Five talking points as Chelsea go top of the table with Newcastle win

Premier League title hopefuls Chelsea moved to the summit of the table on Saturday afternoon with a routine victory over Newcastle United.

The Blues ran out 2-0 winners at St James' Park, with an own goal from Federico Fernandez and a second-half strike from Tammy Abraham handing the visitors all three points.

Frank Lampard's troops were dominant from the outset, immediately peppering Karl Darlow's goal and unleashing wave after wave of attack.

Newcastle offered very little resistance to the west Londoners, a failure that will have no doubt will have irked Toon boss Steve Bruce.

Here are five talking points from Chelsea's fifth league win of the season:

Was Federico Fernandez fouled ahead of Chelsea's opener?

Fernandez handed the visitors the lead in the 10th minute, with the Argentine putting through his net while attempting to clear a low cross from Mason Mount.

Fernandez found himself on the floor seconds after putting the home side behind and immediately claimed he'd been fouled by Ben Chilwell.

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Frank Lampard's team made waves during the summer by splashing over £250million to bring in the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva.

It has given them one of the Premier League's most potent attacks – but behind them remains a defence that continues to leak goals, with 3-3 draws against West Brom and Southampton already behind them.

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The replays showed there was contact between the pair, although it appeared to have been initiated a split-second after Fernandez made contact with the ball.

Newcastle fans were hoping VAR would've bailed them out of jail. Alas, that didn't prove to be the case.

Newcastle pressure non-existent in the first half

Newcastle went into today's match on the back of a comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Southampton before the international break.

The Magpies turned in a lacklustre display on the south coast, which led many to believe they'd immediately get stuck into Chelsea. That, however, didn't prove to be the case.

From the get-go, Bruce's troops allowed Chelsea time and space on the ball – luxuries the Blues took advantage of. Newcastle didn't put any sort of pressure on the Blues until the 35th minute, which led to their best chance of the game.

Bruce will no doubt be lamenting his side's decision to sit back and relax early doors.

Big man, little man partnership bearing fruit for the Blues

When Chelsea signed Timo Werner in the summer, many thought his arrival could spell trouble for England international Abraham.

That belief stemmed from the by-gone era of managers playing two strikers up front.

Lampard, however, has found a way to incorporate both players into the starting XI – handing Werner a wider berth and playing Abraham through the middle.

The pair, 24 and 23 respectively, have worked well during their brief stint together and did so again today – with Werner setting up Abraham's 65th-minute goal

It's still early days yet, but it seems the pair have shown signs they can form a formidable and fruitful partnership.

Finishing concerns for Lampard

Chelsea's margin of victory on Tyneside should've been far greater than what it was.

Last season's beaten FA Cup finalists created a multitude of chances but were wasteful in front of goal.

Toon stopper Darlow did his part to keep the scoreline down, but Lampard will no doubt be worried by his side's failure to capitalise on the abundance of chances that fell their way.

Is Steve Bruce going to persist with Joelintion?

Newcastle's record signing has often cut a lone and isolated figure during his year-and-a-half stay in Tyneside. This afternoon's match with Chelsea was no different, with the striker being on the periphery of the game.

Bruce was hoping the 24-year-old would provide an outlet for his team to get up the pitch after absorbing pressure.

Joelinton, however, was unable to hold up the ball when it was fired his way – carelessly giving possession away on a number of occasions.

The Brazilan's poor goal return in the league – coupled with his less than stellar hold-up play – has already led some of the Toon Army write him off.

One can only wonder how long much more time Bruce will give the forward to prove himself before opting to try a new approach.

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