BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
St James' Park
Referee: A Marriner | Attendance: 46469
* Local time based on your geographic location.
1 - 1
FULL-TIME. Newcastle 1-1 Chelsea. A thoroughly enjoyable game of football, though not for the champions. That's four points from their last possible 15 and Chelsea are now two points behind United at the top of the table. Really good performance from Newcastle, especially their defenders who held on resolutely at the end. Enrique was immense and Carroll had a great game, but Ancelotti will be left wondering what else he can do after finishing the game with five forwards. That's all here
No is the answer, it's all over.
Newcastle free-kick and will there be one last chance for the home side?
Shepherded out by Simpson and it's a Magpies' goal-kick.
But Chelsea have it back with Ivanovic and are moving forward at pace. Genuinely end-to-end!
Newcastle break now...
Malouda playing more centrally now, releases Anelka down the left but Routledge forces him out of play and it's a Newcastle throw-in.
Nailbiting stuff, this is a fantastic end to the game!
Three minutes of stoppage time to play.
Guthrie with a reckless challenge on Ivanovic.
Great defending AGAIN from Enrique to prevent Sturridge from getting a cross in.
But here come the Magpies again as Chelsea try to regroup - they have five forwards on the pitch now really. Surely one of Sturridge, Drogba, Anelka, Malouda or Kalou will be able to break the Magpies' resistance?
Cleared out and Anelka does well to take the ball out of defence.
Ranger again finds himself advancing into space and he has won a corner.
Ranger tiptoes through the middle of the Chelsea defence but after leaving Cole and Alex like statues, Ivanovic runs back to tackle.
Taken short and the ball eventually comes to Sturridge - who has come on for Mikel, but the striker drags his shot wide and the Magpies can breathe a sigh of relief.
Tiote booked for his troubles.
Ramires fouled and Chelsea have a free-kick.
Stats: The Last 10 minutes possession stats see Chelsea with 82% and Newcastle with 18%.
Campbell rises highest but his header is a bit of a looper. Routledge then gets another bite at the cherry but the cross is straight into Cech's hands.
Ivanovic heads it out for another corner, from the right this time. Guthrie to deliver.
Newcastle corner after an excellent run by Gutierrez.
Kalou penalised for a foul on Krul but I think the Magpies goalkeeper was a tad fortunate there.
Newcastle really hanging on.
His inital effort from close range was saved by Krul but he was right in front of goal with an empty net and crashed the ball into the side-netting. It was a tight angle but it was also an open goal!
Kalou should have scored!
Malouda with some tricky footwork on the right wing but Enriques does well again.
The Blue wave just keeps coming and coming at the moment.
Newcastle sub: Ranger on for Ameobi.
No goal! Drogba was penalised for a foul and his great finish doesn't count.
Ramires exchanges passes with Malouda and gets into a dangerous position on the byline, before absolutely hoofing a cross out for a throw-in. I don't know what he was thinking.
Krul looks less than convincing at delaing with the ball but the Magpies manage to clear their lines.
And just as I write that, Campbell gives the ball away and gets his feet muddled up. Chelsea corner.
It's been all Chelsea for the last ten minutes or so. Newcastle beginning to look tired. Remember, it is both Campbell and Taylor's first league start of the season.
Krul comes out to claim well with Malouda waiting to pounce on any fumble.
Stats: All four of Chelsea's league defeats this season have come after they conceded the opening goal. The only occasion they have bucked that trend this season was a comeback win at Blackburn last month.
Malouda's corner met by Ivanovic but Krul just about keeps hold of it - it had seemes he might drop it at first but he held on tight.
Routledge with an exremely lightweight challenge on Ramires and Chelsea come streaming forward again. Drogba in space ont he right-side of the box, and he wins a corner.
Anelka just dropping deep and probing at the moment.
Alex is okay and he's back up and running.
Alex left face down in the turf after a collision with Carroll, and moments later Drogba swivels and shoots but Krul manages to hold onto the effort.
Malouda's turn to break for Chelsea this time, he slips in Anelka but Taylor gets his foot across and it's a corner.
Stats: Kevin Nolan has scored six of his seven Premier League goals at St James' Park this season, the equal best home performer in the league along with Chelsea duo Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda.
Anelka with a good strike from 25 yards out but he's just dragged it a touch and it's finished wide of the goal.
This has really developed into a hugely entertaining game. End-to-end stuff at the moment.
Dangerous ball across the box from Cole and Enrique is there again! This time, he gets in ahead of Krul to hammer it clear.
Poor delivery from Guthrie and Ramires sprints out on the break. Electric pace from the Brazilian and he releases Kalou down the middle. He takes it past taylor but Enrique is again the man running back to mop up.
Gutierrez in space on the left and he's won a corner.
Cracking clearance from Cole as the shot was very powerfully struck.
Cole heads it off the line!
Cech in no-man's land and Routledge has an empty goal to fire at from the edge of the box...
Drogba escapes from Enrique and looks to be in but the Newcastle left-back does really well tot rack back into position and ends up drawing the foul from Drogba.
