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Chelsea deflated after final day defeat


Chelsea lost 3-0 to Newcastle United in their final match of the season on Sunday, ending any chance of Champions League football next season.

Even if the Blues had won, Liverpool's 4-0 win over Brighton means the Reds are safe in fourth spot, which is the final Champions League qualifying position.

Antonio Conte started a slightly different looking XI, giving Ross Barkley a chance in a three-man midfield with N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko. Apart from that, it was a familiar team sheet. Thibaut Courtois in goal, protected by Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill. Victor Moses and Emerson Palmieri were on the wings. Eden Hazard joined Olivier Giroud in attack.

The Blues, who have been fighting over four competitions this season, looked tired during the game, and struggled to make an impact.

So, when Dwight Gayle headed the Magpies ahead in 23rd minute, it was with the run of play.

A change of formation to 3-4-3 after the half-time break energised the Blues, and they came close to equalising. Barkley crossed an inviting ball from a wide position, and Giroud managed to flick it towards goal, but the shot was cleared off the line!

However, it was Newcastle that scored the second goal of the game. Jonjo Shelvey fired in from the edge of the box, and a touch from Ayoze Perez completely wrong-footed Courtois.

Newcastle went three goals up a few minutes later, again thanks to Perez, adding more misery to the final match of Chelsea's season.

Conte brought on Willian, Pedro and Alvaro Morata in the final 15 minutes, but they couldn't help Chelsea find a goal.

Although finishing in fifth means that the Blues don't qualify for the Champions League, they will be playing in the Europa League, a competition they won in 2013, becoming only the fourth team to win all three major European trophies!

Chelsea now look to the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday as the last chance to win silverware this season. The Blues have battled hard all year, and they will be desperate to have something to show for it.

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