Joe Willock’s stunning strike earned Newcastle a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at St James’ Park as Graham Potter’s side lost for the third consecutive Premier League match.
Neither goalkeeper was troubled unduly during a lacklustre first half, with Miguel Almiron volleying over at one end and Armando Broja forcing a routine save at the other as the opening 45 minutes ended predictably goalless.
The Magpies, sensing an opportunity to prey on a below-par Chelsea side, were much more progressive after the restart, although Nick Pope was forced into a sprawling save in the 65th minute to deny Conor Gallagher’s curling shot.
Newcastle, who went ahead two minutes later when Almiron embarked on a jinxing run before finding Willock, will enter the World Cup break as the top-flight’s third-placed team. Chelsea, however, are languishing in eighth.
Chelsea host Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on December 27 at 5.30pm after the World Cup break while Leicester host Newcastle on the same day at 3pm.