LONDON - Chelsea were prevented from taking over at the top of the Premier League table yesterday after being dealt a shock 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United.
Victory would have taken Jose Mourinho's side above leaders Arsenal, who host Liverpool late yesterday, 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.
Chelsea slip to third place, with Liverpool overtaking them on goal difference, while Newcastle climb to ninth.
Manchester City, beaten 2-1 at Chelsea last weekend, host Norwich City later, while Manchester United will hope to continue their recent improvement when they visit Fulham.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart was dropped to the bench for his side's home game following a series of high-profile blunders.
The 26-year-old England goalkeeper has made a succession of errors in recent months, culminating in a rash charge from his line that gifted Fernando Torres a last-minute winner in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over City last weekend.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini retained second-choice goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.
"I thought about this the whole week," said Pellegrini prior to the game.
"Last time I was in doubt before the internationals, but I thought at that moment it was important to trust in Joe Hart because the England team also needed him. At this moment we need a change, Joe needs a rest and it will be useful for him."