Jose Mourinho gets the blues as Chelsea fall at Newcastle

Posted by Mark Worrall

Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty ImagesJose Mourinho wasn't happy with Chelsea's performance against Newcastle in their 2-0 defeat.

NEWCASTLE, England -- The Premier League form book was torn up and thrown across a rain-swept St. James' Park as second-half goals from Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy gave Newcastle United a well-earned 2-0 victory over a Chelsea side that had arrived on Tyneside confident of securing a seventh straight victory in all competitions.

Blues manager Jose Mourinho made nine changes to the team that brushed Arsenal aside in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, unsurprisingly retaining the services of David Luiz and Juan Mata, who had both excelled at the Emirates, and recalling Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres.

As expected, Chelsea immediately went on the offensive, with the majority of the first period of the game played in the Newcastle half and the Blues' creative trio of Oscar, Hazard and Mata leading the home defence a merry dance. In the 13th minute, under pressure, Magpies boss Alan Pardew had the crossbar to thank for his team not falling behind when Chelsea skipper Terry rose majestically to meet a Mata corner ball. Terry's powerful header cannoned off the woodwork, and Pardew's relief was palpable. Had the visitors scored it, the signs were there that it could have been a long and painful afternoon for the United and their manager.

For the remainder of the first half, Chelsea kept up their high tempo but were often wasteful with the final touch, and Magpies keeper Tim Krul, while regularly busy fielding the ball, didn't have a save to make. In the 38th minute, Terry it was, once more from a corner, who nearly broke the deadlock. Swooping low to meet a Lampard in-swinger, Terry nodded the ball goalward only to see Newcastle defender Davide Santon stoop to head the ball off the line.

Although the 0-0 half-time score-line flattered the home side, the visitors had been wasteful -- careless even, and travelling Chelsea supporters must have wondered what stern words Mourinho had delivered to his players during the lemon break as the Blues manager emerged sour-faced from the dressing room a full five minutes before his team.

With an hour gone, and Newcastle growing in confidence, Mourinho made a double substitution, replacing Torres and Mata with Samuel Eto'o and Willian, but it was Pardew's men who were now in the ascendancy. In the 65th minute, Gouffran shimmied past Branislav Ivanovic and drilled a fierce shot toward goal that Cech did well to tip around the post. Several minutes later, excellent Gouffran would not be denied.

Yohan Cabaye whipped the ball into the Chelsea penalty area, and Gouffran was perfectly placed at the far post to head it powerfully home: 1-0 to Newcastle. Pardew celebrated; Mourinho scowled.

Clearly unimpressed with his charges, the Chelsea manager hooked off Lampard for Andre Schuerrle, and the Blues went in search of an equaliser.

With 10 minutes left, Magpies keeper Krul finally was called into action, parrying away a shot from Willian. The loose ball fell into the path of Eto'o, but, just as the Chelsea striker teed himself up to ripple Krul's net, Mathieu Debuchy made an outstanding defensive block. The visitors continued to pressure the home side defence and should have equalised first when Schuerrle glanced a header wide of the post and then Hazard sent a daisy-cutter the wrong side of the woodwork. Hazard should have done better, and his miss galvanised Newcastle, who foraged forward looking to put the game beyond Chelsea’s reach.

With barely a minute left, striker Remy sealed victory for the Magpies, latching onto a low Vurnon Anita cross and rifling an unstoppable shot past Cech into the Chelsea net. Newcastle 2-0, game over.

Having dominated the first half of the game, Chelsea had looked anything but title challengers in the second period and, in the end, were well beaten by a Newcastle team who rode their luck and took their chances.

In the postmatch news conference, Mourinho humble in defeat had no excuses for Chelsea's subpar performance. "I didn't like my team today; I'm disappointed. I think we deserved to lose. We had a couple of good chances to equalize, but they were more in the game, they fought more, they were much more committed. They didn't do much to win, but for sure they were the best team on the pitch."

When asked about his half-time team talk, Mourinho was equally candid, reiterating his dislike of the way the Blues had played. "I told them I have been in this game for many, many years, and I was smelling what happens. We were not sharp, not intense with the ball. We defended quite well, but we were not fast and intense and aggressive with the ball.

"We let the game go waiting for a chance to score a goal. The title race is there for everybody, it's open for everybody. If Arsenal wins and they open the gap for us and for Liverpool, it's nothing definitive. But I didn't like my team today."

Had Terry been more fortunate with his sterling attempts to give Chelsea the lead, the result could have been very different. But luck favoured Newcastle today -- that and clinical finishing. It's a long journey back to London from Newcastle with plenty of time for Blues players to reflect on what they must do as a team for their manager to like them again.


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