Newcastle 0 Chelsea 3: Didier Drogba hails Juan Mata display
Didier Drogba paid tribute to Juan Mata's brilliant performance after Chelsea beat high-flying Newcastle on Saturday
Didier Drogba reserved praise for Juan Mata after the Spain international put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Chelsea overcome Newcastle 3-0 at the Sports Direct Arena.
Mata, who was instrumental throughout the game, provided the cross for Drogba to nod the Londoners into the lead before the break.
Late goals from substitute Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge then made the points secure after an entertaining game in the north-east.
Drogba said: “It’s very difficult to come from a different league, a league where the game is more technical, to here, where the game is a bit more physical.
“We are happy to have him in our squad and he is making the difference every day in the games. He is one of our key players.”
The Ivorian striker admitted that getting a result against Alan Pardew’s side was key after their string of disappointing results.
He added: “We are not in our best moment so it was difficult to come here. [But] the team had a good reaction.”
Meanwhile, Mata is hoping the victory will give Chelsea the momentum they need going into their crunch Champions League clash with Valencia at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
“It was a very difficult game for us,” said Mata. “Newcastle are one of the best teams in the Premier League. We have to think now about the Champions League and I think this result gives us great confidence.”