Newcastle United vs. Chelsea: Final score 3-2, Moussa Sissoko brilliant for Magpies

Ian Walton

Newcastle grabbed a surprise win over Chelsea, and possibly ended the managerial tenure of Rafael Benitez, thanks to Moussa Sissoko's brilliant performance.

This could finally be the end of the road for Rafael Benitez. Chelsea were absolutely horrific at St. James' Park on Saturday afternoon, and only involved in the match at any point due to two pieces of astounding individual quality. Unfortunately for Newcastle United, those two pieces of quality made the match 2-1 in the second half. Fortunately for the Magpies, Moussa Sissoko was there to fire them back in front and capture a 3-2 win.

Chelsea got off to a horrible start, due to a combination of uncharacteristic giveaways by their talented attacking players, the less than ideal midfield pairing of Frank Lampard and Ramires, and some solid pressuring by Newcastle. They were also dealt a stroke of bad luck late in the half, when Demba Ba took an inadvertent boot to the face from Fabricio Coloccini and was forced to exit for Fernando Torres.

Jonas Gutierrez put Newcastle in front just before the break, surprisingly by way of a header. Davide Santon provided the cross, and Jonas lost both John Terry and Ashley Cole as he cut inside the box to get on the end of the ball.

Chelsea didn't play significantly better to start the second half, but their two goals were absolutely incredible. Lampard leveled the game in the 55th minute, with a spectacular 20-yard drive over the hand of Tim Krul from the center of the pitch. Juan Mata bested him in the 62nd minute, curling a beautiful shot around Krul and into the net at the back post.

The remainder of the game was defined by the energy and determination of Sissoko, Alan Pardew's January signing in the center of midfield. He scored the equalizer in the 68th minute, cleaning up a counter-attack after Yoan Gouffran's shot was tipped aside by Petr Cech, but only as far as the path of the on-running Magpie midfield player. He continued to prove a threat fo the rest of the match, making late runs into the box and surging past Chelsea defenders to create scoring chances.

The Frenchman netted the winner in the 90th minute, involving himself in both the build-up and the finish. He found Davide Santon with a nice pass down the left flank, then surged forward and picked up the return ball before hitting a low 20-yard shot by Cech to win all three points for his side.

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