Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith gives verdict on Newcastle's display against Chelsea

St James Park

Alan Smith has praised Newcastle's performance against Chelsea.

Pundit Alan Smith has told Sky Sports that Newcastle's performance against Chelsea was "100% better" - despite giving away two late goals.

The Magpies entered the game in turmoil having lost 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup, and with no league wins, they faced a daunting task against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.

However, Newcastle produced their best performance of the season so far, going 2-0 up thanks to goals from Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum.

However, Brazilian duo Ramires and Willian hit back in the final 11 minutes to rescue a point for Chelsea, with the game ending 2-2 at St. James' Park.

Manager Steve McClaren finally got a positive performance out of his team, and fans finally have something to be optimistic about after a torrid start to the season.

Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith spoke after the game, and admitted that Newcastle's attitude was "100% better" against Chelsea, and believes that there could be better times on the horizon for Magpies fans.

"At 2-0 up, you're hoping to see it out, but deep down he must have been immensely proud of the team," said Smith. "It was a backs-against-the-wall situation, he said they had to draw a line in the sand after that Sheffield Wednesday defeat, and the only was up from there on - and it was up."

"Their attitude was 100% better, they had fight, desire, hunger in their play, in that first half particularly, and hopefully for them, they'll be thinking that it can be a signal for better things to come - and it had to be that way," he added.

Whilst the performance was positive, Newcastle still need their first win of the season - and a trip to face Manchester City next weekend is another tough game for McClaren.

Yet if they can replicate the display they showed against Chelsea, Newcastle can grind out a result against City, just as they did at Manchester United earlier this season - but they need to show that fight, desire and hunger again, rather than let it be a one-off performance.

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