Yoan Gouffran celebrates heading the first goal against Chelsea
When Loic Remy beat Petr Cech with his late shot to secure a 2-0 win for Newcastle, it was proof that Newcastle United can perform to the level expected of them when they feel like it.
The Magpies played their title-challenging opponents off the pitch in the second half and were good value for their victory, which came just six days after collapsing to defeat in the latest Wear-Tyne derby.
Fans of Newcastle are often labelled “delirious” and “over optimistic” when they state that they want their side to challenge for European places and put pressure on the top four. However, the performance against Chelsea backed up even the most optimistic of fans as the Geordies eased to victory.
The defensive display shown by Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon, in particular, was something of the highest order as arguably the Premier League’s most blessed attacking side was made to struggle.
Yoan Gouffran and Remy popped up in the second half to provide the Toon Army with just rewards for their efforts.
The one element of the game Newcastle now have to master is consistency. The games against Sunderland and Chelsea were worlds apart in terms of hunger and quality, so a middle ground must be found as soon as possible.
Next up for Alan Pardew’s side is a potentially tough trip to London to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane, another game that many would expect the Magpies to struggle in. However, on the back of the Chelsea result, fans will once again expect a good result against the goal-shy Spurs.
Remy, Hatem Ben Arfa and Gouffran will all have to be at their best to turn over Tottenham, though, as Andre Villas-Boas’ side have yet to concede a goal to any non-London club. A win would move Newcastle closer to the bunch at the top of the league and potentially above Manchester United, who have struggled with consistency themselves.
It remains to be seen just how good Newcastle will be this season, but in the last fortnight, we have seen the very best and the very worst of the Magpies.