Newcastle frustrate Chelsea in stalemate

Chelsea miss out on a return to the top of the Premier League after their 1-1 draw at St James' Park.

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LONDON // Chelsea's Premier League title defence continued to splutter when they could only draw 1-1 at Newcastle United and missed their chance of returning to the top of the league.

Having lost three of their last four league games Chelsea fell behind again after six minutes when Andy Carroll took advantage of a misplaced backpass by the defender Alex.

The champions levelled through Salomon Kalou at the end of the first half but though they were on top for most of the second period they struggled to create clear chances.

Manchester United, who hammered Blackburn Rovers 7-1 on Saturday with five goals by Dimitar Berbatov, remain top on 31 points with Chelsea and Arsenal, 4-2 winners at Aston Villa, both on 29.

Manchester City are fourth on 26 after being held to a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.