Chelsea 3-2 Newcastle: Cole Palmer inspires crucial win to ease pressure on Mauricio Pochettino

Man of the match: Cole Palmer (right) notched a goal and an assist for Chelsea (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Man of the match: Cole Palmer (right) notched a goal and an assist for Chelsea (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Cole Palmer and Mykhailo Mudryk both netted superb second-half goals to fire Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino to a crucial 3-2 win over Newcastle on Monday night.

Man-of-the-match Palmer, with England boss Gareth Southgate watching on from the stands, arrowed in an unstoppable strike before the hour mark at Stamford Bridge having earlier assisted Nicolas Jackson’s deft sixth-minute flick that was cancelled out by an Alexander Isak stunner just prior to half-time, before electric substitute Mudryk waltzed his way through to finish with less than 15 minutes to play to seal a vital victory for the Blues and their under-fire manager.

However, Chelsea still had to negotiate a nervy finish after Jacob Murphy’s spectacular strike on the cusp of second-half stoppage time that beat Djordje Petrovic all ends up had threatened to spoil the mood once again, holding on for an important three points that keep alive their faint hopes of qualifying for Europe next season through the Premier League.

Chelsea remain in 11th place in the top-flight table, but are now just a point behind Newcastle and eight points adrift of the top six with a game in hand over most of their rivals and 11 matches left to play this season.

Newcastle, meanwhile, continued their torrid run of form away home, where they continue to leak an alarming number of goals with Eddie Howe now sweating on the fitness of Anthony Gordon, who limped off in the first half with a knee problem.

Harvey Barnes also missed the game with a hamstring injury that is also likely to keep him out of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final trip to holders Manchester City, while defender Dan Burn was also forced off late on against Chelsea.

It could have been a far more comfortable night for the hosts, only for Raheem Sterling to see a shot cleared off the line by Burn amid other missed chances, a second goal by Jackson disallowed before the break for offside and frustrating defensive mistakes that played a part in both Newcastle goals.

They now have a chance to string a run of potential wins together with Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Championship leaders Leicester followed by a home meeting with struggling Burnley after the international break.

Palmer’s latest stellar showing cannot fail to have impressed Southgate, who this week will name his final pre-European Championship England squad for high-profile friendlies against Brazil and Belgium at Wembley.

“I think he is doing well,” Pochettino said of Palmer. “I think he arrived in the last day of the [summer] transfer window and it was so easy to adapt to the team and the demands from the coaching staff.

“I think he is showing his quality and of course it is good to have him in the squad and in the team. He is doing things that maybe before was a little bit not to have a player that can link the game.

“Today, he is doing well, he is doing fantastic, he is getting more mature every day and of course I think he still needs to improve but is doing a very good job.”