Highlights: Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea; Chelsea's 23-match unbeaten streak broken
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea had not won in the last four attempts at St. James’ Park, and it was second-half Newcastle United substitute Papiss Cisse who ensured that the visitors were not lucky in the fifth attempt either. Chelsea’s 23-match unbeaten streak has been broken, and the Blues have managed only 1 point from their last 2 away outings – both against the teams from the north-east – Newcastle and Sunderland.
Chelsea threatened several times in the first half, but inspired by the returning Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle United put up a spirited performance and and in fact seemed to grow in confidence as the half progressed.
Gary Cahill’s header and Oscar’s shot went closest to the Newcastle goal, while Thibaut Courtois’s outstretched foot denied Jack Colback late in the first half.
Papiss Cisse replaced Remy Cabella in the fray in the 53rd minute. Only four minutes later, he had ended a run of 498 minutes in all competitions since Chelsea had last conceded a goal. Gary Cahill misjudged a low cross from Sammy Ameobi, and Cisse slotted in gleefuly.
Eden Hazard came dangerously close to restoring parity by hitting the frame of the goal in the 78th minute, but a resulting counter-attack in the space of 38 seconds gave Cisse his second goal on the night, and his manager Alan Pardew another fresh lease of life in the Premier League.
Towards the end of the match, Steven Taylor was shown his second yellow card and Didier Drogba headed in a goal, events which happened in quick succession and brought a sudden change of pace in proceedings.
Newcastle held on for one of the biggest upsets of the season yet. With this victory, Newcastle remains in the crowded top half of the table, while Chelsea’s lead at the top is cut down from looking as unassailable as before.