NEWCASTLE, England — American defender DeAndre Yedlin put his hands to his head and buried his face in the turf after scoring an 88th-minute own-goal to hand Chelsea a 2-1 win over Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.
Yedlin had just set up Newcastle's equalizer, scored by Joselu, when he stretched out his leg to block a shot from Marcos Alonso and accidentally diverted the ball into his own net. He looked distraught as Chelsea's players celebrated a goal that secured a third straight victory for the London club to open the season.
"Everyone was thinking a draw when they scored," said Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, "but we are Chelsea and we never give up."
In an embarrassingly one-sided game, Chelsea took 77 minutes to break down Newcastle as Hazard converted a penalty following a foul on Alonso, after yet another surge into the box by the attacking left back.
Joselu got in front of David Luiz to glance a header inside the near post from Yedlin's right-wing cross, making it 1-1 in the 83rd, but that didn't prove to be Yedlin's most pivotal intervention of the match at St. James' Park.
Chelsea, under new coach Maurizio Sarri, joined Liverpool and Watford in having a 100 per cent record after three games, having previously beaten Huddersfield and Arsenal.
Chelsea had 79 per cent possession in the first half against a retreating Newcastle team set up ultra-defensively by coach Rafa Benitez. That percentage rose to 90 per cent at one stage after halftime.
"I have never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders," said Sarri, who replaced Benitez at Napoli. "I think it is very difficult to play here for every team, not only us."
Newcastle has one point from three games.
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