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Football: Chelsea come unstuck at Newcastle

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy struck to end Chelsea's six-game winning run and give Newcastle United a surprise 2-0 Premier League victory over Jose Mourinho's side on Saturday.

Gouffran found the net midway through the second half to stun the London club at a rain-sodden St James' Park.

Substitutes Willian and Samuel Eto'o both came close to claiming a late leveller, with the Brazilian's shot saved by Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul and Eto'o's follow-up blocked by Mathieu Debuchy.

After Eden Hazard also went close, Remy struck in the 89th minute to leave Chelsea with just five points from five away league games so far this season as they paid the price for failing to take their early chances.

Visiting captain John Terry twice went close to breaking the deadlock in a forgettable first half that matched the wet Tyneside weather conditions -- dull and grey.

Both sides surrendered possession with alarming regularity as passes went astray, and even basic control seemed beyond some players.

Chances were few and far between, and yet with a little more luck, Terry -- one of nine changes from the midweek League Cup win at Arsenal -- could have gone into the interval with a goal to his name.

Both the former England defender's openings arrived from corners; the first, after 13 minutes, when his header from Juan Mata's set-piece crashed back off the bar with Krul beaten.

Branislav Ivanovic, reacting first to the loose ball, saw a volley loop up off Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa before landing on the bar and bouncing to safety.

It took Newcastle half an hour to mount a serious threat on goal as a side showing just three changes from the League Cup visit of Manchester City less than 72 hours previously looked to still be feeling the effects of their draining extra-time defeat.

Yohan Cabaye finally managed a shot on target for the hosts after an inviting knock-down from Remy, but the Frenchman's long-range effort was easily stopped by Petr Cech.

The Chelsea goalkeeper had to show sharper reactions soon after, however, when diving low to his right to keep out a snapshot from Moussa Sissoko.

That arrived shortly after Terry's second near miss, the imposing centre-back connecting from close range with a Frank Lampard corner, only to see his effort cleared off the line by defender Davide Santon.

Lampard, operating as a holding midfielder alongside Ramires, helped Chelsea impose themselves on the midfield battle.

Their presence supported a front four in which Hazard stood out in support of lone forward Fernando Torres, but although the visitors saw lots of the ball, they too often let themselves down with sloppy distribution.

Newcastle regrouped at half-time and carved out three chances early in the second half before deservedly taking the lead.

Sissoko, put through by Debuchy's slick pass, saw his effort from a narrow angle blocked by Cech at his near post.

From the ensuing corner, Cabaye's cross was knocked back by Shola Ameobi for Remy, whose first-time shot was smothered by the increasingly busy Chelsea goalkeeper.

Gouffran then cut in from the left to send in a shot that was well saved by Cech, but the Chelsea number one could do nothing to prevent the Frenchman from giving Newcastle a 68th-minute lead.

Cabaye sent over a searching free-kick from the right and Gouffran stole a march on Ivanovic to find the net from close range with a diving header.

Chelsea hammered on the door for an equaliser, but Remy put the game beyond them in the 89th minute when he met substitute Vurnon Anita's cut-back with a crisp shot that found the net via the left-hand post.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131102/football-chelsea-come-unstuck-at-newcastle