Routledge crosses in to Carroll who directs his header towards Cech, though he was penalised for fouling Ivanovic.
Routledge brings down Cole and Chelsea can monmetarily breathe.
Gutierrez forces a roar from the St James' Park faithful as he skips away from Bosingwa and then Alex, and Newcastle look to sustain the pressure.
Enrique gives the ball away this time and the Blues have proper posession for the first time in a good few minutes.
Chelsea clear it way but Newcastle coming straight back at them.
Newcastle in an advanced position down the left now, with Gutierrez looking to make some space.
Strong effort from Drogba, who controlled the ball with his chest and produced a stinging shot as he went away from goal. Krul saved and Taylor hoofed the subsequent rebound away.
Terrible delivery straight into Cech's grateful grasp.
Newcastle corner now after some good work by Routledge down the right.
Cole fires a cross in from the left but despite going slap bang in the middle of 'the danger zone', neither Drogba or Kalou were alert enough.
Chelsea certainly look to be pressing Newcastle higher up the pitch in this half, the Magpies have very little space in which to operate.
Bosingwa looking for an incisive break down the right, but again the Magpies defend resolutely.
Guthrie with a genuinely rubbish delivery - it floats harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
Ivanovic gives Carroll a shove and Newcastle have a free-kick about 35 yards out in a central position.
Stats: Newcastle have lost their last six league home games against Big Four opposition, conceding at least twice in the process.
Cole dispossessed superbly by Simpson, who plays it on to Ameobi down the right wing. Solid defending by Ivanovic though to force the striker out of play.
Gutierrez does fantastically well to keep the ball in play, but the Blues have it back now.
But Simpson's hand was right down by his side. There was no chance MArriner would have given that!
Chelsea straight on the front foot with Anelka,who advanced into the area and then claimed a penalty when he struck the ball into the hand of Simpson.
Right, we're off for the second period.
HALF-TIME. Newcastle 1-1 Chelsea. A great contest so far, Carroll pounced on a defensive error to give Newcastle an early lead but Kalou's goal on the stroke of half-time will give the champions renewed hope. Grab yourself a cup of tea and we will be back in 15 minutes.
Kalou made some space just inside the area and right-foot shot deflected off Simpson and ended up in the bottom right-hand corner.
GOAL Kalou slots it home.
Ramires does well to escape the clutches of Carroll and Chelsea try to probe once more.
Stats: Chelsea are unbeaten in their last three Premier League trips to St James' Park. The last two visits have ended in 2-0 successes, with Florent Malouda scoring on both occasions.
Carroll has been absolutely imperious in the air today, I haven't seen him fail to win a header as yet!
Cole goes down in the area and Tiote again the man involved. Referee Marriner waves away the appeals though.
But Cech comes and smothers the ball at his feet. Great goalkeeping.
Taylor floats it forward and Carroll won the flick on against Alex. Ivanovic misses the ball and Ameobi could be in...
Ameobi wins a free-kick just inside his own box.
Newcastle heading down the right wing now but the move is broken up and Ramires comes away with the ball, before promptly giving possession straight back to the home side with a truly terrible imitation of a cross-field pass.
Tiote and Drogba tangle again and this time the Newcastle midfielder wins the free-kick.
Stats: The Magpies had previously not scored in their last three league matches against Chelsea. Before this game it was 304 minutes (five hours and four minutes) since Nicky Butt scored in a 2-1 away defeat in December 2007.
Tiote eases Drogba off the ball but the Chelsea captain is on the floor like a sack of spuds. He runs to the ref looking irate but looking at the replay the contact is so minimal in comparison to the manner at which Drogba threw himself on the floor.
Drogba lays the ball off to Anelka but Jose Enrique tackles back well. That is followed by the teams exxhanging possession about ten times in the space of 90 seconds. A really frenetic period of the game.
Kalou emerges into some space into the area but Campbell uses his strength and experience to guide him out and secure the goal-kick for the Magpies.
Chelsea still keeping the ball well, definitely the better of the two teams. But they have looked less penetrative than Newcastle.
The snow starting to fall quite heavily now at St James' Park.
Stats: Newcastle and Chelsea have met 130 times in league encounters. Newcastle have won 44 times, with Chelsea victorious on 52 occasions.
Gutierrez tries his luck from distance. He shouldn't have though. Miles over.
Another good break down the right from Routledge and his ball is cleared away though it caused a bit of bother in the Chelsea area.
Chelsea again marauding forward but the Magpies are defending resolutely and looking to hit the Blues on the break.
Well claimed by Krul from another Chelsea corner.
Ameobi and Carroll again go for the same ball.
Another corner now for Chelsea as the Blues press for an equaliser. Malouda to take it.
Header by Alex is cleared off the line by Taylor and then Anelka nods the ball back into the danger zone but Newcastle claer their lines after a bit of pinball in the six-yard box.
Chelsea corner now.
Routledge escapes into some space down the right-wing and floats a great ball in towards Ameobi and Carroll. The former heads the ball down but the latter was going for the same ball so there is no one to pounce in the knockdown.
