Sports

Antonio Conte Doesn't Think Newcastle Defeat Was His Last Chelsea League Match

Antonio Conte Doesn't Think Newcastle Defeat Was His Last Chelsea League Match

The Blues failed to book a place in next season's Champions League as they went down 3-0 at Newcastle United, though Liverpool's victory over Brighton and Hove Albion meant a top-four finish would not have been possible regardless of the result on Tyneside.

Dwight Gayle broke the deadlock in the first-half, while Ayoze Perez ensured that he would finish the campaign as the side's leading goalscorer, scoring twice to take his league tally to eight.

The Magpies doubled their lead before the hour mark, Shelvey firing Tiemoue Bakayoko's attempted clearance into the box, where Perez swept it into the bottom-left corner.

The third came following a training ground routine which Perez managed to finish off at the back post on 63 minutes to complete his brace.

Martin Dubravka (8/10): Had absolutely nothing to do in the first half but showed once again as to why he has transformed into a cult figure during his short stint with Newcastle with some great saves, which kept denying Chelsea from getting on the scoresheet.

Chelsea: The visitors were held to a 1-1 draw in midweek against Huddersfield, which all but doomed their top 4 chase.

Benitez said: "If we want to achieve something, we have to understand the way to do that".

"I am working with my players this season and it is not right to say something about this".

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Redknapp noticed Conte's body language in recent months has changed, and he would be been "amazed" if he started next season at Stamford Bridge.

When Conte first arrived and led his side all the way to the title, he would kick every ball, sometimes literally, and bark out constant instructions; there was none of that and it seeped through onto the pitch.

Question marks also remain over the future of Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, who is set for key talks with the club's owner Mike Ashley in the next week to discuss his potential summer transfer budget as he looks to build on an encouraging campaign.

It was only six years ago when Newcastle finished fifth in the Premier League and qualified for the Europa League. "There is another year on my contract and I will try to do my best to move forward".

Conte's side still have the incentive of silverware to play for when they face Manchester United in the FA Cup final next Saturday.

But there are more immediate reflections to be made by Chelsea's strategists on what went wrong this season, the abrupt decline from the team brilliantly guided to the 2017 Premier League title.

"And we've seen slowly but surely that the manager has become overcome with the situation, he's not his normal self".


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