Chelsea host Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon in a game laden with implications at both ends of the Premier League table, but also with plenty of off-pitch talking points across the past couple of weeks. The Blues’ weekend started with the news that owner Roman Abramovich, already sanctioned by the government, was also disqualified as a director of the club by the Premier League.
Thomas Tuchel and his squad have been trying to keep matters focused on the pitch and they will be seeking a win here to reaffirm their grip on third place, which would leave them seven points behind Liverpool and 10 behind leaders Man City.
Newcastle have propelled themselves away from imminent danger at the bottom in recent weeks and are 10 points clear of the relegation zone, but know another couple of wins are still required before they can breathe entirely safely for next season. Off the pitch the ownership at both clubs has been one of the biggest issues throughout the world of football all week long. Follow all the team news and live action as Chelsea face Newcastle below:
Chelsea vs Newcastle
Four other matches taking place, including West Ham vs Aston Villa
Chelsea XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, Sarr, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Ziyech, Havertz, Werner
Newcastle XI: Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, S Longstaff, Almiron, Murphy, Wood
Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle (Havertz 89’)
Leeds 1-1 Norwich (Rodrigo 14’; McLean 89')
Southampton 1-2 Watford (Elyounoussi 44’; Cucho 14’ 34’)
West Ham 2-0 Aston Villa (Yarmolenko 70’, Fornals 90')
Everton 0-1 Wolves (Coady 49’)
89’ - Kai Havertz nets last-minute winner
Chelsea FC 1 - 0 Newcastle United FC
Full time - Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle
15:53 , Karl Matchett
Havertz steals the points for the Blues in the last minute and ends Newcastle’s unbeaten run.
Points have been won in stoppage time at Elland Road too - Norwich’s late equaliser is rendered irrelevant as Joe Gelhardt nets in the 94th minute for Leeds.
Jacob Ramsey has pulled one back for Villa but they are 2-1 down to West Ham.
93’ - Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle
15:52 , Karl Matchett
Off the bar! Havertz streaks away down the right, beats his man and shoots - Dubravka gets fingertips to the ball and it bounces up and off the bar.
And that’s the last action as the final whistle goes! Three points in the end for Chelsea.
90’ - Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle
15:50 , Karl Matchett
Four minutes of stoppage time.
Newcastle bring on Dwight Gayle and Ryan Fraser, with Gayle going straight into the book for a foul.
Goals elsewhere - Norwich have a late, late equaliser at Leeds through Kenny McLean, 1-1 there, while Pablo Fornals has made it West Ham 2-0 Aston Villa.
89’ - Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle
15:47 , Karl Matchett
GOAL! What a touch from Kai Havertz and this time it’s in!
A lofted pass finds him running in the far post and his control is just sublime, with the second touch a brilliant flick past the keeper and in.
Big question of whether he should be on the pitch, of course, but Chelsea lead!
88’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:45 , Karl Matchett
Schar nods an effort on-target but it’s easy for Mendy to gather. Perhaps should have done rather better.
Kovacic then gets a yellow for a trip in midfield. It’s all so scrappy, very uninspiring stuff. The ball then bounces Lukaku’s way in the area but he’s offside again. He has had no impact since coming on - just three touches on the ball in his half-hour on the pitch.
84’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:42 , Karl Matchett
Newcastle look pretty comfortable at dealing with Chelsea’s attacking threat, which is increasingly lacking in inspiration or speed.
Bad to worse for Everton as Jonjoe Kenny is sent-off - they still trail to Wolves.
81’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:38 , Karl Matchett
Final change and it’s Christian Pulisic on for Sarr as the Blues go for the points.
We’re into the final 10 now and Kante’s cross toward Lukaku is cleared. Nobody really in the box for the home side there other than the striker.
Kovacic then surges forward through midfield and is tripped by Guimaraes - yellow for him.
