Oh hello old friend , you’re back again. Newcastle getting on the wrong end of dodgy decisions seemed to have went with the Christmas decorations.

But no, like the run of glaring errors we were on the wrong end of in December, Stamford Bridge brought us back to reality with a collective hatchet job on us by the officials.

What would have happened if , say, Burn had split Havertz’s head open with an elbow or if Murphy had pulled back Chalobah? Exactly the opposite of what happened today.

The fact VAR didn’t rescue the referee and overturn the decisions is more damning than anything. I just don’t get it.

Tuchels’ reaction, which some can put down to relief after a long week , looked more to me like a manager of a team who got out of jail. He knew it. We knew it.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that Havertz stuck the knife in and that Burn probably made his first big error in black and white, his reaction as telling as Tuchels. St Maximin losing the ball didn’t help either.

In context though, we were very good today. Shorn of a lot of players , we relied on lads who had increasingly looked to have played their last game in black and white but all of them ingrained themselves in Howe’s system and we looked as good as we had done lately. Fully deserving of a draw and possibly the win if Almiron, Burn and Schar’s efforts had went in.

Chelsea are European and World champions and we didn’t let them have a shot on target until the last quarter of the game, who would have said that after the one sided game we suffered in November.

This hurts alright but not as much as that day did, we are getting there and this actually in a strange way , reinforces my view that we are.

Scott Robson

Newcastle were once more backed by 3,000 fans as they visited Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. The Blues easily dispatched Norwich on Thursday but the Magpies had to come from a goal behind to see off Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton.

Both managers made four changes to their retrospective teams. Thomas Tuchel recalled Rudiger, Sarr, Kante and Ziyech whilst Eddie Howe handed Miguel Almiron his first start since December, Longstaff, Lascelles and Manquillo also returned to the starting eleven.

The hosts got the game underway and the first half-chance was by Andreas Christensen who unleashed an effort at goal from a distance but it sailed over the bar without troubling Martin Dubravka. With 25 minutes on the clock, it was the Magpies who were knocking on the door, Matt Targett’s free kick fell to Fabian Schar who couldn’t prevent it from being gathered easily by Edouard Mendy. Ten minutes later it was Dan Burn’s who had the next chance when his header from Targett’s corner drifted just wide of the goal. Chelsea would consider themselves lucky not to have been down to ten men when Kai Havertz appeared to elbow Dan Burn in the side of the head when they both challenged for a header. Thankfully, Burn was able to carry on.Miguel Almiron forced Mendy into a save just before half time with a well struck volley from just outside the box.Half Time Score 0-0.

The second half got underway with neither side making any changes. £40million signing Bruno Guimaraes unleashed a curling effort at goal from just inside the box but it just drifted wide. Newcastle had a penalty appeal waved away after Jacob Murphy went down in the box in the 55th minute but neither VAR or David Coote were interested. 5 minutes later it was Chelsea’s turn for a penalty appeal as Havertz went to ground following a challenge by Dubravka but luckily for the visitors it was offside. Havertz went close when he managed to get his head on a cross but couldn’t direct it any other direction apart from to Martin Dubravka. Chelsea took the lead in the 89th minute when Kai Havertz was played in from a through ball by Jorginho,unleashed a shot from the centre of the box which found its way into the bottom left corner. Unfortunately for the Magpies, they couldn’t find that all important equaliser and Chelsea somehow leave with the three points. Full Time at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea 1 Newcastle United 0.

ell what a crock of ship (yes, autocorrect helped there). Newcastle denied a stonewall penalty when Chalobah hacked down Jacob Murphy. How VAR didn’t see that as penalty I do not know, what is the point in having it if it doesn’t improve the game? The standard of refereeing in this league is so inconsistent but unless you’re a side in the top six, they don’t give a monkeys. Apart from the laughable officiating, Newcastle can be proud of their performance against the European Champions. Dan Burn continues to shine in the back line, the Blyth Spartan not afraid to get orders out to his team mates. Miguel Almiron and Chris Wood didn’t have the best of games but it just wasn’t to be. Newcastle remain 9 points above the relegation zone so things could be worse, right? In Eddie Howe we trust.

@jsuttonwrites

More to follow