Rafa Benitez admitted his Newcastle United paid the price for the defensive mistakes they made at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea came from behind to beat Benitez's side 3-1 this afternoon.
Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead in the 12th minute, but Eden Hazard levelled nine minutes later.
Alvaro Morata netted a second in the first half and Hazard scored a third goal from the penalty spot in the 74th minute.
United manager Benitez was frustrated to lose the lead so soon after going ahead.
"We knew it could be like this, but it's a pity, because we started really well," said Benitez, whose was booed by some Chelsea fans despite leading the club to the Europa League trophy during a short managerial spell at Stamford Bridge in the 2012-13 season.
"After that, we made some mistakes, and as I said against Manchester United, we paid for that.
“You can stop them if you do things a little bit better, although it's still very difficult, because they have players who can beat people in one-against-one situations.
"You have cover for that, and that means you leave other players free and when you press high, they can run in behind.
"They have the width as well, so they have a lot of good things. They are a very good team, and they'll be competing for the title.
"It's obvious that they are one of the teams that will be there in the top three.
"We did well, it was a pity that we couldn’t keep the score (at 1-0) for a while."
On Hazard, Benitez added: “He (Hazard) was quite good at this time (when Benitez was managing Chelsea), and he's even better now.
"He has more experience, and I think he can make the difference in any game.”
Meanwhile, some Chelsea fans booed Benitez at Stamford Bridge.
Asked about his reception, Benitez said: “I didn’t realise anything (about the reception), I was just concentrating on what was happening here."