Chelsea had to settle for a 1-1 draw as they took on Newcastle United at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Blues continued their tour of the United States of America as Mauricio Pochettino took charge of his third game in a tough battle against Eddie Howe’s team.
It did not take long for Chelsea to find the lead against Newcastle, Nicolas Jackson scored his second goal of pre-season with a composed finish past Martin Dubravka after being played through by Ian Maatsen.
Although for the rest of the half the west London side looked to be in control of the contest, Newcastle were able to tie the game before the break, a pass from Anthony Gordon found Miguel Almiron who tucked his effort into the bottom left corner.
In the second half, Chelsea continued to look like the more dominant side, opportunities fell the way of Conor Gallagher and Christopher Nkunku, but they were both denied by Nick Pope.
These turned out to be the best chances for the Blues in the second 45, there was no separating the two teams as things drew to a close.
Pochettino opted to make eight changes from the Blues’ last game against Brighton & Hove Albion, selecting Reece James as captain, with Mykhailo Mudryk, Jackson and Enzo Fernandez also earning starts.
Newcastle got proceedings underway in Atlanta, and in the opening exchanges there was little to split the two sides, but after 12 minutes, it was the west Londoners who opened the scoring.
After netting versus the Seagulls on Saturday night, Senegalese forward Jackson found himself through on goal. The striker made no mistake after being sent in behind by Maatsen and fired Chelsea into the lead.
While the Magpies looked to respond, Jackson was involved again just moments later, he was brought down by Fabian Schar as the Blues looked to break forward, this saw the first yellow card of the game produced.
Midway through the opening 45, the first drinks break of the contest was called, it was met by boos from the crowd, who were enjoying the action between the two Premier League teams.
The fans were nearly cheering moments later though, as Italian midfielder Casadei powered an effort from the edge of the box, but it was just wide of the post rather than on target.
Chelsea looked comfortable as the half progressed, with Newcastle creating few chances, but as the clock ticked on, they found a goal out of nothing. Former Atlanta United player, Almiron was slipped through after a mistake from Marc Cucurella and he tied the contest with a low strike that beat Kepa Arrizabalaga.
This goal saw the teams head into the half-time interval level at 1-1, which was disappointing for the Blues.
Two substitutions were made by Pochettino before the second half got underway, goal scorer Jackson was replaced by Raheem Sterling and Mudryk made way for Gallagher.
The first clear cut chance of the second half fell the way of the Blues, Nkunku, who had a quiet opening 45, found himself in some space and hit a good strike that was pushed out by substitute Pope in the Newcastle goal.
England international, Pope, was tested once again in the 63rd minute, this time by fellow countryman Gallagher. The midfielder’s shot was parried behind for a corner by the 31-year-old.
More substitutions came as the half carried on, Ben Chilwell, Andrey Santos, Malo Gusto and Carney Chukwuemeka were all brought on for the final 25 minutes.
Neither side were able to craft many opportunities as the game edged towards a conclusion, things looked to have fizzled out, but Chilwell nearly snatched a last minute winner, a superb shot was excellently denied by Pope, who was Newcastle’s saviour in the second half.
Ultimately, both teams settled for a draw, for Chelsea they will turn their attention to their next pre-season game which comes against Fulham on Sunday.
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