Frank Lampard’s side were on top for many of the game however had very little to point out for it as Tammy Abraham skewed wide from an acute angle and N’Golo Kante’s shot was well saved by Martin Dubravka.
Prior to the winner, it had been the hosts who came nearest to scoring as Joelinton headed against the bar once Federico Fernandez’s cross after twenty two minutes.
But Steve Bruce’s side showed their steel by keeping Chelsea at distance with a resolute defensive show.
And once Hayden headed in Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross past Kepa Arrizabalaga, it sent St James’s Park into raptures as they enraptured seven points further from the relegation zone.
Their solely worry was an injury to Jetro Willems, who was carried off within the half.
For Chelsea, it had been another frustrating day throughout a mixed season beneath Lampard, who took over within the summer.
It was a first defeat since Boxing Day however they’re going to rue another lost likelihood to improve their top-four claims once conjointly drawing at Brighton earlier this month.
The Blues stay 5 points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, who face Liverpool on Sunday.
But the shortage of firepower up front could sharpen Lampard’s intentions to recruit a striker throughout the transfer window once being linked with the likes of Rb Leipzig’s Timo Werner.