Chelsea’s sorrow over Roman Abramovich’s sanctions was alleviated by Kai Havertz’s late goal, which sealed a 1-0 win over Newcastle in the Blues’ first home game since the devastating limitations were imposed.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the British government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the fallout has cast doubt on the club’s future.
Chelsea’s monthly pay cost is expected to be over £28 million ($36.5), and their revenue streams have been significantly cut as a result of the fines, raising concerns that the club’s existence may be jeopardized unless a new owner is found quickly.
Chelsea’s sponsors, Three and Hyundai, have suspended their partnerships with the club this week due to the team’s inability to acquire new players or renew existing ones.
But Thomas Tuchel’s team has kept their cool amid the chaos, and Havertz scored late to make it four wins in a row since Abramovich indicated he would sell the club in an attempt to halt the sanctions.
Chelsea remains in third position in the Premier League and will focus on defending a 2-0 advantage against Lille in the Champions League’s last 16-second leg on Wednesday.
But before Chelsea do that, let’s come back to their match against Newcastle and understand how everything unfolded!
Story of the match
For much of the afternoon, the Blues had been frustrated by Newcastle United’s hard-working style, which hampered our ability to produce meaningful chances.
The sole save of a combative but futile first half came from Edouard Mendy, who palmed away from Miguel Almiron in stoppage time, while the hosts were forced to shots that were either high or wide.
After the half, there was little change, with Havertz spearheading our attacking efforts and firing a header straight into Martin Dubravka’s gloves.
As it appeared like the points would be shared and a first goalless draw in nearly a year at the Bridge seemed certain, the 22-year-old scored in spectacular fashion for his 11th goal of the season.
The winner was absolutely world-class in its precision and panache in a contest that had previously lacked quality.
Jorginho floated a wonderful pass over the top to locate Havertz, and the prolific striker took one touch to bring the ball under his grip and then another to finish beyond the goalkeeper, practically all in one rapid startling action.
Havertz told Sky Sports: “It’s tough, we players are privileged to train and continue to do what we love. We feel sorry for everyone. The supporters, the workers, not just us professionals. It’s a tough time for everyone. We try to give everything for them at the moment. We have to stand together, we try to do this and give them a good feeling.”