The official line was that both were injured, although there were unconfirmed rumours that a training ground argument between Lascelles and Benitez had prompted the manager to leave him out.
Benitez insisted, however: “Shelvey has been playing with pain, we tell him you cannot carry on with pain because it will stop him. Jamaal came in with ankle problem.”
It meant four of Newcastle’s summer signings were starting a game for the first time in a line-up and two of them — Schar and Federico Fernandez — were at the heart of Newcastle’s defence.
Both performed well, particularly in the second half when the pattern was the same but Chelsea delivered more crosses towards Alvaro Morata as they started to run out of patience.
Rudiger almost made the breakthrough when he powered a shot against the bar in the 72nd minute, shortly before Hazard’s penalty.
Even the most optimistic Newcastle supporter must have feared the worst, but Joselu’s 83rd minute header offered them hope before Chelsea won it in dramatic fashion.