Newcastle United 2 Chelsea 1

Jose Mourinho’s potential “invincibles” were eventually undone by a resurgent Newcastle United team in the midday match at St James Park on Saturday. After an unbeaten start to the 2014 – 15 season had seen Chelsea breeze through their Champions League campaign and look to be a class apart domestically in the Premier League fourteen matches into the new season, they ultimately met their match in Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side who defeated them 2-1 and in doing so left the title battle wide open again.

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

The Blues almost drew level when Belgian wizard Eden Hazard rifled a shot against the woodwork, but the Tynesiders went further ahead when Cisse added his second of the day after being set up by Moussa Sissoko.

Despite Steven Taylor being sent off with nine minutes remaining and Chelsea pulling a goal 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 the title back into the mix once more.

Manchester City 1 Everton 0

Not so long ago, the prospects of any team denying the seemingly all conquering Chelsea 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 closest challengers did not and closed the gap at the top to a meagre three points.

It was not as comfortable a victory as recent ones for the league title holders, but they demonstrated their resilience to overcome a determined Everton side at the Etihad thanks to a Yaya Toure penalty on 24 minutes. The penalty decision was in itself controversial, with Phil Jagielka being adjudged to have fouled fellow international James Milner, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side will have been grateful to keep their recent form going with a fourth consecutive league win. They were also indebted to keeper Joe Hart for keeping the Toffees out as he brilliantly thwarted striker Romelu Lukaku’s effort.

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

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