CHELSEA’S unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end on Saturday as Newcastle ran out 2-1 winners at St James’ Park.
Jose Mourinho’s men had started the campaign with 11 wins and three draws, but their 15th game of the season proved to be their worst by some way.
Papiss Cisse was Newcastle’s hero with goals on 57 and 78 minutes, and the home side did well to hang on in the closing stages after Steven Taylor was dismissed.
Didier Drogba scored with seven minutes remaining but Newcastle held on well to claim the points and move into seventh place.
Manchester City made the most of Chelsea’s defeat to close the gap at the top of the table to three points with a 1-0 win over Everton in the teatime game.
Yaya Toure scored the only goal on 24 minutes, beating Tim Howard from the penalty spot after Phil Jagielka brought down James Milner in the box.
But the victory was marred by a potentially serious injury suffered by City’s star striker Sergio Aguero, who was forced off after only seven minutes with a knee problem – the club has already stated they will not know the severity of the injury for a few days.
Arsenal’s poor record at Stoke City continued as they were beaten 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at the Britannia Stadium.
The Gunners appeared set for a heavy defeat when Bojan (35) and Jon Walters (45) added to a Peter Crouch goal inside 20 seconds for Mark Hughes’ men.
Bojan thought he had a fourth, only to see it ruled out, and Arsenal staged a late rally with Santi Cazorla scoring from the spot on 68 and Aaron Ramsey grabbing a second two minutes later.
Arsenal had Calum Chambers dismissed for a second yellow card but continued to pile on the pressure, only to see their rally fall short.
Charlie Austin had a mixed day for QPR in their 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Burnley, scoring one of their goals before being sent off against his former side.
Leroy Fer gave Harry Redknapp’s side the lead on 51 and Austin made it 2-0 on 74, moments before he saw red for catching Michael Keane with a flailing arm.
Goals were hardly the order of the day in the other three 3pm kick-offs with Hull City, West Brom, Liverpool, Sunderland, Tottenham and Crystal Palace all coming up blank.
Allan McGregor was the hero for Hull City as he saved a Graham Dorrans penalty in their 0-0 draw with West Brom at the KC Stadium.
Dorran was afforded the chance for the struggling Baggies in the ninth minute but McGregor made the right decision to dive to his left and deny the Scotsman a goal.
Liverpool’s brief winning run came to an end as they were held 0-0 by Sunderland in a game most at Anfield will want to forget.
Barely a shot on target was registered in the 90 minutes but Sunderland were left to rue a couple of golden wasted chances, Wes Brown heading over from close range and Jordi Gomez forcing a decent save from Simon Mignolet.
And a few boos rang out at the end of proceedings at White Hart Lane where Roberto Soldado wasted a series of chances in Tottenham’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.
Spurs have struggled all season on home turf and Palace came closest to a goal in the second half when Jason Puncheon’s eight-yard effort crashed off the underside of the crossbar – the same player was also denied a goal by an offside flag. – Sky Sports