Frank Lampard recorded his first five consecutive victories as a manager as Chelsea claimed a narrow victory over Newcastle at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
A 73rd minute strike off the boot of fullback Marcos Alonso was all the Blues needed to see off the challenge of the Magpies and momentarily climb above Manchester City into second place on the Premier League table.
Chelsea started brightly with the confidence that comes with reeling off four wins on the bounce before the international break while aiming for the chance to break into the top four.
But Newcastle stood firm gallantly for the first 45 drawing huge momentum from a huge result last time out by defeating Manchester United 1-0 at St James’ Park.
In a half of few chances and more grit than guile, Steve Bruce’s men were solid enough at the back, while the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron offered them an outlet on the break.
There were not many clear-cut opportunities, although Mason Mount should have done better with a close-range effort that he struck straight at Martin Dubravka, while Willian sent a header wide of the post.
Joelinton had the Magpies’ best opening but he could only guide a diving effort wide of the target.
After the break, it was more of the same as the few chances Chelsea managed to create were either lost or saved.
Eventually, the home side broke the deadlock from the unlikeliest of quarters. Spanish defender Marcos Alonso drove forward with his left foot towards goal and his effort had enough power to creep through the grasp of Dubravka into the net. Substitute Pulisic started the attack with a driving run into the right inside channel before pulling back a cross into the middle. Hudson-Odoi helped it on to Alonso, who did the rest with a neat finish.
Finally in front but the Blues were not satisfied and the hosts should have extended their lead moments after that opener but for a fantastic block from Yedlin. Kovacic released Pulisic in the right inside channel and he squared the ball for Abraham to turn into an empty net. The forward tapped his effort goalwards, only to be denied by Yedlin covering back on the slide.
Newcastle were jolted alive by that late goal and had a couple of chances to peg the home side back but Chelsea were not to be denied as Frank Lampard’s side held on for all three points.
The win sees Chelsea rise to second on the league table above Man City who travel to face Crystal Palace later in the day.