TWO STUPENDOUS Papiss Cisse goals settled the outcome as the adrenaline rush finally wore off for Chelsea.
Both efforts were worthy of being winning goals, such was the quality, and thye ruined the Blues' serene build-up to Saturday's FA Cup final.
It finally looked a game too far for Roberto Di Matteo's men, even with the line up once again rotated in a bid to keep minds and bodies fresh during this most punishing of season finales.
The result leaves the Blues needing snookers in the battle for fourth place with two games to go – the position they crave as insurance against losing the Champions League final in Munich and missing automatic qualification for next year's competition.
Both of Cisse's strikes will have struck terror into the hearts of Man City as much as Chelsea.
Roberto Mancini's team travel to the Geordies' stronghold on Sunday needing a win to stay ahead in the title race and here was a warning that it will not be easy for them.
Cisse's first goal came after a deft touch from Davide Santon's pass lifted the ball two feet off the ground and the Senegal striker connected instantly with his left foot before Branislav Ivanovic or John Terry could get anywhere near him – his volley from the edge of the area flashing past Petr Cech and inside the far post.
The second, in injury time, was even better, if anything.
The striker latched on to Shola Ameobi's chest down from a throw-in miles out on the left flank and hit another first time effort with the outside of his right boot which dipped and veered perfectly over Cech's head. It took the breath away.
It could have been even worse for the Blues in the first half, as Demba Ba had Cech scrambling to keep out a low shot before the same player smashed a right foot shot against the bar from the resulting corner.
Chelsea, who started brightly, with Fernando Torres bristling with energy and confidence, only really threatened twice before the break, with Torres twice involved.
First, when the rejuvenated Spaniard played a one-two with Ryan Bertrand before sending in a great cross with the outside of the boot that Daniel Sturridge could not make use of and when he played in a delicious cross from the right flank that Florent Malouda headed narrowly wide.
Roberto Di Matteo brought on Juan Mata (pictured) for an ineffectual Sturridge for the start of the second half and then pitched Didier Drogba into the fray after an hour.
It did bring an improvement. Drogba smacked a free-kick from distance into the arms of keeper Tim Krul and Lampard flashed just over as the home side pressed. Terry also had a header cleared off the line after getting up at the near post to glance a Mata corner goalwards.
But the zest of Sunday's romp against QPR was missing and Newcastle sat deep to soak up the presure before Cisse's crowning moment in stoppage time.
Line up: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand; Mikel, Meireles (Lampard 78), Malouda (Drogba 61); Sturridge (Mata h/t), Torres, Ramires. Subs not used: Turnbull, Cole, Essien, Kalou.
Attendance: 41, 559