77’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:34 , Karl Matchett
What a chance for Havertz! Chelsea’s first effort on target as he ghosts past Lascelles and heads straight at Dubravka. Really had to score.
Goal in east London - West Ham 1-0 Aston Villa as Andriy Yarmolenko hits the back of the net, having come on as sub for Michail Antonio earlier in the half.
74’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:32 , Karl Matchett
The game in danger of winding toward a very uneventful close, if one of these sides don’t seriously up the tempo or risk level.
After all the off-pitch headlines there’s a case to make that they wouldn’t mind that, but it wouldn’t help Chelsea in terms of staying in the title race.
Arsenal vs Leicester: Team news
15:31 , Jamie Braidwood
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette
Leicester: Schmeichel; Ricardo, Amartey, Soyuncu, Thomas; Mendy, Dewsbury-Hall, Maddison; Albrighton, Barnes; Iheanacho
70’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:30 , Karl Matchett
Into the final 20 minutes we go. Chalobah launches a cross towards Lukaku but it doesn’t reach him. He has only managed a single touch in his short spell on the pitch so far.
66’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:27 , Karl Matchett
Saint-Maximin comes on now as Newcastle make their move. Almiron is off.
More counter-attacking threat for the visitors, but will it lead to more chances on goal? We’ve only had one effort on target so far, from Almiron himself before half-time.
The Newcastle sub immediately gets on the ball but can’t wind his way past two defenders.
62’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:20 , Karl Matchett
Werner races through, rounds Dubravka and is taken down - would be a stonewall penalty but the offside flag goes up!
That is an escape at the other end after that earlier penalty shout down the far side.
A quick VAR check on the offside call, otherwise that will be a penalty...all fine and correct call though.
Chelsea subs: Lukaku and Kovacic on for Werner and Mount.
60’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:17 , Karl Matchett
Yellow now for Ziyech as a high boot catches his man on the edge of the Chelsea box. Tempers starting to flare up and the home supporters frustrated by the officiating call, but the bigger one might have been that potential Murphy penalty - it certainly looked a foul.
Chelsea clear the free-kick and then Werner somehow wins a foul off Targett.
56’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:14 , Karl Matchett
Werner runs in behind and he’s onside - but his touch is awful and it bounces off his thigh and through to the keeper. That was a decent opening.
Burn then defends well against Havertz, who makes another break across the defensive line.
Approaching the hour mark and suddenly Newcastle want a penalty - Murphy goes past Chalobah who has hold of his shirt and drags him down - corner says the ref!
52’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:11 , Karl Matchett
Very stop-start. A handball by Mount sends Tuchel wild on the touchline that the foul didn’t go his way. The subsequent free-kick is wasted when the offside flag goes up though.
At the other end, Dubravka claims a high ball with plenty of bodies in the box. Changes are needed it seems.
Goal at Goodison Park and it’s not for the home side - ex-Liverpool man Coady makes it Everton 0-1 Wolves.
48’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:08 , Karl Matchett
Yellow card for Murphy after he hauls down Ziyech. The free-kick delivery is poor from Mount though and it’s straight out for a goal kick.
No real spark to the home side’s performance just yet. Plenty of firepower on the bench though with the likes of Romelu Lukaku in particular there.
Second half - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
15:04 , Karl Matchett
Back underway! Let’s see who can threaten a little more to open the scoring in this half.
Premier League half-time scores
14:53 , Karl Matchett
Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
Everton 0-0 Wolves
Leeds 1-0 Norwich
Southampton 1-2 Watford
West Ham 0-0 Aston Villa
45' - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:47 , Karl Matchett
Into two minutes of stoppage time at the Bridge.
Jorginho chops down his man and a free-kick almost results in the opener - Mendy saves from Almiron’s volley, then the second effort is sent into orbit.
And there’s the half-time whistle!
Southampton have pulled a goal back through Mohamed Elyounoussi right before the interval.
