NEWCASTLE'S recent mini-revival came shuddering to a halt as their miserable record at Stamford Bridge continued with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.

The Magpies have now suffered eight successive Premier League defeats in a row at the hands of the Blues, with their latest setback looking inevitable from the moment substitute Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the 31st minute.

Timo Werner added a second Chelsea goal before the interval, with the loss leaving Newcastle just seven points clear of 18th-placed Fulham. Given that Scott Parker's side face Burnley and Sheffield United in the next five days, the gap could have shrunk significantly by the time the Magpies return to action at Manchester United on Sunday night.

Chelsea’s win pushed West Ham down to fifth on goal difference, with defending champions Liverpool slipping to sixth place.

The Blues will face plenty of tougher top-flight tests, but new manager Thomas Tuchel has now overseen four straight league wins.

Newcastle looked a far cry from their morale-boosting recent wins over Everton and Southampton and must improve markedly from this lacklustre showing if they are to get anything from Old Trafford at the weekend. On this evidence, they still need to come up with an attacking plan that can succeed without leading goalscorer Callum Wilson, who is set to be sidelined for at least another six weeks.

Chelsea’s constant dominance owed as much to Newcastle’s startlingly-limited approach and ability as the hosts’ quality.

Tuchel handed under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga his first league start since October, having insisted the Spain star has a “new start” under him at Stamford Bridge.

Kepa would have been hard pressed to deliver anything other than a clean sheet amid Newcastle’s derisory attack, but the 26-year-old will doubtless be boosted by the shut-out.

Dwight Gayle flicked over his own bar to thwart Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal-bound header early on, but offered nothing at all in the Chelsea 18-yard box,

The unmarked Tammy Abraham nodded Mason Mount’s cross wide and then Jamaal Lascelles felled the England striker in the box.

Lascelles avoided censure for his scissors tackle on Abraham, breathing a sigh of relief when no penalty was awarded.

Abraham attempted to play through the pain of a clear ankle problem but was forced to concede defeat only moments later with Giroud coming on to replace him.

Werner prodded wide at full stretch after Marcos Alonso’s smart header back across the box as Chelsea’s chances stacked up.

Finally the hosts hit the target and took the lead as Karl Darlow spilled Werner’s cross to gift Giroud the opener.

The France striker swept home gleefully for an easy finish.

Werner then finally ended his goal drought as it reached exactly 1,000 minutes, tapping in at the far post after Giroud had failed to connect with a high, hanging cross.

Chelsea took that 2-0 lead into the break, with the Blues more than comfortable amid Newcastle’s laboured and too often muddled approach.

The hosts had the opportunity to coast through a meandering second half and seized it with relish.

Joe Willock tested Kepa with a flicked header from Ryan Fraser’s cross, but the Spaniard was easily equal to the task. Miguel Almiron also fired wide from inside the area, but Newcastle never really looked like threatening Kepa's clean sheet.