Chelsea were prevented from taking over at the top of the Premier League table on Saturday after being dealt a shock 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United.
Victory would have taken Jose Mourinho’s side above leaders Arsenal, but instead they fell to second-half goals by Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy on a rain-soaked afternoon in northeast England.
It was Chelsea’s second defeat of the campaign and their second consecutive loss away to Newcastle, while Mourinho has now gone four league games without victory at St James’ Park in his two spells as Chelsea coach.
“I didn’t like it. I think we deserved to lose,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “We had a couple of good chances to score the equaliser, but they were in the game more than us, they fought more than us and they were much more committed than us.”
Chelsea’s best chances of the first half both came from corners and fell to John Terry, who saw one header come back off the crossbar and another headed off the line by a stooping Davide Santon.
The visitors were happy to cede possession to their hosts, but although Newcastle struggled to create chances in the first half, they began to make inroads in the second period.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was called upon three times in five minutes to keep Newcastle at bay, thwarting Moussa Sissoko, Remy and Gouffran in quick succession as Alan Pardew’s men took the upper hand.
Mourinho reacted by sending on Willian for Juan Mata, only for Newcastle to open the scoring in the 68th minute when Gouffran converted Yohan Cabaye’s free-kick with a diving header.
Mourinho introduced Andre Schuerrle and Samuel Eto’o, and the Cameroonian felt he should have been awarded a penalty soon after coming on when his goal-bound half-volley struck the arm of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.