42’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:44 , Karl Matchett
Murphy almost bursts into the box but Christensen defends his area well.
Neither side have quite had the cutting edge in this half and we’re without a shot on target so far.
A direct, diagonal ball toward Ziyech ends in another Chelsea corner - will we see the breakthrough before half time?
Not this time, as Burn powers a header clear.
38’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:40 , Karl Matchett
Yellow card for Havertz as he jumps into an aerial challenge with his elbow bent and clattered the head of Dan Burn.
VAR are taking a look and it doesn’t look tremendous it has be said.
Burn isn’t happy at all and has a harsh word with the German after receiving treatment.
34’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:35 , Karl Matchett
Parts of the ground begin cheering as the ball ripples the net - but Mason Mount’s free-kick has hit the outside netting and is wide.
Newcastle’s turn to attack off a corner this time and Burn flicks a header goalwards but it’s just wide of the far post.
The two sets of fans in the stands have a bit of a back-and-forth over who has to get Mike Ashley as their next owner.
Meanwhile, Watford have gone 2-0 up at Southampton - Cucho Hernandez has his second.
31’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:30 , Karl Matchett
Timo Werner runs in behind the defence but Lascelles is there on the cover and blocks it behind for another corner.
Newcastle dealing well with set-piece threats so far and they clear this one too.
The pressure keeps coming though and Havertz drills a cross along the six-yard box - nobody on hand to tap in.
To the credit of Chelsea fans, the only chant about Abramovich so far has just come from Newcastle fans (and it's not positive).
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) March 13, 2022
27’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:27 , Karl Matchett
Guimaraes is dominating Jorginho somewhat in the centre of the park when they go head-to-head in there.
The Brazilian wins the ball once more but the attempted counter-attack only ends in a Chelsea raid down the left and a corner being won.
It’s sent out to Mount on the edge of the box but his awkward volley is well off-target.
22’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:23 , Karl Matchett
Allan Saint-Maximin gets a big applause from Newcastle fans as he goes for a warm-up.
Ziyech has to track back and make a timely interception after Targett and Longstaff opt against shooting following a deep ball to the back post.
17’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:19 , Karl Matchett
Still scoreless at Stamford Bridge but we’ve had two goals go in elsewhere.
Cucho Hernandez has put Watford ahead at Southampton, 1-0 there, and Leeds are off to a positive start with a Rodrigo goal at home to Norwich.
Could it be a first, and vital, win for Jesse Marsch there?
12’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:14 , Karl Matchett
Rudiger engaging in a couple of scuffles already and now fouls Murphy as he looks to clear a set-piece. The Chelsea No2 has also had a run-in with the referee in the opening stages, disgruntled at a corner decision initially not going his way.
7’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:09 , Karl Matchett
Chelsea certainly having the better of the early proceedings in terms of possession and getting into the attacking half of the pitch, but Newcastle certainly holding their own.
A direct ball toward Wood eventually ends in an offside flag, while Kante and Werner combine at the other end but the visitors stand firm again.
3’ - Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:03 , Karl Matchett
Mason Mount surges through the middle but the Magpies get enough players back to crowd him out.
Underway in all five 2pm games in the Premier League now.
Chelsea are still wearing their ‘Three’-sponsored home kits, by the way.
1'- Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
14:01 , Karl Matchett
Kick-off! Underway at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea with a back four, Newcastle with five.
Chelsea vs Newcastle latest updates
13:57 , Karl Matchett
OK, after a lot of off-pitch matters this week, it’s time to focus back on the football for the next 90 minutes.
Both teams are in decent form and have big reasons to keep winning - it could be a pretty fantastic match at pitch level.
The sides are out now and we’re just a few minutes from kick-off.
Chelsea vs Newcastle latest updates
13:46 , Karl Matchett
Both matches have spoken on the tactical battle ahead of the game as it looks like Newcastle will have a back three and Chelsea a back four, a change for both.
