Kinnear adds heart to revival

Chelsea 0 Newcastle United 0

You might call it a case of nil-nil desperandum. For Chelsea, there would be the relief of discovering that Liverpool and Manchester United also endured a barren afternoon; for Newcastle this was a more substantial tonic, one that sowed new seeds of hope.

It was not pretty, with Michael Owen spending much of his afternoon foraging in midfield, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and few will still be placing the appointment of Joe Kinnear in that category, after the interim manager secured twin dividends from the league leaders on Saturday – a third away point of the season, and a precious infusion of belief.

Lampooned on his arrival, Kinnear has quickly got his players handing buckets up and down from the pump and the fires are gradually being doused. Here they blunted Chelsea's ornate midfield blades with an epic display of obduracy.

Kinnear has been told to stick around for another month at least, while Mike Ashley trawls the stagnant waters of the global economy. Until the owner finds someone prepared to pay the ransom he expects to release the club from its latest purgatory, Kinnear even anticipates supervising a few changes during the transfer window.

A curious state of affairs, given the perceived role of Dennis Wise in the disintegration of Kevin Keegan's authority, but Kinnear was adamant after the game that he has been authorised to identify potential targets for January. Ashley had promised him that he could spend any money received from sales, and might even find some extra funds. "I don't think he'd be putting his hand in his pocket if the club's going to be sold in a week's time," Kinnear admitted. But for now that seems unlikely – "certainly till after Christmas, or beyond that".

In fairness to Wise, the bedrock of Newcastle's resistance on Saturday comprised Fabricio Collocini and Sébastien Bassong, both imported during the summer, while Jonas Gutierrez again looked well equipped for the Premier League.

Wise himself will have been in his element, of course, back at the club he bestrode during the 1990s. Indeed, cynics on Tyneside may view this as pretty much a home fixture for the "Cockney mafia" – but London pride is better than no pride at all.

As it happens, that is exactly what will be at stake this weekend, when Arsenal come to Stamford Bridge. It would be churlish to read too much into Chelsea's failure to consummate the silky advances of Deco, Jose Bosingwa and Frank Lampard against Newcastle. Equally, it was not a bad afternoon for the suspended Didier Drogba, and it is certainly curious that Chelsea, inviolate for four years until the visit of Liverpool last month, have now dropped nine points at Stamford Bridge, while setting records on the road.

Luiz Felipe Scolari characteristically declined to disparage Kinnear's negative tactics. "Sometimes it is more easy to win away than at Stamford Bridge," the Chelsea manager shrugged. "When you are away, the home fans pressure their team to attack us, but when you are at home they don't want to attack us. I said congratulations to the coach and his team. They had a strategy to draw and it worked."

Needless to say, Kinnear hardly objects to being cast as the awkward pragmatist, and is relishing the grudging respect of those who greeted his appointment as the final affront of a discredited, carpetbagging regime. Reminded that Newcastle was hardly the ideal job for a man with a history of cardiac problems, he even feigned a collapse against the wall. Ironic, then, that the one thing he appears to be giving this team is a bit of heart.

"It wasn't a case of my ability, or what I've achieved in the game," he said, reflecting on his four years in the wilderness. "It's just I never got interviews because of my health. After the heart attack, it was nigh on impossible to get a case over to anybody. Every time I was interviewed, the first question was: 'How's you heart? How's your health?' I had to get back somehow, to prove I'm physically AOK. It's understandable, you're the forgotten man. But I kept banging on doors. Now this one's come out of the blue, and I'm going to do everything I possibly can for it to lead on to another."

Chelsea: (4-3-2-1) Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, A Cole; Lampard, Mikel, Deco; J Cole (Ballack, 81), Malouda (Kalou, 71); Anelka. Substitutes not used: Cudicini (gk), Sinclair, Bridge, Ferreira, Mineiro.

Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Given; Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique; Gutierrez (N'Zogbia, 76), Guthrie, Butt, Duff; Owen; Martins (Ameobi, 60). Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Cacapa, Edgar, LuaLua, Carroll.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

Booked: Guthrie, Gutierrez.

Man of the match: Coloccini

Attendance: 41,660

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam