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Barclays Premier League

Stamford Bridge (ATT 41,739) 15th May 2011 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: L Mason

Chelsea Chelsea vs Newcastle United Newcastle

Chelsea 2

B Ivanovic (2)
Alex (83)

ft

Newcastle 2

J Gutierrez (10)
S Taylor (90+2)

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Taylor header thwarts Chelsea

Blues to finish second following Magpies draw

By James Riach.   Last Updated: 15/05/11 6:00pm

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Ryan Taylor's free-kick is deflected in off Jonas Gutierrez

Ryan Taylor's free-kick is deflected in off Jonas Gutierrez

Chelsea are assured of second place in the Premier League as Steven Taylor's late header earned Newcastle a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The league title may have been out of their grasp before kick-off but Carlo Ancelotti's side started with a bang as Branislav Ivanovic turned home a corner in the second minute.

It did not take the Magpies long to hit back though, as Ryan Taylor's long range free-kick hit the back of Jonas Gutierrez and wrong-footed Petr Cech before finding the net.

The match looked to be petering out until Alex latched on to a Frank Lampard set piece to power a header into the bottom corner with just seven minutes remaining.

But there was still time for more drama as Chelsea went to sleep from a corner, allowing Steven Taylor to earn his team a deserved point.

After seeing Manchester United depose them as champions on Saturday, this afternoon's game was Chelsea's chance to lay down a marker for next season as they paraded their new home kit.

Man of the match: Branislav Ivanovic opened the scoring and was a constant menace for Chelsea down the right. Goal of the match: Steven Taylor's late header was precise and right into the corner of the net, leaving Petr Cech with no chance. Attempt of the match: Peter Lovenkrands tried an ambitious overhead kick from a delightful chip in from Jose Enrique, it would have been a spectacular goal had he made good contact. Moment of the match: There was more than one occasion when Frank Lampard and Joey Barton were involved in scraps, no love lost for sure. Talking point: Carlo Ancelotti and Didier Drogba waved to the Chelsea fans at the final whistle, was it their final outing at Stamford Bridge?

Despite appearing resigned to losing his job in the summer, Ancelotti's line-up reflected this as he made several changes, including starting Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun and Josh McEachran.

And despite Ancelotti's protestations that they could play together, he decided against pairing Didier Drogba with Torres.

Fresh

It took the new-look Chelsea less than 10 minutes to open their account, Frank Lampard's corner flicked on by Torres for Ivanovic to volley home.

The home side continued to dominate as Roman Abramovich watched on from the Stamford Bridge directors' box.

But they undid the good work in the ninth minute when Alex gave the ball straight to Peter Lovenkrands and John Terry tripped the striker, earning a booking.

Making a rare start, Ryan Taylor struck the free-kick, which took a huge deflection off Gutierrez and flew past the wrong-footed Cech.

If that was unlucky for Chelsea, they were fortunate in the 16th minute when Shola Ameobi beat Cech in the air and the striker's goalbound header was cleared.

The hosts also enjoyed a let-off when Ramires lunged horribly at Danny Simpson but failed to earn even a booking.

A crucial interception from Alex cut out a dangerous Shane Ferguson cross, while Ryan Taylor went close to deflecting the ball into his own net at the other end after Ashley Cole's centre sparked panic.

But as the half wore on, Chelsea began to look like a side that had not played together before as Newcastle more than matched them.

The hosts' passing was sloppy, while Torres' inability to hold the ball up was not helping and it appeared only a matter of time before Drogba entered the fray.

Torres wasted a good crossing chance immediately after the restart as his touch began to desert him, with any confidence he might have gained from ending his goal drought last month appearing to have evaporated.

Cole saw a header deflected behind and Ramires flashed wide from 30 yards, although Newcastle remained a threat and Gutierrez looped a header straight into Cech's arms and also curled too close to the goalkeeper from 25 yards.

Lampard had just been booked for going straight through the back of Joey Barton and Ivanovic soon followed suit for tripping the impressive Ferguson.

The resulting Taylor free-kick was clutched by Cech, despite the looming presence of Ameobi.

Changes

With a little more than 25 minutes remaining, Ancelotti abandoned his experiment, introducing Drogba, Florent Malouda and Michael Essien for McEachran, Ramires and Benayoun.

Newcastle then lost Ferguson to injury, Kazenga LuaLua coming on.

A brilliant Drogba free-kick evaded everyone and Simpson was carded for a foul on Essien as Chelsea tried to crank up the pressure.

Cole made a hash of a glorious Drogba lay-off before Terry headed over under pressure.

Newcastle introduced Nile Ranger for Gutierrez and they went close themselves when Lovenkrands' overhead kick screwed off target, the forward immediately replaced by Ameobi's younger brother Samuel.

But that 83rd-minute change came during a Chelsea free-kick which set up the winner, Lampard crossing and Alex leaping above Tim Krul to head home his first goal since October.

Ryan Taylor almost levelled in stoppage-time before namesake Steven did, taking advantage of slack marking to nod in Ranger's header back across goal.

ChelseaTeam StatisticsNewcastle United
2Goals2
11st Half Goals1
2Shots on Target4
8Shots off Target5
6Blocked Shots7
7Corners4
18Fouls13
2Offsides3
4Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
85.1Passing Success70.1
20Tackles22
65Tackles Success77.3
64.6Possession35.4
51.7Territorial Advantage48.3

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Arsenal 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0
5 Crystal Palace 0 0
6 Everton 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0
8 Leicester City 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0
10 Manchester City 0 0
11 Manchester United 0 0
12 Newcastle United 0 0
13 Queens Park Rangers 0 0
14 Southampton 0 0
15 Stoke City 0 0
16 Sunderland 0 0
17 Swansea City 0 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0
19 West Bromwich Albion 0 0
20 West Ham United 0 0

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