PETR CECH insisted Chelsea have no excuses after a shock defeat at Newcastle dented their hopes of piling the pressure on English Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho's men had to contend with wintry conditions and an early kick-off on Tyneside as they attempted to secure a seventh successive victory against a side attempting to bounce back from derby defeat at Sunderland and a gruelling midweek League Cup exit at the hands of Manchester City.
But despite much huffing and puffing from the title hopefuls, it was the Magpies who emerged with a 2-0 victory which rekindled their season and left Mourinho questioning both his team selection and his players.
Keeper Cech insisted Chelsea had no-one to blame but themselves after dominating for long periods at St James' Park.
The 31-year-old said: "Apart from the wind, we can't blame anything. The pitch was very good, very fast, and actually it was good to pass the ball, so this was not the reason why we didn't win. There are no excuses, no pitch, no early kick-off, whatever. We didn't play well enough to win the game and that's why we lost.
"To be fair, they sat back because they were a bit afraid, so it was their plan. You could see from the start they wanted to congest the pitch and that's why you don't have many chances to make the tempo. But we had enough possession, we had enough comfort on the ball, but we didn't find a pass."