Chelsea keep European hopes alive with Newcastle win

Chelsea closed the gap on the European places with a 3-2 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.

Nicolas Jackson opened the scoring for the west Londoners inside six minutes after steering in Cole Palmer’s shot with a flicked finish, as the Senegal striker made it three consecutive games with a goal for Chelsea.

Newcastle levelled before half-time as Alexander Isak wrapped a powerful finish into the bottom corner, though the Magpies were second-best on a disappointing night in the capital.

Palmer – the outstanding player for Chelsea in front of the watching Gareth Southgate – restored the home side’s lead with a fabulous finish, extending his record to 11 goals and eight assists in a superb debut season for the Blues.

The 21-year-old has now scored and assisted in the same game five times in the Premier League this season, more than any other player. Mykhailo Mudryk came off the bench to add a third, collecting the ball from Conor Gallagher before bursting into the box and rounding Martin Dubravka.

Jacob Murphy fired in a late consolation for Newcastle to set up a nervy finish, though this was Chelsea’s night and a much-needed result for the under pressure Mauricio Pochettino.

Palmer was delighted to see Chelsea return to winning ways after the disappointment of last month’s Carabao Cup final defeat and recent results in the Premier League.

“We’ve had some difficult results, obviously the cup final against Liverpool so to get the points is vita,” Palmer said to Sky Sports.

“We showed passion, courage winning the second ball and not getting bullied. As a young team we’re going to make mistakes.

“There’s so much talent around Chelsea that the fans don’t see and you [the media] don’t see. If not next season, the season after, you will see it sooner or later. We’re still in the FA Cup and hopefully win on Sunday to get to Wembley again.”

Chelsea remain 11th in the Premier League table, though move within four points of seventh-placed West Ham, who sit in a Europa Conference League position, and boast a game in hand.

The Blues will hope to build on this result when Leicester are the visitors in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend.

Read – Assessing the run-in in the Premier League title race

See more – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

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