Shambles at Newcastle means no Champions League

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Antonio Conte looking pensive during the game at Newcastle United. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES


Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

The pathetic display up at Newcastle on the final day of the league season means Chelsea miss out on the £38million bonanza of Champions League football… but also sees them approach Wembley in the wrong frame of mind.

Manchester United’s 1-0 win (with key players rested ahead of the FA Cup final) means the Red Devils are clear favourites as English football’s favourite day approaches.

Romelu Lukaku has recovered from an ankle twist, and will be on the bench for United, while Tony Conte will put Olivier Giroud up front, with Willian and Eden Hazard feeding the giant.

Chelsea’s performance at St James’ Park was, frankly, an embarrassment as the Magpies overwhelmed the visitors 3-0. “To finish the season this way is not good for anyone connected to the club,” said Conte.

Which will no longer include him after Saturday night. And yet the best player on the field at Newcastle was probably Thibaut Courtois, who was kept busy making save after save as Chelsea failed to record a single shot on goal in the first half, and looked shambolic in defence.

Jose Mourinho will watch the recording of the match with a sense of eager anticipation. But as everyone knows, FA Cup finals can sometimes surprise.

First up is the Chelsea Legends v Inter Forever friendly at the Bridge on Friday evening – a 80-minute match, respecting creaky knees!

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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