Antonio Conte expects to stay in charge next season despite finishing fifth

Lawrence Cooper
May 16, 2018

There could hardly have been more of a contrast for Benitez's opposite number Antonio Conte, who saw goals from Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez end the Blues' slim hopes of Champions League qualification.

It will be midweek Europa League expeditions from September, not the more luminous Uefa Champions League that a club of Chelsea's status, wealth and prestige would regard as their natural entitlement. Benitez's Newcastle, whose top-half finish makes them outstanding overachievers, imposed an authority from the outset which Chelsea never wrestled back.

Conte admitted he is to blame for Chelsea woeful defeat to Newcastle.

In midfield, N'Golo Kante remains one of the club's ever-presents whenever fit and the Blues' Player of the Year should maintain his position in the centre of the park.

Possession was Chelsea 58% Newcastle 48%.

Harry Kane became the second Premier League player to score 30 goals this season, as Spurs trailed 1-0 and 3-1.

Conte told reporters when asked how damaging will it be for Chelsea to not play in the Champions League next season: "I think I am the last person to speak about this".

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The Tigers (17-22) took two of three from the Mariners (22-17), who they will play again in Seattle in four days. The Tigers have actually won seven of their last 10 home games, but just 4-10 in Boyd's last 14 home starts.

After Diame went close again, the Magpies finally got the goal they deserved when Jacob Murphy looped Matt Ritchie's delivery over Courtois, who clawed it off the line and onto the head of Gayle for a simple finish.

Newcastle United wrapped up 10th place in the Premier League in some style on the final day of the season.

Also, might be a radical idea but why didn't Mike Ashley come and see Rafa Benitez face to face and thank him personally for saving his bacon this season AND then persuade him he is genuine, rather than a lame statement.

Even the FA Cup would not render this season a success for Chelsea, but Conte will have been concerned by the total lack of appetite shown by his players.

The Magpies secured a place in the top half with a 3-0 victory over Chelsea at St. James' Park on Sunday.

Benitez's representatives have been in talks with managing director Lee Charnley over a new contract and the club's summer transfer budget.

Further forward, Conte should go with his most-favourable pick of Willian and Eden Hazard on the right and left side of the attack whilst we are backing Olivier Giroud to reclaim his starting role after another failure for Alvaro Morata.

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