The Premier League leaders enjoyed their trip to St. James’ Park on Saturday as Chelsea went through the gears and cruised past Newcastle United with a dominant 3-0 display.

The tone for the game was set early on as the Blues began to dictate the ball and work their way into the box, but a frustrating half saw Chelsea’s best chance squandered; Reece James whipped the ball across the six-yard box and watched both Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech fail to convert.

The away side came close again just after half-time as Ziyech’s effort was deflected onto the woodwork, but their persistence eventually paid off with James striking home on the half-volley not long after the hour mark.

There was little by way of response from Newcastle as they were soon punished again — as James managed to score in even more emphatic fashion than his first. And there was no coming back after Havertz was fouled inside the box, allowing Jorginho to cap off an impressive away performance from the spot.

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Positives

Chelsea were able to break the lines on a number of occasions and created enough chances to win the game comfortably against a pragmatic Newcastle side. Thomas Tuchel’s men also won the ball back quickly after conceding possession, preventing the threat of a counter-attack.

Negatives

The league leaders should have gone ahead in the first half and were slow to get going, but that would be pedantic on what was an overall dominant display at St. James’ Park.

Manager rating out of 10

8 — Tuchel’s game plan took full control of the game, with Chelsea’s midfield looking comfortable throughout the 90 minutes despite a few changes in personnel. The Blues also scored instantly after Tuchel’s double substitution caused confusion for Newcastle, and it was cruise control from then on.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Edouard Mendy, 6 — The goalkeeper won’t have many easier games than this one and could have set up a deck chair for the majority of the game.

DF Andreas Christensen, 7 — The 25-year-old handled the threat of Ryan Fraser well with the Newcastle star having little impact after the opening five minutes. A solid performance.

DF Thiago Silva, 7 — A commanding performance at the heart of the defence saw Silva show his concentration as he dealt astutely with situations when called upon.

DF Antonio Rudiger, 7 — A strong run saw the centre-back find himself in Newcastle territory but he got the pass all wrong with Hudson-Odoi in space. The Germany international was flawless defensively.

MF Reece James, 9 — After creating Chelsea’s best chance of the first half, the England international then took both his goals in the manner of a world-class striker. The star on the day.

MF Jorginho, 9 — The Italy international was the dangerman in the Chelsea midfield as he continuously found ways to break through Newcastle’s deep defensive setup with precise passing.

MF N’Golo Kante, 8 — Kante didn’t really put a foot wrong as he linked play to begin Chelsea attacks. The France international made it difficult for the opposition to get near him, playing the ball quickly and carrying the ball into spaces where defenders were forced to make a decision.

MF Ben Chilwell, 6 — The 24-year-old stretched the play down the left flank which provided space inside the channels for Chelsea’s front three.

FW Hakim Ziyech, 6 — Ziyech looked to play with intent but his forward passes rarely connected with their intended target. The forward should have done much better with a cross from James but was unlucky with a deflected shot that crashed off the post.

FW Callum Hudson-Odoi, 6 — Some strong link-up play with Ben Chilwell saw Chelsea enjoy some success in the second half down the left side. The winger was constantly looking to attack defenders, but despite a positive display, the cutting edge wasn’t there from the front three.

FW Kai Havertz, 7 — He provided some glimpses of promising hold-up play that put Chelsea into dangerous areas, but too often was crowded out by Newcastle defenders and couldn’t fashion shooting opportunities. Havertz helped wrap up the game after winning a penalty which Jorginho converted.

Substitutes

Ross Barkley, 6 — The attacking midfielder looked confident as he carried the ball forward and constantly looked to play his teammates through.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 7 — Loftus-Cheek added physicality against Newcastle set pieces but was also impressive going forward, involved in Reece James’ second goal of the game.

Saul, N/R — On to play out the remainder of the game with his first away appearance for his new club.