“We are running out of right-wing backs as James has the re-injury. We needed to be creative but let’s see how it works out.”
“We’ve been in a really good place physically and mentally. The guys have developed a confidence in their play. Tactically we’ll have to be really good so we need the foundations to be right to give us a way in the match.”
Chelsea vs Newcastle latest updates
13:40 , Karl Matchett
Jamie Carragher has been discussing the prospect of fan ownership at Chelsea and beyond, but he doesn’t see it as a reasonable outcome this time around.
“I think it’s very difficult, whether it would happen in reality I’m not sure. Fans should have a say in how the club is run but a £2bn sale and then they can stop what the owners what to do - I’m not sure [it’s plausible].”
Chelsea latest news as Petr Cech discusses Thomas tuchel future
13:33 , Karl Matchett
Petr Cech is also asked on Thomas Tuchel and on-pitch matters, both now and under any potential new owner:
“Thomas has the contract until 2024 and we’ve been told the contracts will be valued. We hope he stays as he’s been brilliant on every level.
“But tomorrow the situation could change and my answer could be irrelevant.
“Chelsea has over a hundred years of history. The success is down to hard work of the people since the club was founded. I heard people want to take the last 19 years and erase it from memory but this isn’t about money and the players will work hard and sweat every day. That shouldn’t be forgotten.
“Sometimes in careers the managers leaves, the owners change. Now we are in the same situation. We go day by day, we hope the new owners will come and keep us competitive, take care of the community and [continue] the legacy on the pitch as well.”
Petr Cech answers tough questions on Chelsea finance, licence and completing the Premier League season
13:26 , Karl Matchett
Tough questions to Petr Cech who has been speaking on TV:
“Our thoughts are with the victims in Ukraine and a I hope the situation improves.
“Here at the club it has been a difficult situation; we have lots of questions but not many answers. We are focused on the things we can control, helping people and preparing for the game - that’s the only thing we can control at the moment. We want to help keep the integrity of the Premier League competition and try to do our best.
“We have to admit we go day by day as it’s not in our hands. The conversations are about if we can finish the season and we’re part of the Premier League. For us to carry on to finish the season would help everybody involved.
“I’m not involved in the talks with the government but the club are talking every day about the licence. We hope the situation will be clearer soon.
“We hope the people working for the club will be able to get their salaries and live their lives and work. But this is a difficult question for me to answer as I don’t know what the licence will be like day-to-day. At the training ground we’re trying to support each other and focus in difficult times.”
13:22 , Karl Matchett
Jamie Carragher believes keeping hold of manager Thomas Tuchel will be the main objective for whoever ends up buying Chelsea FC, given his quality of coaching and ability to rival some of the best in the world.
“It’s a great playing squad but there’s a few players out of contract. But in terms of Thomas Tuchel there’s a guy who can compete with Klopp and Guardiola. Those managers are very few and far between right now,” he has said on Sky Sports.
Azpilicueta, Rudiger and Christensen are just some of the players Chelsea have approaching the end of their deals this season.
Chelsea fans reminded Abramovich sanctioned for supporting Putin’s ‘brutal assault’ on Ukraine
13:16 , Karl Matchett
Chelsea fans have been vociferous in their support for sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich in the past two away games, leading to plenty of criticism in particular after they chanted for the oligarch during what was supposed to be a moment of respect and solidarity for Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the prime minister, Boris Johnson, this week sought to remind Blues fans precisely what Abramovich has been sanctioned for, notably having “provided support to the Putin regime and the brutal assault on Ukraine.”
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust had called for fans to be “respectful” towards Ukrainians but so far, at least, those calls have gone unheeded.
It will be interesting to see Stamford Bridge’s overall approach to the situation today - the club’s first home game since the sanctions.
Chelsea vs Newcastle latest updates
13:10 , Karl Matchett
Some fairly telling images from today as the supporters start to arrive and team news filters through: the sanctions on Abramovich and the restrictions on Chelsea are already making a visible difference on matchday.
