Newcastle 2 Chelsea 1: Alan Pardew hails 'great day for the Premier League' as Chelsea unbeaten run is ended

Papiss Cisse scored a brace to inflict the first defeat of the season on Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hailed his side's character and discipline after they consigned Chelsea to their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at St James' Park on Saturday.

Chelsea had gone 21 games unbeaten in all competitions prior to this encounter, but second-half substitute Papiss Cisse scored twice in 25 minutes to secure a priceless victory for Newcastle.

A nervy finish ensued when Newcastle defender Steven Taylor was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 81st minute and Didier Drogba scored two minutes later - but the Magpies held on for their third successive league win at home over the Blues.

The victory completes a remarkable turnaround for Pardew, who faced calls to be sacked only a few months ago following Newcastle's slow start to the season.

"That was about character (and) discipline against the best team in probably Europe at the moment," he said on BT Sport 1.

"At the start of the game I felt we stood off them a little bit and (Eden) Hazard was getting a lot of joy but we stuck at it and we were always a threat on the break."

Rookie goalkeeper Jak Alnwick replaced Rob Elliot at half-time after the starting keeper, himself filling in for first-choice Tim Krul, picked up an injury during the first period, and the 21-year-old substitute drew praise from his manager for an assured display on his senior debut for the club.

The former West Ham boss added: "For us today, (it is) a special day. It's a special day for Jak, a special day for a lot of our players. At the end there was a chance, I think Drogba left it, and we had two players blocking the shot flying in and that sort of summed us up today.

"We had a lot of our pace missing today - (Rolando) Aarons and (Gabriel) Obertan that started this little run that we're on - but we've still got Moussa (Sissoko) and I thought (Ayoze) Perez who trialled away on his own did a brilliant job.

 

"That kind of sums us up - we're in it together, we're all pulling one way, we know what we're doing and our tactical plan stopped Chelsea today and worked quite well.

"We're absolutely delighted for our fans, delighted that we've given a little gee up to the Barclays Premier League because it now makes it a lot more interesting for everyone else. I'm sure Jose (Mourinho) won't agree with that, but it's been a great day for the Premier League."

PA

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