King James of St James… At this rate, Romelu Lukaku will be lucky to reclaim his place on the side!
Well, maybe not, but when your entire back produces finishing touches like Rhys James did here, being without the Twin Strikers doesn’t quite seem like the one-off crisis.
Neither Lukaku nor Timo Werner will return before the international break. But with James in scoring form he has shown over the past two weeks, so what?
For 66 minutes, Newcastle’s head-to-head battle looked like it was paying off and winning the most difficult points.
And having spent almost the entire game in their area, one small step for a human, one giant leap for Jordi the kind that could have been.
But then James, who was an unexpected top scorer in Norwich seven days ago, stepped up not by one, but by two, to give the result a sobering look.
In doing so, he showed the new Saudi Toon owners just how big a mountain they have to climb before they can hope to be on the same level.
To be honest, even though they’ve shown great fighting spirit in maintaining their level for so long, they’ll be lucky to still be in the same class next year at this rate.
The point of luck at Palace last week may have raised hopes of taking a step in the right direction. This was more concrete evidence of where they actually were.
Deep, deep in the landing junk. At the weekend, the clocks are back, and so are Newcastle’s survival hopes.
However, this is a game in which James deserves all the focus, all the praise, and his teammates have shown more heart – even the match ball too.
Keep in mind that a hat-trick would have really taken the biscuit, because Chelsea’s performance was worth at least three goals.
As it was, that’s what they had to deal with…and the first two James the killer. At least that’s definitely what they’ll call it next.
Match 1 When Callum Hudson-Odoi danced his way to the sideline and crossed a pass Ciaran Clark must have thought he brought it to safety by rising higher. some opportunities.
Because it fell on James behind the far post, who slipped in and unleashed the left foot into the top corner.
Hit one, and since there’s no threat on the other end – the other hit just right – it’s game over.
However, if any faint doubt over the outcome ended, then Chelsea surely wasn’t. James the England full back in particular.
Ten minutes into the opening game, he hit another kick that made his debut feel like soft soccer.
By the way, Kai Havertz – what an elegant and nimble player still going – made his way forward.
Substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek was involved twice, and when it landed on James 22 yards, his devastating shot nearly decimated goalkeeper Karl Darlow’s eyebrows, it was that hard.
It’s still time, though, with another nine minutes before the end of time, as Chelsea threaten to blow Toon to shreds.
Havertz again marched across a now firm line of defense, bypassing Captain Darlow, only to have the guard whip his legs away.
Paul Tierney pointed at the scene and James stopped predictably, as distant fans chanted his name in hopes of seeing him treble.
Issue a chorus of boos, then, when Jorginho shook his head, grabbed the ball and climbed up. We should have expected it – after all, this isn’t the first time in recent months an Italian has ruined a feel-good story.
Keep in mind that at least this one had a happy ending for blues fans, arrogantly cutting the ending almost into the net and giving the result a more realistic look around.
Nothing to argue about with the score line then. Exactly what suits Newcastle, with the players – especially Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie at various stages arguing with each other yesterday.
The only thing they could really discuss was how they were expecting to hold out a team of potential title winners, in an effective offense against defense game.
Hakim Ziyech missed one golden opportunity to open the scoring, and he was unlucky with another that deviated from Jamal Lascelles and returned from the post.
Chelsea had as much ball as they liked and despite Ton’s grit and determination, there was no indication there was much to get excited about.
However, you never know, at this rate, they might actually get their wish to challenge for Silver titles much sooner than they imagined.
After all, there will be few better teams in the tournament.