No sales of merchandise allowed, no tickets allowed to be sold as it stands. The club are operating on a restricted budget and any proceeds earned are effectively frozen for now.
It will make for an unusual surrounding of the game, and that’s even before we see the Blues take to the pitch in a sponsorless jersey, after Three suspended their deal with the Blues.
Chelsea vs Newcastle - Confirmed line-ups
13:03 , Karl Matchett
Team news time! Here are the starting line-ups for today:
Chelsea XI - Mendy, Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, Sarr, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Ziyech, Havertz, Werner
Newcastle XI - Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, S Longstaff, Almiron, Murphy, Wood
Chelsea bidders given green light to press on as Roman Abramovich seeks sale
12:58 , Karl Matchett
Chelsea’s sale is expected to progress with government oversight as bidders have been told to press on with submissions.
Owner Roman Abramovich’s government sanctions had stalled proceedings, with the Russian-Israeli billionaire’s UK assets frozen.
Chelsea have been handed a new licence to continue operations however, and the Blues are still locked in negotiations with the government to ease restrictions.
But New York merchant the Raine Group has assessed the terms of the licence and agreed a route forward for the sale with the government.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on 2 March, pledging to write off the Blues’ £1.5billion debt and to divert all proceeds to a new foundation to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine.
The 55-year-old moved to sell Chelsea after 19 years at the Stamford Bridge helm, amid Russia’s continued war in Ukraine.
The government sanctioned Abramovich after claiming to have proved his direct links to Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime, although Chelsea’s owner has always denied any association.
The Raine Group’s progression of the sale means Chelsea’s suitors can again push forward with their bids to take control of the European and world champions of the club game.
Chelsea vs Newcastle latest updates
12:53 , Karl Matchett
Time for all the need-to-know details before the match - we’ve got you covered.
Team news, where to watch the game, match odds and plenty more can be found right here.
It’s a big game for both as they seek to put the focus of the world back on football matters, for a little while at least.
Chelsea vs Newcastle latest updates
12:48 , Karl Matchett
Let’s take a look at some on-pitch matters before the team news.
Recently it has been better for Chelsea in terms of results, with four straight league wins keeping them on the fringes of a title fight - they’ll still be 10 off City with victory today though, so consistency remains all-important.
After today’s game, they have a Champions League tie to close out too, holding a 2-0 first-leg lead over Lille.
As for Newcastle, fears of the drop have been massively reduced following an eight-match unbeaten streak, with six wins in the last seven. Three points would actually send them into 11th, which is a pretty incredible turnaround.
Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea exit offers rare chance to reimagine club ownership
12:40 , Karl Matchett
“As the news of Roman Abramovich’s sanctions properly sank in, many within the Chelsea squad were considering their futures. Some had purely financial and career concerns, but a few wondered how it reflected on them to even be tangentially connected to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Such questions have made elite football a grim enough exercise, but the last two weeks do show how the sport still has the capacity for searing moral lessons. More trivially, it also has the capacity for narratively perfect twists.
Just as the Chelsea situation has provoked a profound examination of football club ownership and the game’s relationship with geopolitics, the club’s very next opponents are Saudi Arabia’s Newcastle United.”
Chief Football Writer Miguel Delaney explains how this fixture offers up the chance, and the need, to re-examine just how football clubs are owned, run and bought.
Roman Abramovich disqualified as director of Chelsea
12:32 , Karl Matchett
The UK government brought sanctions against the owner on Thursday over his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Despite Abramovich’s assets being frozen, Chelsea were handed a new licence to continue “football-related activities” and are in negotiations with the government to amend some aspects of it.
A statement from the league on Saturday read: “Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK government, the Premier League Board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as a director of Chelsea Football Club.
“The board’s decision does not impact on the club’s ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a licence issued by the government which expires on 31 May 2022.”