Salomon Kalou (pictured right) spared Chelsea's blushes as the champions had to come from behind to claim a point at Newcastle.
The Ivory Coast international fired home the equaliser in first-half injury time to prevent his side slipping to a third successive league defeat for the first time in 11 years.
Andy Carroll had given the Magpies a sixth-minute lead when he capitalised on an error by Alex, and although the Londoners enjoyed the better of the game, they defended resolutely enough to deserve their point in front of a crowd of 46,469.
Chelsea climbed into second place as a result, but have now taken just four points from their last five games.
Chris Hughton will have been the happier manager after seeing his reshuffled defence keep the visitors at bay.
Last Saturday's 5-1 defeat at Bolton had proved a sobering experience for the Magpies, whose promising start to the season has been dented by a return of just a single point from the last nine on offer.
In the circumstances, the prospect of champions Chelsea arriving on Tyneside desperate to avoid another damaging defeat was hardly an appetising one.
Add to that the absence of key trio Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Joey Barton through suspension, and the omens were not good.
But with Sol Campbell making his first league start for the club and Taylor playing a competitive game for the first time since January, Hughton's men got off to the perfect start, albeit with a helping hand from Alex.
The Brazilian, whose visit to a wintry Tyneside may have come as something of a culture shock, and keeper Petr Cech, who had already clawed away a second-minute Taylor header, were on entirely different wavelengths as they closed on a seemingly harmless through-ball.
But with Carroll hot on his heels, the defender stabbed it past Cech to allow the England striker to tap the ball into an empty net.
The Magpies could hardly believe their luck, but as they snapped into tackles with midfielder Cheik Tiote in the thick of it following his return from suspension, they made life distinctly uncomfortable for the visitors.
However, Chelsea warmed to their task as the half wore on to dominate possession, and although the home defence were proving stubborn, they gradually started to get on top.
Skipper Didier Drogba forced a fine reaction save from Tim Krul at the near post with a blistering 19th-minute drive, and full-back Jose Enrique had to clear an Alex header off the line seven minutes later.
As the Blues threw men forward, the Magpies threatened on the break with wide men Jonas Gutierrez and Wayne Routledge, in for injured captain Kevin Nolan, prospering sporadically, although the bulk of the traffic was in the opposite direction.
Carlo Ancelotti's men flexed their muscles as the half-time whistle approached, and were convinced they should have had a 43rd-minute penalty for Tiote's clumsy challenge on Ashley Cole as he burst into the area.
They got their reward in injury time when Kalou carved his way into the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner with the help of a deflection of Taylor's out-stretched leg.
Chelsea returned in determined mood and might have increased their lead with 56 minutes gone when Drogba expertly controlled a long ball and fired in a firm left-foot shot on the turn which Tim Krul got down well to save.
But it was the home side who went close six minutes later when Cech failed to deal with a towering cross and only succeeded in serving the ball up to Wayne Routledge on the edge of the box.
The winger controlled neatly before blasting a volley towards goal, where Cole was perfectly positioned to head off the line.
Chelsea threw everything they had at their hosts as time ran down and Drogba had a 77th-minute strike chalked off for handball, but Kalou could have won it three minutes later when Taylor, Campbell and Krul between them allowed the ball to fall to him beyond the far post, but he fired into the side-netting.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge shot wastefully across the face of goal with four minutes remaining as the champions launched a late onslaught, but Newcastle were not about to surrender a hard-earned point."MAGPIES IN EUROPE" SIGNED COPY - FREE POST - FOR ANYONE WHO ORDERS BEFORE CHRISTMAS! Send a cheque for £9.95 - payable to K.Fletcher - to: Magpies In Europe5 DunelmSacristonDurham DH7 6NU and we will send you a signed copy!
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"Magpies In Europe" is available NOW! It features match reports and individual features from Toon fans on the 60 'away' trips Newcastle have made in Europe. Sports Journalist Richie Everson: "At last a book that the fabulous Newcastle United fans can relate to. It's informative, all the facts and figures are there, plus the 120 match reports from all the fixtures . but it is the articles by the supporters that amazed me. "I went to many of those games, and this is the only book I can honestly say 'hits the nail on the head'! "Yes we know the results and the scorers, but some of the facts in this book had me so wrapped up in it I couldn't put it down. "Was Benny Arentoft cup-tied when he played in the final? Big Wyn and his battle with John McGrath; McFaul scoring a penalty when the crowd had gone home; the trouble in Palermo; it is all amazing stuff. "I would honestly give this book 10 out of 10." The book is available NOW from THE BACK PAGE!
