Chelsea secured a third successive Premier League win on Saturday, beating struggling Newcastle thanks to a driven Marcos Alonso goal with 20 minutes remaining. Frank Lampard's side came into Saturday's game in fifth place in the Premier League, having comfortably defeated Southampton 4-1 in their last outing, while the travelling team sat just above the relegation zone, but the Blues were forced to exhibit patience at Stamford Bridge. Following an uneventful opening half, the first genuine chance for either team came in the 57th minute as Tammy Abraham headed Willian's corner against the crossbar. From that moment Chelsea increased the pressure on their visitors, with Lampard opting to bring on United States international Christian Pulisic. The 21-year-old was denied his first goal for Chelsea on 70 minutes, when Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka produced a superb point-blank save. But Dubravka could not prevent Alonso from finding the net minutes later as the Spain defender drove a low shot past the Slovakia international and into the bottom corner. Newcastle manager Steve Bruce went all out in pursuit of an equaliser, bringing forwards Christian Atsu and Dwight Gayle on with five minutes remaining, and the former was nearly involved in a goal with seconds left. It wasn't to be for the Magpies, however, and Lampard's men took all three points. While the London club will be happy with the win, they will be less happy that Ross Barkley, who picked up a calf issue in England's 6-0 win over Bulgaria on Monday, limped off just moments before the half-time whistle. Barkley's departure adds to Lampard's injury troubles as the 41-year-old was without N'Golo Kante on Saturday, the midfielder having sustained a groin injury while playing for France during the international break, a development that led the Chelsea boss to criticise Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps on Friday. Lampard also had to make do without the injured Andreas Christensen — who is expected to miss another two weeks of action with a hamstring problem — and Antonio Rudiger, who recently returned to training.
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