NEWCASTLE BEAT CHELSEA 2 — 0 at St James’ Park thanks to Yoan Gouffron and Lioc Remy strikes.
Gouffran stooped to head in a free-kick cross after 68 minutes and send the Toon support wild. Jose Mourinho threw on Andre Schurrle for Frank Lampard as he pressed for an equaliser but the Toon defence was resolute. Chelsea’s miserable afternoon was complete on 88 minutes when Victor Anita pulled back a ball in the box for Remy to dispatch.
The Londoners were looking to overtake league-leading Arsenal with an away win but were unable to take the lead despite dominating the opening half. John Terry hit the crossbar with a header after 15 minutes and Juan Mata had an optimistic penalty appeal turned down.
The first-half was played out in grubby conditions as rain soaked St James’ Park and all its inhabitants. Alan Pardew has his Newcastle team primed to defend in numbers yet spring on the counter-attack when possession is pilfered. The tactic has worked in the opening 45 minutes but Chelsea would have been be confident of breaking the deadlock in the second half.
Terry came close to scoring again, on 38 minutes, but his header was cleared off the line by Davide Santon. United, in response, have had efforts from Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko but Petr Cech was well behind both shots.
As the half wore own, and Newcastle eyed relief from the dual onslaughts of rain and Chelsea’s attacking trident of Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar, their players employed foul means to slow down play.
Newcastle did not change tack after the break but steadily committed more players forward on breaks ans setpieces. With the game ticking into its final quarter Cabaye whipped over a free and Gouffran, from six yards out, directed a header past Cech.
Chelsea had late chances through Samuel Eto’o and Oscar but were denied by Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal and Mathieu Debuchy’s brave clearance. Remy’s strike was crisp and went in off Cech’s righthand post, leaving the Czech goalkeeper stunned. For Chelsea’s beleaguered stars, the feeling was mutual.
First posted at 13:45.