Drogba gets in ahead of Taylor but he's unavle to direct his header any closer than ten yards wide of the left-hand post.
Ruled to be a foul though and Malouda will deliver the free-kick.
Carroll with a massive shoulder charge on Cole that knocked the left-back off his feet.
Routledge looks to cross towards Ameobi, but it's just over the towering striker's head and out for a goal-kick.
Fully deserved booking there, it was a reckless challenge and Newcastle have a free-kick.
Cynical challenge by Ramires on Gutierrez down the left wing.
Injection of pace from Anelka as he looks to get past Campbell, but it's a great challenge from the centre-back. Big Sol is doing admirably so far!
Drogba's shot before was probably heading wide but Krul got a strong wrist to it as he probably thought it was rising towards the top corner at his near post.
Nothing comes from the resulting kick but Chelsea regroup and are heading forward again.
Drogba must have heard me as he has just fired a powerful effort goalwards. Solid save by Krul at the near post and it's a Chelsea corner.
Chelsea have kept the better possession ovr the last five minutes or so, but still no real openings yet for the champions.
Towering header by Carroll to win the ball above Ivanovic, who is really struggling to keep tabs on the England striker.
Stats: Chelsea have not lost three games in a row in the league since the reign of Gianluca Vialli.
Krul taking rather too long with the ball at his feet and he was closed down by Ramires. Fortunately for the goalkeeper's kick ricocheted out for a goal-kick.
Great forward run by Bosingwa and the ball finds its way over to the other flank with Cole. He crosses in towards the waiting Drogba, but Campbell gets an important interception in before it can reach the lurking Ivorian.
The pitch looking pretty rock hard and very bobbly at the moment, it will be interesting to see how it holds up.
This time Cech comes and claims and that will be what he needs after the mistake - for which I think both he and Alex were to blame - that led to the Magpies' opener.
Gutierrez again engineering some room against Bosingwa and it's another Newcastle corner.
Drogba looking over to the bench, not sure if he is troubled with some kind of injury.
Gutierrez opens up some space down the left and crosses towards Carroll. The ball looked like it his Ivanovic on the hand but I think it would have been harsh. By the sound of the St James' Park fans, I'm not sure they agree.
Just spotted Joey Barton grinning in the stands, wearing a rather ridiculous looking hat!
A cracking start to the game and there is a great pace about this match.
Drogba tries to float the ball in towards Anelka and Kalou but it's overhit.
That's Carroll's ninth league goal of the season and what a terrible start for a Chelsea side already lacking in confidence.
Shocking from Alex! Poor communication and he has passed the ball beyond the onrushing Petr Cech, which left Carroll with an open goal to prod home.
GOAL Andy Carroll has put the Magpies ahead.
Lovely little exchange between Anelka and Cole and the left-back receives the return pass and looks to feed in Kalou, but the ball is just a foot beyond where he is standing in space in the area.
Good early pressure by Newcastle, with Ameobi and Carroll doing some impressive closing high up the pitch.
Drogba and Anelka link up well in midfield and it's a Chelsea free-kick after the Frenchman is floored inside the centre circle.
What a great early piece of action - it was a poor second attempt from Ameobi who looked like he just needed to fire it goalwards. Instead, it went into the side netting.
Stunning save from Petr Cech. Steven Taylor's powerful header was palmed into the path of Ameobi whi sliced wide from close range.
Carroll wins a free-kick in the left corner after a foul from Ivanovic.
Early touch for Campbell and Drogba is on him like a shot. Easy enough for the former England defender though.
And we're off...
We're just about ready for this one now.
Newcastle have been a bit of Jekyll and Hyde side this season - losing at home to Stoke and Blackpool, but thumping Sunderland 5-1 and winning 1-0 at Arsenal. It's difficult to predict which Magpies team will turn up.
Chelsea managed to arrest their recent slide with an unconvincing Champions League victory over MSK Zilina in midweek but they have still managed to lose three of their last four games in the league and are in dire need of a win, especially as Manchester United leapfrogged them at the top of the table on Saturday.
So the main news is that Sol Campbell starts at centre-back for Newcastle and Carlo Ancelotti has appeared to have selected a particularly pacy attacking quartet to try to cause Campbell problems. I am not sure I facy poor Sol's chances with Drogba, Anelka, Malouda and Kalou running at him!
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba, Kalou.
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Sturridge, Van Aanholt, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran.
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Campbell,Jose Enrique, Routledge, Guthrie, Tiote, Gutierrez, Carroll, Ameobi.
Subs: Soderberg, Lovenkrands, Perch, Smith, Best, Kadar,
Team news is in so I guess you'd probably like to know the line-ups...
The match was in doubt for a while because of heavy overnight snow up in the north east of England, but the game will go ahead as planned and I assure you, the pitch no longer looks like it does in that photo!
After a morning of hard work by the St James' Park staff, referee Andre Marriner gave Newcastle v Chelsea the green light to go ahead.
Hello everyone and welcome to our live minute-by-minute coverage of Chelsea's visit to a snow-covered St James' Park to face Newcastle.