Newcastle dealt a blow to Chelsea’s title chances with a 2-0 win at St James’ Park.
The Blues dominated the opening half but failed to turn their possession into goals and were undone by a Newcastle side who were much improved in the second period.
Yoan Gouffran opened the scoring, and the points were made safe when Loic Remy netted late on.
Chelsea were dominant early on and almost took the lead on 13 minutes, but John Terry’s header thudded against the crossbar.
Terry was demonstrating his aerial threat, and it was almost a carbon copy eight minutes before the break. His header, again from a corner, was cleared off the line.
Having soaked up plenty of pressure, Newcastle demonstrated far greater appetite for attack in the second half, and Chelsea needed Petr Cech to keep them on level terms.
On the hour mark, Mathieu Debuchy released Moussa Sissoko. He drove in on goal and shot low, but Cech was able to turn it round the post.
From the following corner, Cech did well to repel a snap shot from Remy.
But on 69 minutes, the keeper had no answer to Gouffran’s header. The Frenchman stooped and powered his header down and into the net, but the goal owed much to the superb delivery of Yohan Cabaye from a free-kick.
Certainly not a game that justifies a 2-0 scoreline, but #cfc deserve very little. Poor performance. Looked lethargic today.— Garry Hayes (@garryhayes) November 2, 2013
Chelsea struggled to fashion a response, but 11 minutes from time, a combination of keeper Tim Krul and Debuchy denied Willian and Samuel Eto’o.
Newcastle weathered the storm, and a calm finish from Remy sealed the three points.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s performance. Speaking to BT Sport, via thesportreview.com, Mourinho said:
I didn’t like our performance and I think we deserved to lose—it’s as simple as that.
We had a good reaction and a couple of good chances to equalise but I think they were more in the game than us.
They fought more than us and were much more committed than us. For sure they were the best team on the pitch. If somebody had to win, it was Newcastle, not us.
We were not sharp and not intense with the ball. We defended quite well but we were not fast and intense and aggressive with the ball so we let the game go, waiting for a chance to score a goal.
Chelsea next face Schalke 04 on Nov. 6, while Newcastle are off until Nov. 10, when they will take on Tottenham.