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 Barclays Premier League.
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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 6 December.
The result could have been so different, but the visitors could not make Chelsea pay for a sluggish start with a tame Moussa Sissoko effort and a blocked Remy Cabella shot all they had to show after having the better of the opening 15 minutes.
Cabella went much closer moments later only to see his curling effort deflect behind John Terry.
Mourinho had been screaming at a number of his players in the opening exchanges but Oscar, one of his targets of discontent, came close as he bent an effort just wide of Tim Krul’s goal – with the returning Newcastle stopper still untested in his first game for six weeks.
Cabella was the man causing problems for Chelsea and he skipped past Terry with ease on the half-hour mark before again testing Petr Cech with a low effort before Sissoko crashed a shot off the woodwork after finding another easy path around the Chelsea skipper.
But all the hard work was undone in 43 minutes when the Newcastle defence switched off as Chelsea won a corner, with Willian quickly rolling the ball to Branislav Ivanovic and his square ball across goal was turned home by Oscar at the back post.
The interval seemed to blunt Newcastle’s attacking intent and they fell further behind as Diego Costa netted his 15th Chelsea goal after clever touches from both Eden Hazard and Oscar. Costa wriggled free once again with ten minutes remaining but his scuffed shot was cleared.
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