Thursday 24 May 2018

Newcastle v Chelsea – Story of the match

Ayoze Perez scored twice as Jonjo Shelvey starred for the home side.

Rafael Benitez (right) embraces Matt Ritchie as he leaves the field
Rafael Benitez (right) embraces Matt Ritchie as he leaves the field

By Press Association Sport staff

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.

The Blues, who face Manchester United in the FA Cup final next Saturday, simply did not turn up for what many believe could be Antonio Conte’s final league game at the helm and were well beaten in front of a largely thrilled crowd of 52,294 at St James’ Park.

Dwight Gayle headed the home side into a 23rd-minute lead they richly deserved, and Perez’s second-half double ended a run of four successive defeats with a 3-0 victory, fuelling fresh calls from the stands for manager Rafael Benitez to extend his stay on Tyneside.

ipanews_b1d20ff9-c883-4fe4-88c1-4d1f41e843af_embedded688490

Tweet of the match

Star man – Jonjo Shelvey

ipanews_b1d20ff9-c883-4fe4-88c1-4d1f41e843af_embedded236474809
Jonjo Shelvey was not too far away from a goal

Whether it was spraying long balls across the pitch and over the top, neat through passes or testing shots, Shelvey was at the heart of all of Newcastle’s best moves. The midfielder was clearly enjoying himself. Could he yet find himself on the plane to Russia?

Moment of the match

ipanews_b1d20ff9-c883-4fe4-88c1-4d1f41e843af_embedded236476095
Perez celebrates scoring the Magpies' crucial second goal

Newcastle snatched a second goal just as Chelsea were getting on top. Shelvey’s attempted shot from distance was turned in smartly by Perez. News of the goal was gratefully received at Anfield, with Liverpool fans breaking into Benitez chants. Perez added his second goal of the game shortly afterwards to kill off the Blues.

View from the bench

ipanews_b1d20ff9-c883-4fe4-88c1-4d1f41e843af_embedded236474265
Rafael Benitez was a happy man at the final whistle

Newcastle fans are desperate for Benitez to stay on as manager, and this display only cemented their love for the Spaniard. There was only one side who looked like they were chasing Champions League football – and it wasn’t Chelsea. Blues boss Conte will not be happy with the manner in which his side conceded the third goal – a simple training-ground set-piece by the Magpies.

Ratings

Newcastle: Martin Dubravka 8, DeAndre Yedlin 7, Jamaal Lascelles 7, Florian Lejeune 8, Paul Dummett 7, Jonjo Shelvey 9, Mohamed Diame 7, Matt Ritchie 8, Ayoze Perez 8, Jacob Murphy 7, Dwight Gayle 7. Substitutes: Joselu (48, for Gayle) 6, Isaac Hayden (72, for Ritchie) 6, Massadio Haidara (87, for Diame) 6.

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois 6, Cesar Azpilicueta 6, Andreas Christensen 6, Gary Cahill 6, Victor Moses 6, Ross Barkley 6, N’Golo Kante 6, Tiemoue Bakayoko 7, Emerson 6, Eden Hazard 6, Olivier Giroud 7. Substitutes: Alvaro Morata (77, for Giroud) 6, Willian (77, for Barkley) 6, Pedro (82, for Hazard) 6.

Who’s up next?

Chelsea v Manchester United, FA Cup final, Saturday May 19

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport