London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Chelsea exacted a bit of revenge on Newcastle on Saturday as Oscar and Diego Costa provided the goals in the club's 2-0 home victory at Stamford Bridge.
The Magpies handed Chelsea its first league loss of the campaign with a 2-1 result at St. James' Park on Dec. 6, and while Newcastle tested the Blues in the early going of Saturday's affair, the hosts pulled away with Oscar opening the scoring just before halftime and Costa providing some insurance just before the hour mark.
Newcastle made the brighter start and put Petr Cech under considerable pressure from the opening whistle, coming closest in the 36th minute when Moussa Sissoko rattled a shot off the post.
But Chelsea managed to break the deadlock against the run of play from a quick corner kick taken in the 43rd. Willian worked the set piece to Branislav Ivanovic, whose cross squirted to the back post where an unmarked Oscar was waiting to tuck home the delivery.
The lead was doubled in the 59th minute when Costa collected a pass from Oscar, drifted inside and slid a right-footed shot against the grain that trickled past Tim Krul and into the back of the net.
Chelsea cruised the rest of the way to climb to 49 points, bringing the Blues two points clear of Manchester City after its 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.
Fernandinho had given the Citizens a vital lead in the 74th minute, but it last just four minutes as Steven Naismith equalized shortly after.
City was held in check for the remainder of the contest, slipping to second place in the table. Everton, meanwhile, sees its four-game slide come to an end, bringing the Toffees to 22 points.
Liverpool secured its third win in four league outings by collecting a 1-0 victory over 10-man Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Lazar Markovic enjoyed a positive outing, terrorizing the Sunderland defense throughout. The youngster was denied a stonewall penalty in only the third minute, but he managed to put the Reds in front not long after, easing into the box before converting a scrappy finish in the eighth minute.
Sunderland was reduced to 10 men in the 49th minute when Liam Bridcutt received a second yellow card, but the Black Cats nearly equalized three minutes later only to see Adam Johnson's left-footed strike from distance come back off the woodwork.
Liverpool managed to see out the result to climb to 32 points on the season, leaving Sunderland on 20 points.
West Ham United was lifted by a superb goal from Andy Carroll in the 43rd minute, but a second-half own goal from Mark Noble saw the club drop two points in a 1-1 draw at Swansea City.
Crystal Palace handed Alan Pardew a win in his first Premier League match as the club's manager, overturning a second-half deficit to get a 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Selhurst Park.
Harry Kane had put Spurs in front in the 49th minute, but Dwight Gayle converted a penalty 20 minutes later to equalize for Palace. The winner came 10 minutes from time when Jason Puncheon latched on to Wilfried Zaha's deflected pass and swept home a first-time finish, lifting Palace out of the relegation zone.
Also on Saturday, goals from Scott Arfield and Danny Ings helped Burnley overturn a Charlie Austin penalty and grant the club a 2-1 home win over QPR at Turf Moor, Paul Konchesky produced the lone goal in Leicester City's 1-0 home defeat of Aston Villa and Saido Berahino struck 13 minutes from time to hand West Bromwich Albion three points from a 1-0 victory over Hull City.