Timo Werner ended his Premier League goal drought as Chelsea cruised to a fifth successive win in all competitions under new boss Thomas Tuchel with a 2-0 success over Newcastle.
Olivier Giroud, who came off the bench early on to make his 100th Premier League appearance as a substitute, replacing the injured Tammy Abraham, opened the scoring in the 31st minute, Werner playing a key role in creating the chance.
The German’s evening was about to get even better as he nudged home at the far post seven minutes later to score his first Premier League goal in exactly 1000 minutes of football to make it two.
Chelsea took their foot off the gas in the second half and saw out the win with ease to move above Liverpool and into fourth spot.
Kepa Arrizabalaga made a surprise start in goal, his first in the league since October, but he had very little to do all evening. Chelsea came into the match unbeaten under Tuchel, having conceded just one goal, and they never really looked troubled by Newcastle, who looked a shadow of their recently-improved selves without the injured Callum Wilson.
Werner was causing plenty of problems with his intelligent runs, Newcastle were constantly on the back foot, and after Abraham’s game ended prematurely as he picking up a knock as a result of a goal-saving Jamaal Lascelles challenge, Giroud stepped off the bench and was quickly among the goals, with Werner’s pace and low cross creating the opening.
Werner’s goal was more of a poacher’s finish, alert at the far post after poor Newcastle defending from a corner, with the relief palpable as he netted in the Premier League for the first time since November 7.
After the break, the match was a mere procession, as Newcastle could not muster a response, slipping to their eighth-straight defeat at Stamford Bridge, leaving them languishing down in 17th, seven points above the dropzone.