Chelsea torn apart by Newcastle, miss out on top four

7. Manchester United

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 beaten 3-0 at St James' Park. We have to sit down talk and see where we are. Subs: Morata 5, Pedro 5, Willian 5.

Newcastle's fifth minute free kick came from a promising angle, but Chelsea cleared the effort with a powerful header.

With the game over as a contest, neither side were prepared to put too much effort into the closing stages and the game naturally petered out, with Newcastle ending the season on a high and Chelsea left needing to regroup ahead of next week's FA Cup final with Manchester United.

Olivier Giroud nearly scored a spectacular goal to rival his scorpion kick for Arsenal against Crystal Palace last season, but otherwise contributed little, while Tiemoue Bakayoko remains worryingly cumbersome, his poor clearance leading to Newcastle's game-clinching second goal.

Joselu took Gayle's place early in the second half.

Conte has been the subject of constant speculation that his second season with Chelsea could well be his last.

Given the kind of players they have been linked with and rumored to have shortlisted, no-one of the rumored stars would leave without the promise of top European football.

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A Liverpool draw however would consign fifth-placed Chelsea to the dubious consolation prize of Europa League football.

"Other people can judge our season and the problems [relating] to finish [ing] outside the top four".

Only a Chelsea win plus Liverpool losing at home to Brighton will see the Blues snatch a Champions League spot.

Antonio Conte looks set for the exit door at Chelsea.

We all know the rise of player power over the last decade can lead to managers' authority being regularly undermined, but for two title-winning managers to depart under dark clouds in under three years screams of an epidemic of epic proportions at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea hope to appoint a more attack-minded manager this summer in a bid to keep Eden Hazard at the club.

Chelsea would, however, be forced to pay Conte up to £9m should the club sack the Italian as the 48-year-old is refusing to quit with one-year remaining on his contract.

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