Chelsea have their second consecutive win and clean sheet in the English Premier League, but the 3-0 final score that they defeated Newcastle United by hardly tells the story. Both teams had plenty of chances as Newcastle hit the woodwork three times, John Terry made a number of last-ditch tackles and clearances, and Tim Krul was absolutely brilliant. Chelsea probably should have won the match something like 8-6, but wins all count the same.
The first half featured a comedy of errors from both defenses, as David Luiz and Ryan Taylor were absolutely miserable. Taylor was beaten by Daniel Sturridge like a rented mule, over and over again, with Tim Krul (or the post) bailing him out repeatedly. David Luiz committed a poor last-man challenge on Demba Ba in the 6th minute, but was not sent off.
Sturridge drew a penalty in the 14th minute, but Frank Lampard's attempt was saved by Tim Krul. It looked as if Newcastle would somehow deny Chelsea first half goal, despite their incredible volume of chances, but the Blues eventually took the lead in the 39th minute. Following a throw-in, Juan Mata played a glorious cross to Didier Drogba, who rose up above James Perch to head it into the back of the net. Perch came into the match in the 28th minute for the injured Fabricio Coloccini, and Newcastle suffered without their captain at the back.
The second half was just as wild as the first, with Krul repeatedly making big saves on Sturridge while Newcastle created chances of their own. Shola Ameobi came on as a halftime sub for Hatem Ben Arfa and hit the crossbar on one occasion, while Ba had a spectacular crossbar hit of his own. On another day with better luck, Newcastle would have equalized and given Chelsea something to think about.
Eventually, Krul's luck ran out. As brilliant as he was on the day, his defense was poor and eventually Chelsea were able to get past him. Solomon Kalou wrapped up the three points for the Blues in the 89th minute, slotting home a finish from 15 yards after Fernando Torres tapped a ball into his path. Sturridge would finally get one goal past his lanky Dutch adversary deep into stoppage time, scoring Chelsea's third to make the score look a bit more lopsided than the match actually was.
For more around the Premier League, including live coverage of this week's action, check out our Premier League Week 14 StoryStream. For more on the two teams, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and Newcastle United blog Coming Home Newcastle. For more across the world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.