Chelsea toil but Kinnear senses fresh start after stalemate

Chelsea 0 Newcastle United 0

So Joe Kinnear would welcome Alan Shearer at the Newcastle United training ground, for a couple of mornings a week – to "see for himself what football is all about". Perhaps, while he is about it, he can tell Luiz Felipe Scolari as well.

The Chelsea manager watched the Premier League leaders run rings round their guests for much of the afternoon, only to leave the pitch themselves dazed by the futility of their endeavours. Immaculate all season away from home, they have now dropped nine points at Stamford Bridge. But this startling scoreline can only be partly explained by their own ineptitude in front of goal. Credit is also becoming due – overdue, perhaps – to the growing resilience of a team now beaten only twice in eight starts under Kinnear.

Though he remains on a month-to-month contract, he is performing something akin to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. With Mike Ashley yet to find someone discerning enough to take the club off his hands, Shearer's interest in the job, or otherwise, remains academic. In the immediate term, certainly, the interim manager is going nowhere – and that may no longer be quite so true of his team.

"The deal was to be in charge until the club was sold, and nothing has changed, to be honest," Kinnear said. "But I have been informed that I am here for another month, and that will bring us up to the transfer window. So if I can twist [Ashley's] arm and get a few quid out of him, I can buy a couple of players.

"The club has not got a buyer yet, but people are talking to them. So far, nobody has come up with the cash. Mike said they were Americans, but the offer they made was well below his estimation of what the club was worth."

Kinnear declined to apologise for the extreme pragmatism of his strategy here, and in fairness nor did Scolari condemn him. Exasperated as he was by Newcastle's lack of ambition, he said afterwards: "They played for a draw, and we are thinking only of a win. So they were better than us."

At first, it promised to be a stroll for Chelsea. The lissom Jose Bosingwa repeatedly cantered past Damien Duff at his leisure, while his interplay with Deco left Jose Enrique as Canute before a tide of crosses from the right.

But Newcastle survived to half-time, exorbitant advantages in territory and possession having properly stretched Shay Given only the once – when he somehow got a glove to Frank Lampard's early header. The margins would get tighter in the second half. Given only just landed on the right side of the line after claiming a lofted free kick, while the referee detected an infringement when Joe Cole bundled Malouda's parried shot over the line.

Chelsea increasingly resorted to impatient punts outside the box. Anxiety gnawed the crowd, as they adjusted to the surreal possibility that Newcastle might hold out. Michael Owen, finally granted a start by Kinnear, was contained by Ashley Cole. And Duff's torments at the hands of Bosingwa made it seem a very long time since he arrived here as a record signing in 2003, an early token of Roman Abramovich's intentions.

Instead this had been a job for the bricklayers, for Fabrizio Coloccini in particular, and Sebastien Bassong alongside, with Nicky Butt setting an aggressive tone in midfield. "It's probably the best team performance we have had," Kinnear said. "It feels like a win in the dressing room. We drew a week ago and it felt like a loss, when they equalised in the 89th minute. But this feels like a victory."

Having lost their air of impregnability here last month, when beaten by Liverpool, Chelsea must now add this indignity to their Carling Cup exit against Burnley. Their fans managed to find some cheer as the results came in from Anfield and Eastlands, but these were only the coldest of home comforts.

Attendance: 41,660

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: Coloccini

Match rating: 5/10

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial