Newcastle United outplayed Chelsea in their final Premier League clash of the season to win 3-0, snuffing out the visitors’ slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Newcastle 3 Chelsea 0
Courtois peppered with shots
Gayle puts Newcastle in front
Perez doubles the lead
Perez completes his brace
Newcastle took the game to Chelsea from the off and deservedly went in front thanks to Dwight Gayle’s opener in the 23rd minute.
Ayoze Perez doubled the hosts’ advantage as Chelsea continued to struggle, and he completed his brace a few minutes later to pile the misery on last season’s champions.
The hosts were in the ascendancy from the early stages of the game. Jonjo Shelvey forced Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois into a save when he unleashed a shot from 25 yards, before Mohamed Diame also tested the Belgian at his near post.
The Blues were on the back foot yet again when Shelvey picked out Ayoze Perez who slid the ball into the box for Matt Ritchie. The winger pulled it back and N’Golo Kante attempted to clear but in the process almost scored an own goal, if not for Courtois’ save.
Newcastle were finally rewarded for their industry in the 23rd minute when Dwight Gayle put the ball in the back of the net with a header, after Courtois scrambled to swat the ball away from danger, only to see it fall favourably for Gayle.
Shortly after the break, Chelsea almost equalised as Olivier Giroud attempted an audacious flicked finish that looped towards the Newcastle goal, but Martin Dubravka made a top save.
However, it was the Magpies who scored next as Perez provided the deftest of touches to beat Courtois after Shelvey drilled a powerful shot at goal from outside the area.
Rafa Benitez’s men then made it 3-0 in the 63rd minute, only four mintes after their second. Lejeune squared the ball after a free-kick and Perez was there to prod home.
Perez almost bagged his hat-trick late in the game when Murphy played him through on goal, but Courtois anticipated well and denied the Newcastle forward.
The result sees Newcastle finish in 10th position in the standings, while Chelsea are destined for the Europa League after claiming fifth place.