Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard celebrates scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on August 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO

Maurizio Sarri’s stylistic overhaul at Chelsea was evident as  the Blues broke a passing record in their 2-1 take down of Newcastle United at St James’ Park Sunday.

Chelsea completed a total of 913 passes a Premier League record. That title had been held by Manchester City, who racked up 902 in a game against Chelsea last March.

One of their number almost broke an individual barrier, too, with the newly-arrived midfield pendulum Jorginho totalling 158 successful passes while dancing circles around Newcastle, just nine short of the record for one game of 167. That is held by Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City, and was notched up by him in that same game against Chelsea.

Chelsea made it three wins from three. De Andre Yedlin’s unfortunate own goal on 87 minutes sealed the win for  Sarri’s dominant side after a controversial finale at St. James’ Park.

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea in front from the penalty spot on 76 minutes after Fabian Schar was harshly penalised for a foul on Marcos Alonso.

But Newcastle were level six minutes later as Joselu’s near-post header was allowed to stand, despite Yedlin catching Olivier Giroud in the face with an elbow in the build-up.

Chelsea had the final word, though, as Yedlin turned Alonso’s cross into his own net to maintain the Blues’ flawless start to the season, and leave Rafa Benitez’s men waiting for their first victory.


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