Chelsea captain Gary Cahill urges teammates to put league campaign behind them


A speedy second-half double from Ayoze Perez added to Dwight Gayle's 23rd-minute opener as Chelsea got here up quick on Tyneside.

The top-four was a remote possibility before kick-off but that was barely a secondary concern here, with a shot at redemption and a piece of silverware within reach next weekend.

To qualify for the Champions League, the Blues need to win at Newcastle while hoping that Liverpool lose at Anfield. However, considering the superiority of Liverpool's goal difference, it would take Eden Hazard and company to score at least 16 times at Newcastle to stand a chance. However, their last two matches resulted in a home draw against Huddersfield before suffering a 3-0 drubbing away to Newcastle on the last day of the season - an apt reflection of Chelsea's campaign.

"They'll obviously start by believing they can still get there, but if news comes through of Liverpool beating Brighton, then this game - prize-wise - becomes more important to Newcastle than the FA Cup finalists".

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The Italian, who insists he is still in the dark about his future, saw the Blues produce one of their worst displays of the season and admits the campaign has been a massive letdown.

"I think they deserve that, and I think the fans deserve to see the team winning the last game".

The only obstacle that remains to his move to the Premier League is the two-year contract he has signed with Atletico, that keeps him with them till 2020. The impressive Serbian would now be playing for title challengers Manchester United. A return to Europe, however, isn't.

Possession was Chelsea 58% Newcastle 48%. With a manager of Bentiez's talent and experience, a solid squad with room for improvement, rejoining the elite and striving for European football must be the ambition.

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"When you are at the end of the season, this can happen".

Chelsea would have to wait another four years before they were finally able to win their first Champions League title.

That makes Chelsea's lifeless display all the more worrying.

Asked if it would be damaging for the Blues to miss out on a top-four finish, he said: "I don't know". The former Nigeria defender had cited a desire to spend more time with his young family, although, as it transpired, he would take up a similar position at Monaco a little over three weeks later. Their issues go beyond the manager.

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Perez got in on the act with a scuffed attempt which nearly found the far bottom corner but from Chelsea's perspective, Antonio Conte's men reached the break having failed to register a single shot.