Premier League
NewcastleNewcastle United3ChelseaChelsea0

Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Ayoze Perez
Ayoze Perez is Newcastle's top scorer with 10 goals this season

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte took the blame as his side missed out on a place in next season's Champions League after losing to an outstanding Newcastle on the last day of the Premier League campaign.

The Blues had a chance of sneaking into the top four by beating the Magpies, but Liverpool's victory over Brighton means they finish fifth and must settle for a Europa League spot.

Last year's champions were second best throughout the game at St James' Park and fell behind through Dwight Gayle's close-range header.

"We deserved to lose because our start wasn't good and we suffered by losing every ball. Newcastle were more determined than us," Conte said.

"We didn't lose our Champions League place today, we had chances in the last two games, but to finish the season this way is not good for anyone connected to the club.

"When you are at the end of the season, this performance can happen, but the first person to answer for this must be the coach. I wasn't able to convey that determination to my players."

Chelsea's approach wasn't good enough - Conte

A barrage at goal from the hosts forced visiting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to make sharp saves from the impressive Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame.

But Ayoze Perez poked home twice in the second period as his side finished the season in 10th position.

Chelsea's best chance fell to striker Olivier Giroud, but the Frenchman's acrobatic effort was tipped away by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

They have the opportunity to end the season on a positive note in next Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United (kick-off 17:15 BST).

After the game, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley released a statement thanking boss Rafael Benitez for his "magnificent achievement", saying he hoped the Spaniard would remain at the club.

Antonio Gon-te?

Chelsea last played in the Europa League in the 2012-13 season, when they won the trophy under the guidance of Benitez.

But the 2016-17 champions end this campaign four places, 23 points and 23 goals worse off than last year.

There has been much speculation about Conte's future at Stamford Bridge and if it does prove to be his last league game, the Italian went out with a whimper.

His side failed to register a shot in the first 45 minutes and the usually passionate Italian watched on with arms folded as his side fell apart by conceding two more after half-time.

If Conte does leave, he will have a chance to end his Chelsea career on a high by winning the FA Cup against rival Jose Mourinho at Wembley, but his side will have to show a marked improvement from this showing.

"We have six days to prepare for the final of the FA Cup and we have to change," Conte said.

Asked if he will still be at the club next season, he replied: "I have a contract and I am committed to this club."

Giroud did eventually test Dubravka with an instinctive shot on 52 minutes, while Ross Barkley - making his first Chelsea appearance since 31 January - had an effort kept out by the Slovak goalkeeper.

Asking about Conte's future on BBC Match of the Day, pundit Ian Wright said: "It's got to be precarious with how they played today. They were Champions last year but it's been poor.

"The signings haven't worked and to clock off like they did, playing really poorly, is worrying."

Late England call-up?

Rafael Benitez
One Newcastle fan pleaded for Benitez to stay at St James' Park

Benitez is another whose job is in question, not because of the team's performances but because of his relationship with the hierarchy.

He said earlier this weekexternal-link the club need to break their transfer record to sign a goalscorer in the summer as the £16m they paid Real Madrid for striker Michael Owen 13 years ago remains the club's record acquisition.

The Newcastle supporters sang the Spaniard's name and chanted "we want you to stay" for much of the game, ironically in front of the fans who did not warm to him during his season as Chelsea boss in 2012-13 because of his past at Liverpool.

Benitez, 58, has worked wonders with a squad largely made up of players who came up from the Championship last season.

"When you have the fans behind the team all season, this is the best way to finish," Benitez said.

"The final day here is always special because of the atmosphere the fans produce. From day one they were pleased with our work.

"We can enjoy today but there is still room for improvement. There is another year on my contract and I will try to do my best to move forward."

Perez, who ended the season as the club's top scorer with eight goals in the league and 10 in all competitions, flicked in his first goal from Shelvey's low drive into the area. He then converted Florian Lejeune's cutback into an open net for his second.

Shelvey bossed the middle of the park with 73 passes, more than any of his team-mates, and his imposing showing could earn him a late call-up to the England World Cup squad, which will be named by Gareth Southgate on Wednesday.

