Crashing out of the cup.
Newcastle United and manager Rafa Benitez entered the FA Cup Fourth Round knowing that a superb performance would be needed to defeat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Magpies looked promising early on, but ultimately were unable to keep the match in front of them.
The Blues earned a 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon, with goals from Michy Batshuayi (31’, 44’) and Marcos Alonso (72’) doing the damage. Newcastle now prepare to face Burnley in Premier League play on Wednesday evening.
Benitez’s line-up was not necessarily surprising considering the opponent, as a defensive shape featuring five at the back was deployed.
The Magpies put some solid pressure on the home side, and were keeping a high line in the game’s opening minutes. The midfield saw good play from Jonjo Shelvey in the first half also, as the English international had several looks at the Chelsea goal.
However, two moments ultimately sank the Geordie club’s chances of gaining a victory. Batshuayi scored two goals before half-time, and there was little to inspire confidence that United could get back into the match.
The second half
The next 45 minutes followed a similar theme. Chelsea controlled possession, and added a third goal off a magnificent Alonso free-kick.
One of the most frustrating elements for the fans was the lack of quality in the attack, as both Dwight Gayle and Joselu were not able to influence the proceedings in any positive manner.
Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez will not be pleased with Sunday’s elimination in the FA Cup, but focus must now be on Premier League survival.