NEWCASTLE UNITED 20011/12 PREMIER LEAGUE MAN UTD 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Ba pen)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 65), Cabaye, Guthrie (Perch 74), Gutierrez, Ben Arfa (Lovenkrands 80), Ba.Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Gosling, Shola Ameobi. MAN CITY 3 NEWCASTLE 1 (Gosling)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Ben Arfa (Lovenkrands 76), Guthrie, Cabaye (Perch 85), Gutierrez, Ba, Sammy Ameobi (Gosling 79).Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Smith, Shola Ameobi. NEWCASTLE 2 EVERTON 1 (Heitinga og, R Taylor)Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Marveaux (Sammy Ameobi 54), Cabaye (Gosling 37), Guthrie, Gutierrez, Best (Ben Arfa 73), Ba.Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Lovenkrands, Perch. STOKE 1 NEWCASTLE 3 (Barr 3)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Guthrie (Gosling 90), Cabaye (Perch 78), Gutierrez, Best (Sammy Ameobi 86), Ba.Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Ben Arfa, Marveaux. NEWCASTLE 1 WIGAN ATHLETIC 0 (Cabaye)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan (Marveaux 76), Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Best (Ben Arfa 46), Ba (Shola Ameobi 68).Subs Not Used: Harper, Santon, Perch, Smith. NEWCASTLE 2 SPURS 2 (Ba, Ameobi)Krul, Simpson (Santon 77), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Best (Shola Ameobi 71), Ba (Ben Arfa 71).Subs Not Used: Elliot, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Marveaux.WOLVES 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ba, Gutierrez)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan (Marveaux 90), Cabaye (Guthrie 89), Tiote, Gutierrez, Best, Ba (Lovenkrands 71).Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi.NEWCASTLE 3 BLACKBURN 1 (Ba 3)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez (Marveaux 84), Ba (Ben Arfa 74), Best.Subs Not Used: Harper, Guthrie, Lovenkrands, Perch, Sammy Ameobi.ASTON VILLA 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Best)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi 85), Best (Shola Ameobi 69), Ba (Marveaux 80).Subs Not Used: Elliot, Guthrie, Lovenkrands, Perch.QPR 0 NEWCASTLE 0Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan (Sammy Ameobi 88), Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Best (Marveaux 82), Shola Ameobi (Ba 64).Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Guthrie, Lovenkrands.NEWCASTLE 2 FULHAM 1 (Best 2)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Lovenkrands (Ba 62), Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Obertan, Best (Vuckic 78), Vuckic (Smith 85).Subs Not Used: Soderberg, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.SUNDERLAND 0 NEWCASTLE UTD 1 (R Taylor)Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye (Williamson 85), Barton, Obertan (Gosling 85), Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi.Subs Not Used: Harper, Lovenkrands, Ba, Best, Marveaux.NEWCASTLE 0 ARSENAL 0Krul, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Simpson, Barton, Cabaye (Lovenkrands 81), Tiote, Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi (Best 73), Ba (Obertan 46).Subs Not Used: Forster, Williamson, Gosling, Sammy Ameobi.CARLING CUPBLACKBURN 4 NEWCASTLE 3 (AET) Guthrie, Cabaye, Lovenkrands (pen)Krul, Simpson (Sammy Ameobi 70), Perch, Coloccini, Santon, Marveaux (Obertan 77), Guthrie, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa (Lovenkrands 79), Ba.Subs Not Used: Elliot, Abeid, Gosling, Ranger. NOTTINGHAM FOR. 3 NEWCASTLE 4 (AET) Lovenkrands 2, Simpson, ColocciniElliot, Simpson, Coloccini, Perch, Ferguson, Abeid, Guthrie, Gosling (Shola Ameobi 70), Marveaux, Ben Arfa (Sammy Ameobi 70), Lovenkrands (Obertan 80).Subs Not Used: Krul, Best, Dummett, Henderson.SCUNTHORPE 1 NEWCASTLE 2 AET (R Taylor, Sammy Ameobi)Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson (Steven Taylor 45), Ryan Taylor, Marveaux, Gosling (Vuckic 70), Cabaye, Lovenkrands, Best, Ba (Sammy Ameobi 65).Subs Not Used: Soderberg, Abeid, Smith, Ferguson.PRE-SEASON FIXTURESNEWCASTLE 0 FIORENTINA 0 (Ab 63 mins)Krul (Forster 46), Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique, Gosling (Ba 46), Cabaye, Vuckic, Jonas (Marveaux 46) Lovenkrands (R Taylor 61), Best (Shola Ameobi 46).Subs: Sammy Ameobi, Ranger, Tavernier, Williamson.LEEDS UTD 3 NEWCASTLE 2 (S.Taylor, Vuckic)Forster, Cabaye, Williamson, Barton, Simpson, Gosling, Gutierrez, Ba, Shola Ameobi, Taylor, Tavernier. Subs: Krul, Taylor, Best, Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett.COLUMBUS CREW 0 NEWCASTLE 3 (Ameobi, Coloccini, Vuckic)Harper; Tavernier, S Taylor, Coloccini (Dummett, 54), Enrique; Gutierrez (Abeid, 85), Tiote (Smith, 62), Gosling, Marveaux (Vuckic, 76); Ameobi (Best, 75), Ba. Subs not used: Forster, Krul.ORLANDO CITY 1 NEWCASTLE 0Forster; R Taylor (Enrique, 26), S Taylor, Coloccini, Tavernier; Gosling (Vuckic, 71), Smith (Abeid, 74), Tiote, Gutierrez; Best (Ba, 74), Lovenkrands (Ameobi, 74). Subs not used: Krul, Harper.SPORTING KANSAS 0 NEWCASTLE 0Krul, Gosling, Coloccini, S Taylor, R Taylor, Marveaux (Tavernier 46), Tiote (Abeid 46), Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Ba (Best 72), Lovenkrands (Smith 46).DARLINGTON 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Barton, Sammy Ameobi)Forster; Simpson (Dummett), S Taylor (Tavernier), Williamson (Henderson), Ferguson (R Taylor); Barton (Abeid), Guthrie (Cabaye, Donaldson), Smith (Gosling), Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi); Ben Arfa (Richardson), Best (Ranger). Subs not used: Soderberg, Newton.