With Chelsea’s dreams of Champions League football, next season, in tatters, we’re faced with what could be an arduous Europa League campaign.
The 2018 / 2019 season will see Chelsea regularly playing Europa League football on a Thursday night followed by a Premier League game on a Sunday, not the kind of situation we envisaged when the 2017 / 2018 season started.
Yesterday, to stand any chance of finishing in the top-four Chelsea had to win whilst also hoping that Brighton would be able to beat Liverpool, at Anfield, strangely enough, neither of those results materialised.
On the back of what was a brutal loss for Chelsea, we’ve dug into the record and form books to bring you some facts and figures that add to the doom-laden nature of this article.
• In winning 3-0, Newcastle United became the 3rd team to score two or more goals in 5 consecutive Premier League home games against Chelsea, following in the footsteps of Liverpool (1992 to 1997) and Leicester City (1998 to 2002)
• At a time when Chelsea just had to score, they failed to score in an away game for the first time in nine games, the last occasion Conte’s side failed to score in an away game was the abject surrender away to Manchester City in March.
• Yesterday was the first time Rafael Benitez had won a Premier League fixture against a team he used to manage, or in Chelsea’s case interim manage.
• Three players have scored in both home and away fixtures, against Chelsea, this season, the trio being Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town), Roberto Pereya (Watford) and Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United)
• Chelsea’s performance, at St James Park, was so lacklustre they didn’t manage a single shot until seven minutes into the second-half.
It’s going to be a long week as we prepare for the FA Cup Final!