Conte's men level on points with Manchester United — Chelsea vs Newcastle

Chelsea- Newcastle Victor Moses Dwight Gayle

Chelsea- Newcastle Victor Moses Dwight Gayle

Newcastle took the lead through a 12th-minute Dwight Gayle goal. The Brazilian defender, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this week, was absent against Swansea due to a build-up of fluid on his knee. The wing-back earned a penalty for his side, when Matt Ritchie showed his defensive fragility with his rash challenge on the Nigerian. Silver linings and all that. "I had to play Fernando Torres because he was fresh".

Chelsea moved eight points behind leader Manchester City, which plays West Ham on Sunday in the 15th round of Premier League games.

Newcastle made a confident start but Chelsea created the first threat after six minutes when Danny Drinkwater's cutback was scrambled away.

When Benitez was brought in to replace Roberto Di Matteo - a Stamford Bridge legend - supporters made their feelings known.

Hazard was substituted before he had the chance to complete his hat-trick but he accepted Antonio Conte's decision. "The important thing for me is to score and it happened and I am happy for this". If he had been credited with the assist, it would have been his sixth of the season. "He is that good", Souness said.

Asked in a post-match interview why that was the case, the Spaniard replied: "It's the Premier League".

Three months after his appointment, after an FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough, Benitez expressed his frustration about the continuing protests.

His Chelsea side's attacking ruthlessness was best exemplified during the 8-0 hammering of Aston Villa in December.

"I saw yesterday the draw and England". Join the Newcastle Toons team!

"The normal fans in the street are fine".

Many fans and pundits have derided this Newcastle squad as not having enough quality to compete in the top flight, and this was the kind of occasion that supplies fuel to that fire.

"You can set all the bear traps and obstacles for him but, like all the great players, he finds a solution to what's put in front of him". Benitez, to his credit, kept his mind strictly on the job, ignoring boos ringing out around the stadium. "40 points, for me, means that you will stay up".

'The boys they want me to shoot so every time in training they ask me, "Hey, come on, shoot, shoot!"

"We know that we have to do almost everything perfectly", he says.

"It's still a long way".

Watch Chelsea v Newcastle live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am on Saturday.

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