A second-half double from Reece James and a late penalty from Jorginho fired Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

The first half at St. James’ Park was largely drab as both teams struggled to create goalscoring opportunities. Chelsea put the ball into the net through Hakim Ziyech, but the Moroccan was offside. Newcastle United, meanwhile, stayed disciplined at the back but hardly offered any attacking threat.

After the half-time break, Chelsea were much more purposeful, with Ziyech drawing a save from Karl Darlow and then seeing an effort strike the woodwork in quick succession. The opening goal finally came for Thomas Tuchel’s men in the 65th minute when Reece James fired a powerful left-footed strike to get things started.

Twelve minutes later, James was at it again, striking a sweet half-volley to put the Blues in control of the contest. Chelsea were then awarded a penalty after Darlow brought Kai Havertz inside the box. And, captain Jorginho stepped up to dispatch it and make it 3-0 to kill the contest off and bag three points.

The result, coupled with Liverpool and Manchester City dropping points, means Chelsea have opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table. Newcastle, meanwhile, remain rooted to the 19th place with caretaker boss Graeme Jones unable to spark any fight or turnaround. Here are our player ratings for both sets of players after the one-sided affair at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle United Player Ratings

Karl Darlow: 5/10

Not a lot the Newcastle United goalkeeper could have done to stop either of James’ strikes on the evening. But he poorly gave away the penalty that allowed Jorginho to make it 3-0.

Javi Manquillo: 4.5/10

It was not the most enterprising display from the Spaniard, who was largely kept pegged back on his side and couldn’t display much defensive solidity. Had one or two moments when he tried to push forward and make things happen, but nothing came of those.

Emil Krafth: 4/10

Preferred ahead of Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez yet again, the 27-year-old Swede had his task cut out against the lively Hudson-Odoi and could not get to grips with the Englishman for much of the contest.

Jamaal Lascelles: 5.5/10

A solid display in the first period as he produced several blocks and clearances to keep Chelsea out. However, the Newcastle United skipper crumbled after the half-time break, much like the rest of the team. Did finish with the highest clearances in the game (8)

Ciaran Clark: 5.5/10

Like his captain, Clark tried to fight hard and keep the visitors at bay. He made three interceptions (highest) and five clearances but came undone after the break as the Blues upped their game.

Matt Ritchie: 4/10

While he was not lacking for effort, Ritchie’s flank was targeted effectively by Chelsea, with James enjoying a lot of joy on his side. Booked and was unable to contain the attacking threat.

Sean Longstaff: 5/10

Longstaff tried to get stuck in, in the middle of the park but was unable to stem Chelsea. He was willing to try and play forward passes to open up play but wasn’t always successful, as he finished with just 67% pass accuracy.

Isaac Hayden: 5/10

Booked in the first period, which meant he was walking the disciplinary tightrope. Put himself about in an attempt to thwart the Blues’ midfield but couldn’t always do so. He was taken off in the second period to avoid a sending off.

Ryan Fraser: 4/10

Starting as the third central midfielder, the ex-Bournemouth man just never got going. He looked out of place in an unfamiliar position and was eventually taken off in the second half.

Callum Wilson: 5/10

Had to feed off scraps with there being little in the way of meaningful service for him. The Englishman never looked like threatening the goal on the evening.

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Allan Saint-Maximin: 5/10

The main man in Newcastle’s attack, Saint-Maximin, tried to make things happen in the first period, but nothing came off for him. Faded with time as Chelsea grew in control of the contest.

SUBSTITUTES

Joe Willock: 4/10

The midfielder came on for Fraser in the 66th minute. He hardly made a notable impact.

Miguel Almiron: 4/10

Almiron replaced Hayden in the 67th minute but did not do much of note.

Jonjo Shelvey: N/A 

On for Longstaff for the final ten minutes.

Chelsea Player Ratings

Edouard Mendy: 6/10

A comfortable outing for the Senegalese international as Newcastle were negative for most of the game and did not threaten going forward. An easy clean sheet. He distributed well from the back.

Andreas Christensen: 7/10

Preferred over Cesar Azpilicueta, the 25-year-old hardly put a foot wrong. He dealt well with Callum Wilson and helped progress the ball out from the back with good efficiency and composure.

Thiago Silva: 7/10

Like the rest of his defensive partners, the veteran centre-back wasn’t asked many questions by a timid Newcastle frontline. He was up to the task on the rare occasion he was needed to be and oozed calm and composure on the ball, helping Chelsea stay in control.

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Solid and aggressive in his defensive duties, the German international wasn’t afraid of pushing upfield with the ball and even had a go at the goal from a distance. Made some good-looking forward passes and kept Chelsea on the front foot.

Reece James: 9/10

The England international was the primary attacking outlet for Chelsea and looked like a major threat in the first half, but the end product was looking. Upped the ante after the break and continued to make dangerous forward forays. He then produced two excellent finishes to put Chelsea in the driving seat. Top-notch from James.

N’Golo Kante: 6/10

Back into the side after returning from injury, the Frenchman did not have to exert himself defensively as Chelsea stayed in control. However, he did have some problems trying to unlock the Newcastle defence and made way for Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the break.

Jorginho: 8/10

A solid, all-round display from Chelsea’s captain of the day, as Jorginho ran the game with his array of passes. Created the chance from which Ziyech scored, but the goal was chalked off for offside. He continued to play incisive passes forward and did his bit defensively to keep Newcastle from threatening. A fine penalty late on to cap off an impressive performance.

Ben Chilwell: 6/10

Not the best attacking display from the in-form England international, as Newcastle did well to keep him quiet on the evening. Did have a few positive moments getting forward but couldn’t extend his goalscoring run.

Hakim Ziyech: 6/10

Getting the nod due to Mason Mount’s illness-enforced absence, Ziyech failed to make the most of the opportunity. Had some decent moments in the first period with the ball at his feet, but there was an equal number of sloppy ones as well. Had a goal chalked off for offside in the first half, then hit the woodwork after the break. Needs to step up and make his chances count.

Kai Havertz: 6.5/10

Newcastle United’s deep defensive line meant that the German’s movement was restricted and ineffective in the first period. Looked sharper and livelier after the break, though, as spaces started to open up. Did well to win the penalty late in the game.

Callum Hudson-Odoi: 7/10

The Chelsea academy product had a mixed first half when he made a few positive runs but was unable to unlock the Newcastle defence. Improved after the break and was the architect of the first goal with a fine run and cross, which fell to James’ feet.

SUBSTITUTES

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6/10

On for Kante a little after the hour mark. Offered a bit more going forward than the Frenchman. Had a shot saved, with the rebound falling to James for the second goal.

Ross Barkley: 6/10

Came on in place of Ziyech in the 64th minute. A lively cameo from the Englishman.

Saul Niguez: N/A

Late substitute for Hudson-Odoi.

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