Chelsea v Newcastle reaction
Eden Hazard got his first Blues goal from the penalty spot after
Fernando Torres tumbled in the area, and the revitalised Spain
striker added the second in first-half stoppage time.
Chelsea have changed their style this summer, but Cole is
delighted with how quickly they have gelled.
“We’ve lost Didier (Drogba), a big powerful presence up front
and sometimes we just used to knock it up to him,” the England
left-back told ESPN.
“But now we’ve signed some smaller players so we’ve got to get
the ball down a play a little bit more now.
“The second goal today was a great goal for the whole team.”
It was Torres’ third goal of the season, counting his strike in
the Community Shield, and Cole reckons the frontman’s new-found
confidence is as much a result of Spain’s triumph at Euro 2012 as
his new role in a Drogba-less Chelsea team.
“Of course it was really hard for him to (only) get that many
games (last season),” he said. “But when he did play he worked
really hard for the team.
“Now he’s the main man, like you say. But he’s full of
confidence after the European Championships and he scored a great
Hazard turned in another fine performance to add to his growing
reputation since his big-money move from Lille this summer.
“I think he deserves a lot of credit for the start to the season
we’ve had,” Cole said. “He’s won two penalties, got two assists and
now a goal – it’s phenomenal.
“We’re proud to have this guy in the team and hopefully he can
keep doing it.”
Hazard added: “I’m very happy to get my first goal at Stamford
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo believes all of his players
deserve credit for the club’s unbeaten start to the new season
despite Hazard and Torres grabbing the headlines.
“It’s not just them two, they have a good link-up with (Juan)
Mata and the other midfield players,” Di Matteo said.
“Thanks to the team he (Hazard) has been able to slide in and
play very comfortably with the others.
“I know you focus on the goalscorers but I think it was a good
performance considering it was our third game in six days. The
demand was high playing against tough opposition today.”
Di Matteo is pleased, though, that Torres has started to add
goals to his game once more.
“He was very important for us last season, maybe not scoring as
much but providing and working hard for the team,” he said.
“He is a great team player as well but it is great to see him
scoring and the second goal I think was terrific play from us.”
Di Matteo was without captain John Terry due to a neck injury
and the Italian was therefore forced to named a third different
central-defensive partnership in succession, but he was pleased
with the efforts of David Luiz and Gary Cahill and the defensive
performance as a whole.
“That was important today,” he said.
“I thought we controlled their threat very well, we didn’t
concede much to them because if you give space and time to (Demba)
Ba, (Papiss) Cisse, (Hatem) Ben Arfa or (Yohan) Cabaye they can
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew also acknowledged the performances
of both Hazard and Torres.
The two look to be building an understanding at the top of the
field for Chelsea and Pardew was very impressed with former Lille
“He is a difficult player because he travels with the ball and
buys time and when you have someone who can do that you can time
your runs off it,” he said.
“He just has a kind of nonchalance about him that marks him out
as a great player, every time he got the ball today he made the
right decision – he has made a difference to Chelsea.”
Torres, who picked up the Golden Boot at this summer’s European
Championships with Spain, has started the season well and seems to
be playing with renewed confidence, something noted by Pardew.
He said: “I thought he was good today, I have seen him a few
times up close and that was one of his better games that I have
seen, certainly the second goal was a classic goal.
“He had some good moments today and it is good for Chelsea that
he is playing well.”
Pardew’s side travelled to Stamford Bridge on the back of a 1-1
draw against Greek side Atromitos in their Europa League qualifier
on Thursday night and the former West Ham boss admitted his side
were slow out of the blocks against the European champions, but
praised their second-half efforts.
He said: “In the first half I genuinely thought we looked a bit
lacklustre and lacked a bit of a spark in that period.
“Chelsea were good in that first half and I don’t want to take
anything away from them but the goals were bad for us – the goal
just before half-time was a killer blow really.
“We really had a go second half, we didn’t shut up shop or try
and cover our losses we tried to get back in it – so I’m fairly
positive about my team.”