7 tackles won - £21m Chelsea newbie impresses again v Newcastle

While Eden Hazard stole the show once more for Chelsea, Nemanja Matic's contribution in midfield did not go unnoticed.

It was a tricky little Belgian who proved Chelsea's match-winner against Newcastle on Saturday.

Described by manager Jose Mourinho as the best young player in the world, there's nothing Eden Hazard can do wrong right now - and his first hat-trick for the Blues has done little to dispel the lavish praise he has received of late.

But finishing the job, of course, is one thing - winning the ball back to give your team-mates the chance to do so is quite another.

That's where another Chelsea signing comes in: Nemanja Matic.

In the 3-0 win over Newcastle, Matic won no less than seven tackles from midfield, the second-highest total all season by anyone in a blue shirt.

NameMatchMatchdayTeamPosWon TackleTotal TackleMins
Ramires Chelsea vs Southampton 13 Chelsea MF 8 10 90
Nemanja Matic Chelsea vs Newcastle 25 Chelsea MF 7 10 90
Frank Lampard Spurs vs Chelsea 06 Chelsea MF 6 7 90
Frank Lampard Arsenal vs Chelsea 17 Chelsea MF 5 6 90
Ramires Spurs vs Chelsea 06 Chelsea MF 5 6 90
John Obi Mikel Everton vs Chelsea 04 Chelsea MF 4 4 90

Indeed, only Ramires has bettered the statistic this term - against Southampton in December - while Matic attempted the same number of tackles as the Brazilian during Saturday's clash.

All day long against the Magpies, the midfield man was disciplined, efficient and selfless. He harried every Newcastle player in sight, pressed off the ball and looked assured and composed on it.

Such impressive form takes on a whole new meaning, though, when you consider the fact that it was only Matic's fourth game since re-joining Chelsea from Benfica. The 25-year-old is already looking a sound investment.

Upon the Serb's second coming at Stamford Bridge, Blues boss Jose Mourinho said: “Regarding Matic, he grew as a player during the passage through Portugal and returned to this club as a fantastic versatile central midfielder.”

Based on current form, Mourinho certainly isn't wrong.

image: © Yoca91

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