"I would love to be called up and it would be a dream to be named in the 23-man squad to go to Russia," Shelvey told BBC Sport

"I have been asked in the street, 'have you heard anything?' I haven't, but I can only play as I have been doing.

"I have ended the season very well and from Christmas onwards my performances have been very good."

Shelvey's midfield partner Mohamed Diame was excellent too, making six tackles, four interceptions and winning the ball back 11 times in the contest.

'I hope Rafa stays'

Owner Ashley said in a statement:external-link "I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season.

"I would also like to applaud the players, led fantastically by the captain Jamaal Lascelles.

"On many occasions throughout the season they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory.

"Rafa, as always, has my full support, and contrary to some media reports that portray me as a pantomime villain, I will continue to ensure that every penny generated by the club is available to him.

"I hope very much that Rafa will remain at Newcastle United.

"Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivalled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season."

'Shelvey not a gamble for England'

BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer

Jonjo Shelvey controlled the midfield. What we've made in the past with England is errors with gambling on players you can't rely on because of injury.

Jack Wilshere has had 12 starts this season because of injury and I don't think you can take too many gambles.

Shelvey isn't a gamble.

Man of the match - Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle)

Jonjo Shelvey
Shelvey had 84 touches and outplayed Chelsea's N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko in midfield

Perez on hot form - the stats

  • Newcastle are only the third team to score two or more goals in five successive Premier League home games against Chelsea after Liverpool (six between 1992 and 1997) and Leicester (five between 1998 and 2002).
  • Chelsea failed to find the back of the net for the first time in their last nine top-flight games, since losing 1-0 to Manchester City on 4 March.
  • Benitez registered his first win in the Premier League against a club he used to manage.
  • Gayle has scored 29 league goals for Newcastle since the start of last season, 12 more than any other player.
  • Gayle is the third player to score both home and away against Chelsea in the Premier League this season after Huddersfield's Laurent Depoitre and Roberto Pereyra of Watford.
  • Perez has scored six goals in his past eight Premier League appearances, as many as in his previous 55 in the competition.
  • Perez also netted his first Premier League double in his 106th appearance in the competition.
  • Chelsea did not muster a single shot until the 52nd minute of the game, courtesy of a shot on target from Giroud.



  • 12Dubravka
  • 22Yedlin
  • 6Lascelles
  • 20Lejeune
  • 3Dummett
  • 8Shelvey
  • 10DiaméSubstituted forHaidaraat 87'minutes
  • 11RitchieSubstituted forHaydenat 72'minutes
  • 17Pérez
  • 7Murphy
  • 9GayleSubstituted forJoseluat 48'minutes


  • 14Hayden
  • 19Manquillo
  • 21Joselu
  • 23Merino
  • 25Haidara
  • 26Darlow
  • 27Gámez


  • 13Courtois
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 27Christensen
  • 24Cahill
  • 15Moses
  • 8BarkleySubstituted forWillianat 77'minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 14BakayokoBooked at 62mins
  • 33Emerson
  • 10E HazardSubstituted forPedroat 82'minutes
  • 18GiroudSubstituted forMorataat 76'minutes


  • 1Caballero
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 3Alonso
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 9Morata
  • 11Pedro
  • 22Willian
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamChelsea
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 3, Chelsea 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 3, Chelsea 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

  4. Post update

    Andreas Christensen (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Massadio Haidara replaces Mohamed Diamé.

  7. Post update

    N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).

  9. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. Tiemoué Bakayoko tries a through ball, but Victor Moses is caught offside.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tiemoué Bakayoko (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pedro.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Pedro replaces Eden Hazard.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joselu (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ayoze Pérez.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. César Azpilicueta tries a through ball, but Álvaro Morata is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Willian replaces Ross Barkley.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Álvaro Morata replaces Olivier Giroud.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Tiemoué Bakayoko (Chelsea).

  17. Post update

    Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joselu (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Isaac Hayden replaces Matt Ritchie.

  20. Post update

    Victor Moses (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


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