The controversial Kai Havertz incident that sparked Newcastle United and Chelsea brawl

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Newcastle United and Chelsea players clashed at the full-time whistle.

As Eddie Howe shared a hug with coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones at the full-time whistle to celebrate Newcastle United’s 1-0 win over Chelsea, tempers had already boiled over between both sets of players.

With the Magpies leading via Joe Willock’s 67th-minute opener, emotions, particularly from the visitors, were on a knife edge after being frustrated in their efforts to find an equaliser. United, of course, held on for their seventh clean sheet of the campaign and also a fifth straight win to remain third in the Premier League table.

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It was a battling encounter against the former European champions, and you could see how much the result meant to Howe’s men when Dan Burn squared up to Kai Havertz which swiftly sparked a huge brawl.

“It was the emotion of the game wasn’t it? Me and Kai had a few run-ins before and it’s just part and parcel of the game,” Burn explained. “It can get the better of you at the times. But when you are in that environment and clinging on in stoppage time and wanting to win the game these things happen.’

What “run-in” is Burn referring to? Well, if you rewind the clock back to March this year at Stamford Bridge, Havertz escaped a red card for an elbow on the Blyth-born defender. The 30-year-old at the time said described it as “a bit naughty” after leaving him with a cut on his head.

Clearly, with emotions running high as Burn admitted, the former Brighton and Hove Albion felt he had gained a little revenge for what happened in West London after Havertz, perhaps unsurprisingly, scored a last-minute winner that afternoon.

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The win for Newcastle puts them nine points above Chelsea, who sit in eighth, as Howe’s side weigh up a potential Champions League challenge in the second half of the season after collecting 30 points from their opening 15 games.

“I was really pleased actually with how we managed the latter stages of the game,” Howe said. “I know it wasn’t ‘pure football’, it was two teams desperate to try and have opposite aims. We wanted to try and kill the game and try and see the match out. They wanted the ball back in play.

“I thought we stood up for each other in a really respectful, strong way. That’s what we need to go on the pitch, I’ve got no issue with that. I thought the players handled themselves really well. That’s Premier League football, it’s everything to these players and I think that showed.”

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