Toon left furious after late Blues winner
Newcastle United's battling performance in the capital today wasnÃ¢ÂÂt enough to ease the pressure on Sam Allardyce as his side were beaten by a controversial late goal.
Salomon KalouÃ¢ÂÂs goal near the end bagged the points for Chelsea in a 2-1 win for the Blues but Newcastle could have picked up all three points.
Newcastle headed for Stamford Bridge looking to become the first team in 73 Premier League games to beat Chelsea against a patched up Blues side.
However, there were still 10 internationals on show for the home team.
Under fire Toon boss Allardyce made more changes to the side that lost at Wigan with Cacapa back in defence and Oba Martins restored to the starting line-up in attack.
Fit again Michael Owen was on the bench for Newcastle as they looked to bounce back from the JJB Stadium debacle.
Joey Barton was unavailable to Big Sam while Emre was dropped to the bench.
Yet there was no place at all for Geremi against his old club as Abdoulaye Faye was used as an anchor man.
United had the first chance of the afternoon when a cross from the left flank found Martins in the box - but a bad first touch from Martins saw third choice Chelsea keeper Hilario gather the ball easily in a great opportunity for Newcastle.
On 15 minutes though Martins wasted an even better chance when Nicky Butt sent the former Inter Milan star clean through but after taking far too much time to pick his spot Blues defender Alex caught up and got a crucial block in.
Chelsea, inevitably, struck back and four minutes later Juliano Belletti cut the ball across the face of goal on the right hand side with Kalou forcing Given into a good save low down.
Tension on the terraces was there for all to see at Wigan on Boxing Day but despite the game still being deadlocked Toon ace Steven Taylor and fellow defender Cacapa squared up to each other on 28 minutes with Faye having to play the role of peacemaker.
And just seconds later Chelsea grabbed the lead as Wright-Phillips cracked a shot that rolled off Kalou before the ball rolled between Taylor and Cacapa before Essien tucked home the rebound from close range.
UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs responded with two minutes left of the first period when Cacapa picked out Martins with a low pass from half way but the Nigerian could only find the crowd as he fired high and wide.
Chelsea were looking to add to their lead in the second half, however, Newcastle looked like they were doing their best to assist them as Nicky Butt forced Given into a great save after turning a right wing cross towards his own goal.
Yet Butt got it right at the other end 10 minutes after the break as NÃ¢ÂÂZogbia broke free down the left hand side to pick out Martins whose flick into the path of the ex-England man saw him bundle home from close range to make it 1-1.
Newcastle almost snatched the lead on 68 minutes after Martins tried to pick out Duff at the back post but Belletti got there first to deny United.
With 16 minutes left the travelling Toon fans were handed a boost when Owen emerged from the bench to replace Martins.
But just when it looked like United were going to clinch a deserved point Kalou inflicted late agony as he slotted home when it looked like he was offside.
EssienÃ¢ÂÂs deflected shot fell into the path of Kalou who squeezed it beyond Given for 2-1.
And as United protested furiously with the assistant referee both Butt and Given were yellow carded.
CHELSEA: Hilario, Essien, J Cole (Pizarro 66), Mikel Obi, Ballack (Sinclair 77), Bridge, Kalou, Ben Haim, Wright-Phillips (Sidwell 90), Alex, Belletti.
Subs: R Taylor, Ferreira.
UNITED: Given, Beye, Cacapa, Taylor, NÃ¢ÂÂZogbia, Butt, Smith (Rozehnal 69), Faye, Duff (Viduka 89), Martins (Owen 74), Milner.
Subs: Harper, Emre
Ref: Mike Riley