Newcastle United 2 Chelsea 1

JoseMourinho’s potential “invincibles” were eventually undone by a resurgent NewcastleUnited team in the midday match at St James Park on Saturday. After an unbeatenstart to the 2014 – 15 season had seen Chelsea breeze through their ChampionsLeague campaign and look to be a class apart domestically in the Premier Leaguefourteen matches into the new season, they ultimately met their match in AlanPardew’s Newcastle side who defeated them 2-1 and in doing so left the title battlewide open again.

TheMagpies are a formidable side on present form and benefitted from anuncharacteristic mistake from England centre-half Gary Cahill, as his failureto clear a cross from Sammy Ameobi allowed Papiss Cisse to put Newcastle ahead.

TheBlues almost drew level when Belgian wizard Eden Hazard rifled a shot againstthe woodwork, but the Tynesiders went further ahead when Cisse added his secondof the day after being set up by Moussa Sissoko.

DespiteSteven Taylor being sent off with nine minutes remaining and Chelsea pulling agoal back from the ever reliable Didier Drogba with a header from yet another Cesc Fabregas assist soon after,the home side held on to their slender advantage and brought the battle for thetitle back into the mix once more.

Manchester City 1 Everton 0

Notso long ago, the prospects of any team denying the seemingly all conqueringChelsea team a stroll to the Premier League title seemed a remote possibility,but as the London side stumbled on the road at the weekend, their closestchallengers did not and closed the gap at the top to a meagre three points.

Itwas not as comfortable a victory as recent ones for the league title holders,but they demonstrated their resilience to overcome a determined Everton side atthe Etihad thanks to a Yaya Toure penalty on 24 minutes. The penalty decisionwas in itself controversial, with Phil Jagielka being adjudged to have fouledfellow international James Milner, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side will have been gratefulto keep their recent form going with a fourth consecutive league win. They werealso indebted to keeper Joe Hart for keeping the Toffees out as he brilliantly thwartedstriker Romelu Lukaku’s effort.

Theirwin will have been soured somewhat with the loss of star striker Sergio Aguero toa knee injury during the match, especially with the vital Champions League tieaway to Roma coming up midweek. Aguero’s match winning performance in theirlast European tie almost single handedly kept their Champions League campaignafloat, but without their Argentinian talisman one wonders whether their hopesof remaining in the competition may be doomed for yet another year.

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