Battle-weary Chelsea fall to Newcastle striker Papiss Cissé's classic brace

Chelsea 0 Newcastle United 2

Stamford Bridge

Roman Abramovich has always wanted to win the Champions League. Now, for the first time since he bought Chelsea, he has to win the damn thing.

Should Chelsea fail in the final in Munich on 19 May it looks like it will be farewell to the planet's most lucrative club competition and off to the relative backwaters of the Europa League for Abramovich's great project – approximate investment so far, £1bn and counting. Their league position will surely not be enough to save them after last night's defeat.

With two games to play, they are now in sixth place and four points adrift of Tottenham and Newcastle ahead of them who are much better placed to take fourth, or even third, place. As he stared gloomily through the rain from a seat in his executive suite last night, Abramovich will have recognised that his club has just one card left to play.

To reach the Champions League next season, after nine successive years in the competition, they must beat Bayern Munich in their own stadium and deny the fourth-placed Premier League team their place. It make 19 May the ultimate high-stakes night, encompassing Chelsea's past – their desire to win this trophy for the first time in their history – as well as their future.

Last night they were beaten by two exceptional goals from one of the Premier League's men of the moment, Papiss Cissé. He cost £9m from Freiburg in January and now has 13 goals in 12 games. Abramovich, who will remember the 10s of millions he shelled out on the likes of Adrian Mutu, Mateja Kezman and Andrei Shevchenko, must wonder why no-one recommended him the services of the 26-year-old from Senegal.

The first Cissé goal was technically superb; the second, in time added on at the end of the game, will be in the top five goals scored all season. He took the ball on the right-angle of the left side of Chelsea's area and lashed a shot with the outside of his right foot that dipped over Petr Cech's head and into the far corner. It was one of those goals that silenced the whole ground for a heartbeat, before the away end erupted.

To put Cissé's impact on Newcastle's season in perspective, his 13 goals in 12 games are one better than Torres' total contribution to Chelsea in the 64 appearances he has made for the club since he signed last January. To be fair to Torres, he looked sharp in the first half but this was a night that Roberto Di Matteo really needed a goal from him - and it did not come.

In the end, the Chelsea caretaker manager had to roll out the big guns he had hoped to keep fresh for Saturday's FA Cup final. Didier Drogba, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard all came off the bench for Chelsea but their best effort in the second half was a header by John Terry that was cleared off the line by Davide Santon.

The win for Tottenham last night gives them and Newcastle the greatest momentum of the four sides – including Chelsea and Arsenal – challenging for the two remaining Champions League places. Alan Pardew's team have a formidable task against Manchester City on Sunday at St James' Park but in this kind of form they have a chance.

Cissé's second goal came in 10 minutes of second half injury-time after treatment for Cheick Tioté who caught an elbow across the head from John Obi Mikel as they both went up for a header. Tioté had kicked Mikel before then and the Chelsea player was aware of another robust challenge coming in but there was nothing malicious about his challenge, and Pardew agreed with that.

The referee Mark Halsey did not even give a foul but he was soon waving the Newcastle medical staff on with some urgency. Tioté's head snapped back as he hit the turf, having fallen virtually horizontally. He was carried off with an oxygen mask on his face but recovered in time to watch the end of the game.

The substitutes' bench named by Di Matteo yesterday said a great deal about Chelsea's current punishing run of fixtures. Drogba, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Mata and Salomon Kalou were among those on it – all of them apart from Drogba played in Sunday's game with Queen's Park Rangers. Between then and Saturday's FA Cup final, they could not be expected to do it all over again.

It meant that Di Matteo left his team a little under-clubbed, especially in terms of the attacking creativity of Lampard, Mata and Cole, and it showed in the first half.

The best Chelsea offered in the first half came from Torres who worked hard right across the line of Newcastle's defence. It was his cross from the left, with the outside of his right boot that Daniel Sturridge scuffed wide of the goal. It was Torres' cross from the right that Florent Malouda headed wide of Tim Krul's goal on 38 minutes.

By then, Newcastle had taken the lead through Cissé who lifted the ball off the deck with his right foot and struck a firm shot past Cech with his left. It was a beautifully executed goal. Chelsea needed to respond quickly but, if anything, Newcastle looked the more comfortable. Pardew had them in a fairly orthodox 4-4-2 formation.

In the final two minutes of the first half, Cech did well to push away a low shot from Cissé that was hit to his left side. Then Demba Ba hit the bar from inside the area and suddenly Chelsea were feeling fortunate to go in at half-time just one goal behind.

At half-time, Di Matteo brought off Daniel Sturridge who had struggled to have any effect at all and Mata came on in his place. Drogba was on with 30 minutes left to play and by the time Chelsea got to 75 minutes, and were still a goal behind, Lampard was also summoned from the bench too.

It meant at the end, Chelsea had Drogba and Torres on the pitch which always hints at desperation. Newcastle were disciplined and Cissé's second goal meant there was no coming back for the home team. It is only the second defeat of Di Matteo's 17-game reign but he could not deny that it was a significant one.

Man of the match Cissé.

Match rating 6/10.

Referee M Halsey (Lancashire).

Attendance 41,559.

Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003