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Palmer shines in Chelsea victory against Newcastle

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London, March 12: Cole Palmer was hugely influential as Chelsea saw off Newcastle in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.
Palmer struck in the 57th minute, taking a touch to get the ball out of his feet before drilling hard and low past goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
The Blues had gone ahead early after Sven Botman’s poor clearance was pounced on by Palmer, his shot being cleverly steered into the bottom corner by Nicolas Jackson for his second goal in as many league games.
Aleksander Isak’s powerful effort from the edge of the area just before the break gave Newcastle hope before Palmer restored Chelsea’s lead.
Substitute Mykhailo Mudryk took the ball off team-mate Conor Gallagher and ran through the Newcastle defence before rounding Dubravka to finish from a tight angle.
Jacob Murphy produced a thumping finish into the top corner on the 90-minute mark but Mauricio Pochettino’s side hung on for their 11th win of the campaign.
Chelsea remain 11th in the table, with a game in hand on Newcastle who are a point and a place above them.
Newcastle started slowly and Fabian Schar sent a shot off target as home goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic was relatively untroubled for most of the match.
The visitors struggled to create many opportunities in the first half with Isak’s goal their first shot on target after 43 minutes.
By this stage, Eddie Howe had lost another player to injury as Anthony Gordon came off following a challenge by Marc Cucurella.
Murphy replaced Gordon and his sublime finish late on made the scoreline closer than it seemed in reality.
There is no doubt that Palmer has been Chelsea’s most impactful signing since joining the club from Manchester City on the final day of last summer’s transfer window.
Once again, Palmer was influential for the Blues when they needed him most. He provided the assist for Jackson’s goal before producing a superb finish himself, meaning he now has 19 Premier League goal involvements this season – 11 goals and eight assists.Palmer has both scored and assisted in five different league games this season, more than any other player, as his debut Premier League campaign for the Blues continues to go from strength to strength.
He was withdrawn after 87 minutes to rapturous applause from the home fans after yet another man-of-the-match performance where he played a pivotal role in his side’s victory.
Palmer has been a rare light of consistency and brought much-needed calm to an often chaotic Chelsea side. His latest impressive performance was watched by England manager Gareth Southgate who names his squad this Thursday for friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.
The former Manchester City midfielder made his senior England debut in November, and after more brilliant performances since then he will hope to add to his two caps this month.
Newcastle were looking to complete a league double over the Blues for the first time since 1986-87 but failed to in a below-par performance.
Eddie Howe’s side took a while to grow into the game after going behind early on.
Gordon, who would have hoped to impress Southgate, came off after 34 minutes in a huge blow for the injury-hit Magpies.
In the second half, Dan Burn landed awkwardly and was substituted. Newcastle are already without Kieran Trippier who has a calf problem, while Callum Wilson, Joelinton and Nick Pope remain long-term absentees.
Murphy’s goal was a moment of superb quality as he unleashed a sensational strike from just inside the penalty area, rolling Cucurella and leaving Petrovic no chance of saving it. (Agencies)

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