NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 03: Tim Krul of Newcastle United reacts after saving the penalty of Frank Lampard of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at the Sports Direct Arena on December 3, 2011 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
The #StretchofDoom is over, and Newcastle have 1 point to show for it. That's disappointing, to say the least, but not even close to as disappointing as the way this match turned out. Newcastle gave up 3 goals against Chelsea, and honestly it should have been a lot more, if not for the brilliant goalkeeping of Tim Krul, who had too much to do today. Three goals on his record is incredibly harsh, but there is a little comfort knowing that the last two were scored after Steven Taylor had walked off the pitch with an injury of his own.
Of course, that's what happens when you possess no squad depth and are forced to play James Perch for 65 minutes. It's not like Chelsea weren't having their way before Fabricio Coloccini went off with back problems, but the Toon are a team built on the strength of their starting back four, so when one of them went down, it didn't look good.
There were other, less meaningful storylines that will be overdiscussed this week, perhaps most notably David Luiz's foul on Demba Ba that, if it were a foul, should have been a red card. It happened at the 4 minute mark, and if Luiz had been sent off, it would have been a very different game, but he wasn't. Newcastle had 85+ minutes to recover from a questionable refereeing decision. It's no excuse.
It's tough to find positives from this one (other than Tim Krul), but perhaps in defeat, Alan Pardew will have good reason to keep his players motivated as they look forward to a fixture with Norwich City. I don't mind that the national narrative will be about Newcastle finally being put in their place. They've been playing the disrespect card in the dressing room, and they'll have at least one more week to get some mileage out of that storyline.
Who was the Man of the Match for Newcastle?
Tim Krul (28 votes)
Steven Taylor (0 votes)
Yohan Cabaye (0 votes)
28 total votes