Chelsea FC prepared for their midweek Champions League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain in the perfect way possible, registering a morale-boosting 5-1 victory over a hapless Newcastle United side on Saturday.
It took Chelsea just five minutes to open the scoring against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in the final Premier League game on Saturday, and when Spaniard Pedro doubled the lead in the ninth minute, the game already seemed dead and buried.
Manager Guus Hiddink was pleased with what he believes was a confidence-boosting win, and the Dutchman reserved praise for striker Diego Costa and his international team-mate Pedro in particular.
Diego Costa was desperate to play despite broken nose
The 27-year-old suffered a broken nose in training while challenging for a header, but Hiddink later revealed that the striker was desperate to play with a mask.
“He wanted to play desperately and when the mask was fitted he said he could play,” the 69-year-old is quoted as saying by the official Chelsea FC website. “The way the first goal was scored was typical of a striker in good shape. He’s focusing on what he has to do and choosing his moments perfectly.”
Diego Costa now has 10 Premier League goals, with seven of them coming in the last eight games. The Blues will need him to continue in the same vein of form in all competitions as they seek to salvage something from this season.
Hiddink happy for hard-working Pedro
The former Barcelona attacker has found game time difficult to come by of late, but grabbed his opportunity on Saturday with both hands, scoring two brilliantly taken goals either side of the half-time interval.
Hiddink said of the 28-year-old: “Pedro is so hard working and very responsible; he knows what to do defensively and covers all the spaces. He’s so hard working so it’s good he was rewarded with goals.”
The Dutchman was also pleased that Belgian Eden Hazard was able to complete the full match as he continues to build up his match fitness following a long lay-off. “I’m happy Eden played 90 minutes, that’s why we brought him to a higher level step by step, I think that will benefit him a lot,” added Hiddink. “Let’s see how he can perform on Tuesday [against PSG].”