| 20.9°C Dublin

Sluggish Blues top

Close

Chelsea's Oscar celebrates his goal in front of fans at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea's Oscar celebrates his goal in front of fans at Stamford Bridge

REUTERS

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez (L) stretches for the ball as Chelsea's Nemanja Matic tries to control it

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez (L) stretches for the ball as Chelsea's Nemanja Matic tries to control it

REUTERS

Chelsea's John Terry (L) climbs above Newcastle United's Spanish striker Ayoze Perez (R) to head the ball clear.

Chelsea's John Terry (L) climbs above Newcastle United's Spanish striker Ayoze Perez (R) to head the ball clear.

AFP/Getty Images

Newcastle United's Mike Williamson (left) and Daryl Janmaat (right) battle for the ball with Chelsea's Eden Hazard

Newcastle United's Mike Williamson (left) and Daryl Janmaat (right) battle for the ball with Chelsea's Eden Hazard

PA

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during their clash with Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during their clash with Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge

Getty Images

/

Chelsea's Oscar celebrates his goal in front of fans at Stamford Bridge

Jose Mourinho may have again landed himself in hot water by voicing his opinions but he left it to his Chelsea players to do the talking on the pitch against Newcastle as they moved clear at the top of the table.

An unconvincing 2-0 win in a game in which the visitors had the better chances and dominated for much of the first half may not live long in the memory but, with title rivals Manchester City only drawing at Everton, it puts the Blues two points clear at the head of the Premier League.

Petr Cech retained his place in the Chelsea goal with Thibaut Courtois nursing a hand injury and he was the busier goalkeeper as Newcastle wasted a number of chances, with Moussa Sissoko coming closest as he hit the frame of the goal, before Oscar opened the scoring close to half-time.

Diego Costa doubled their advantage just before the hour-mark and that was always going to be enough to secure a vital three points for Chelsea.

Newcastle looked sharper than their title-chasing hosts but, after this defeat, they have still won just once since they shattered all hopes of an unbeaten season for Mourinho's men with a 2-1 win at St James' Park on December 6.

The Magpies have also seen former manager Alan Pardew jump ship to struggling Crystal Palace since then - with caretaker John Carver's push for the permanent post still struggling to gather momentum despite this spirited display.

The result could have been so different but the visitors, without goalscorer Papiss Cisse due to African Nations Cup duty, could not make Chelsea pay for a sluggish start with a tame Sissoko effort and a blocked Remy Cabella shot all they had to show after having the better of the opening 15 minutes.

Sunday Indo Sport