Woeful Chelsea are crushed at Newcastle

Newcastle 3 Chelsea 0

Woeful Chelsea were crushed on the final day of a hugely disappointing Premier League season. 

Only a win at St James’ Park and Liverpool losing at home to Brighton would have seen the Blues snatch a Champions League place.

The FA Cup finalists never looked like getting the points they needed, while Liverpool cruised to a 4-0 win at Anfield.

Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead midway through the first half and Ayoze Pérez netted twice after the interval.

When the ball looped up into the air after Jacob Murphy met Matt Ritchie’s cross, Thibaut Courtois managed to push it away from the net but Gayle was on hand to head home from close range.

The second goal came just after the hour mark as a result of Tiemoue Bakayoko’s poor clearance.

Jonjo Shelvey pounced and the midfielder’s goal-bound shot was nudged in by Perez, giving Courtois no chance.

And more shoddy Chelsea defending led to the third.

Florian Lejeune, unmarked at the far post, steered Shelvey’s free-kick towards Perez, who had the simple task of scoring from a yard out.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte made wholesale changes – seven in total – and his team were second best from start to finish.

The fit-again Courtois returned in goal, Ross Barkley and Emerson Palmieri were brought in, Olivier Giroud led the attack and there were also recalls for Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill and Bakayoko.

Keeper Courtois was called into action three times early on before his team eventually fell behind.

The Belgian did well to keep out a thunderous strike from Shelvey and turned away an effort from Mo Diame.

Courtois also came to the rescue when N’Golo Kante almost turned Ritchie’s pull-back into his own net.

However, Courtois was unable to prevent Gayle opening the scoring.

Shelvey should have made it 2-0 when he fired wide from 12 yards out after evading two challenges.

And Perez sent a shot narrowly wide in the final minute of the first half as Newcastle continued to dominate.

Chelsea finally registered a meaningful attempt on goal when Barkley was denied by keeper Martin Dúbravka on 54 minutes.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later, Barkley then missed a great chance by shooting straight at Dúbravka, and Perez helped himself to his second goal.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahil; Moses, Barkley (Willian 77), Kante, Bakayoko, Emerson; Hazard (Pedro 82), Giroud (Morata 77).
Subs not used: Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas.