Newcastle 3-0 Chelsea: Ayoze Perez scores twice against woeful Chelsea
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 13/05/18 5:57pm
Newcastle ended their season on a high and extinguished Chelsea's slim top-four hopes with a comfortable 3-0 win at St James' Park on Sunday.
Newcastle bossed the first half, going ahead through Dwight Gayle's close-range header (23), before Ayoze Perez doubled their lead by sweeping home Jonjo Shelvey's initial shot after the break (59).
Perez was on hand again to tap home for 3-0 (63), and with Liverpool comfortably beating Brighton 4-0 at Anfield, Chelsea were already out of the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Yedlin (6), Lascelles (7), Lejeune (7), Dummett (6), Diame (8), Shelvey (8), Ritchie (7), Perez (8), Murphy (7), Gayle (7)
Subs: Joselu (6), Hayden (6), Haidara (NA)
Chelsea: Courtois (5), Azpilicueta (5), Christensen (5), Cahill (5), Emerson (4), Kante (5), Bakayoko (4), Moses (4), Barkley (4), Hazard (5), Giroud (5)
Subs: Morata (NA), Willian (NA), Pedro (NA)
Man of the match: Jonjo Shelvey
The result means Newcastle finish 10th in the Premier League, while Chelsea end up outside of the top four for only the third time in 16 years.
Newcastle dominated the first half, with Chelsea failing to register a shot on goal as a top-four spot ran away from them.
Thibaut Courtois made two decent saves from Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame's long-range efforts, before reacting well to keep out N'Golo Kante's poke towards his own goal from close range.
Newcastle went ahead on 23 minutes through Gayle, who headed home after Jacob Murphy's looping effort had been tipped off the line by Courtois only to fall kindly into the striker's path a few yards out.
Chelsea made eight changes from the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield. Courtois was back in for Caballero, Cahill, Emerson, Bakayoko, Hazard and Moses also came in, while Giroud replaced Morata and Ross Barkley got a rare start.
Just the one change for Newcastle as Jacob Murphy replaced Kenedy.
Shelvey blazed over from 12 yards a minute later after dodging two Chelsea tackles, and the visitors' first effort on goal came on 54 minutes as Olivier Giroud's fine improvised touch with the outside of his boot was tipped over by Martin Dubravka.
Newcastle doubled their lead through Spaniard Perez, who was on hand 12 yards out to get a touch on Shelvey's low drive from the edge of the box, leaving Courtois with no chance.
Ross Barkley saw a clear opportunity from close range well blocked by Dubravka minutes later, before Perez made it 3-0, turning into the net from under the crossbar after the unmarked Florian Lejeune had squared from Shelvey's deep free-kick.
That's how it ended in what could be Antonio Conte's last Premier League game at Chelsea, with the FA Cup final against Manchester United to come on Saturday.
England World Cup watch
Jonjo Shelvey gave yet another reminder of what he can bring to an England midfield, and it looks to be a toss-up between him and Loftus-Cheek for a spot in Southgate’s 23. The same goes for Jamaal Lascelles, who was a rock again in Newcastle's defence, though he remains an outside bet to make the squad on Wednesday.
For Chelsea, captain Gary Cahill wasn't the biggest offender from a woeful performance, while Ross Barkley was largely anonymous.
- Newcastle are only the third team to score 2+ goals in five successive Premier League home games against Chelsea after Liverpool (6 between 1992 and 1997) and Leicester (5 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 0-1 to Manchester City on March 4th.
- Rafael Benitez registered his first-ever win in the Premier League against a club he used to manage.
- Dwight Gayle has scored 29 league goals for Newcastle since the start of last season, 12 more than any other player.
Rafa Benitez: "When you have the whole season, the fans behind the team, it's the best way to finish. I'm really proud of the atmosphere and the performance of the team. We started with a high tempo, kept the fans behind the team, which was key, as it has been the whole season. That is always an extra motivation."
Antonio Conte: "When you are at the end of the season, it can happen, but when there is this situation, the first person to answer for this is the coach. If we didn't have the spirit, this will, this desire, I am the first person to answer for this. The other team was more determined than us."
Jamie Redknapp: They were so poor, that's as abject as a performance as I've ever seen, especially when people re playing for places in an FA Cup final team next week.
Bakayoko didn't break sweat, I didn't see him sprint once to the ball, and it was a big opportunity for him today. Ross Barkley at times tried, but it just wasn't his day. Newcastle wanted it more, it's just as simple as that.
Man of the match - Jonjo Shelvey
Yet again, Shelvey was Newcastle's main man at St James'.
He made a team high 74 passes, 45 of which were in the Chelsea half, and patrolled the midfield area with his trademark swagger.
But he's more than just a ball-player; Shelvey was not afraid to get stuck in, winning the ball back eight times, second only to Mo Diame.
Premier League fixtures will be announced at 9am on Thursday, June 14, and the season will begin on the weekend of August 11.