Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri surprised by the approach of Rafa Benitez in Newcastle wins, but greets the commitment of Blues

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri greeted the character from his side, as the Italian retained his 100 percent start in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory in Newcastle.

Substitute Joselu seemed to have saved an unlikely point for the ultra-defensive hosts with a 84th minute equalizer, but Chelsea reacted immediately by DeAndre Yedlin's own goal four minutes after time.

Eden Hazard – the excellent player of the game at his first start of the season – had previously led Chelsea from the penalty spot after Marcos Alonso was interrupted by debutant Fabian Schar.

Sarri, whose side was right with Liverpool at the top of the table after three wins, praised the character of his match against a surprisingly defensive side by Rafa Benitez, as Chelsea won for the first time since 2011 in St. James's Park.

"To win here is difficult, it is very difficult for Chelsea and for every team," said the former Napoli coach afterwards. "It would have been more difficult for us to draw for five minutes until the end, and I think this team is a strong team from a character point of view.

"Because only in the last season Chelsea lost here, Manchester United lost here, Arsenal lost here, so I think it's not so easy to play against this opponent, the match might have been harder, in Italy I still have Rafa. never having to play with five defenders and so compact, so it was really hard, we had to move the ball very quickly and be patient.

"Of course it was customary in Italy [for teams to play defensively against Napoli] – not against Inter [Milan], Roma, Juventus – but if we played against the last ten in the table, it was customary. I do not know anything about this in England.

"Being top means nothing, I think," he added. "The competition is at 38 matches, so after three matches it is important to start well, but now the table is not important."

Hazard looked like he could not finish the first half after being defeated by Matt Richie and Mo Diame, but he recovered to make the difference for Chelsea.

The Belgian pass to Alonso led to the penalty, which he coolly converted from the spot, but Sarri admitted that he wanted to withdraw his talisman for the last fifteen to twenty minutes.

"I think he played very well," Sarri said. "Maybe it was better for him to play 70 or 75 minutes right now, but after the first goal [Mateo] Kovacic asked me to make the replacement. So it was preferred [option]so it was impossible for him to rest. "

In the first half, the danger seemed to arise from Newcastle's inflammatory tactic, and Sarri added: "As usual, he is used to taking such an attitude, in a normal way I think."

There was some argument about the opening goals of both parties, where Schar seemed to win the ball before he got confused with the elbow of Alonso and Yedlin who connected with Oliver Giroud before the full-back for Joselu's near-header went .

Sarri said, "I do not know if it was an elbow or not, I was far away [away]. The banks are on the line of half, so for me it was really difficult to say if it was a penalty, the same for the action on the other side. I was about 50 or 60 meters, I can not say that. I am not a referee and I never want to be a referee. "

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