, but they could not break down a well-drilled Newcastle.
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