Newcastle United sealed a top-half finish in the Premier League campaign after defeating Chelsea 3-0 at the St. James’ Park on the final day of the season.
The Magpies started off the game on a better note and were deservedly ahead in the 23rd minute when Dwight Gayle nodded the ball home from close range after Thibaut Courtois had parried Jacob Murphy’s initial effort away. Chelsea started to get into the game more and more from that point and ended the first half strongly.
However, fifteen minutes after the break, they found themselves trailing by two goals, as Ayoze Perez beat Courtois with the deftest of touches after Jonjo Shelvey had fired the ball into the box. The Spaniard then made it 3-0 for the home team three minutes later, prodding home from close to all but seal the result.
Newcastle Player Ratings
Martin Dubravka – 7.5/10
The on-loan goalkeeper was in superb form as he pulled off brilliant stops to deny Olivier Giroud and Ross Barkley twice in the second period.
DeAndre Yedlin – 6.5/10
The right-back was an effective outlet down the flank as he got forward regularly and looked to play the ball into the box. Did gift possession away at times but it was an assured display.
Jamaal Lascelles – 7/10
The Newcastle United captain once again led from the front as he made several crucial blocks and interceptions to make sure Chelsea never found a way back into the game.
Florian Lejeune – 7.5/10
Just like his captain, the Frenchman was a solid presence at the back for the Magpies with his perfect tackle on Willian late in the game standing out. Carried the ball out well and got the assist for Perez’s second goal.
Paul Dummett – 6.5/10
The Welshman did not provide a great deal going forward but stuck to his task at the back and made sure the Blues didn’t get much joy from his side.
Jonjo Shelvey – 9/10
Ran the game from the middle of the park for the Magpies. Forced Courtois into a save early on and came close to scoring a goal. His distribution was top notch as he created a number of chances for his teammates. Got the assist for the second goal and was involved in the third as well.
Mo Diame – 8/10
The 30-year-old dominated the midfield battle against Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante. Had a shot saved in the first period but his main contribution came in the middle of the pitch, where he did some solid work in never really allowing the visitors to settle.
Matt Ritchie – 8/10
Popped up in dangerous positions and hit crosses into the box time and again. Played a crucial role in the opening goal for the Magpies and was a bright presence on the field before being subbed off.
Ayoze Perez – 9/10
The Spaniard was once again in the thick of things for the Magpies, impressing with his work-rate off the ball and movement in the attacking third. Killed the game off in the second period with two quickfire goals to take his tally for the season to 10 strikes.
Jacob Murphy – 7.5/10
Handed a start in place of the ineligible Kenedy, the former Norwich City man made the opportunity count. Had a shot saved by Courtois, with the rebound being turned in by Gayle for the first goal. Posed all sorts of troubles with his pace and movement.
Dwight Gayle – 7/10
Showed good presence to open the scoring in the first period. Picked up an injury towards the end of the first 45 and was taken off soon after the restart.
Joselu – 6/10
Replaced Gayle three minutes into the second period. Missed a great chance to add more gloss to the scoreline.
Isaac Hayden – 6/10
Came on for Ritchie in the 72nd minute. Added more numbers to the midfield as the Magpies looked to shut up shop.
Massadio Haidara – N/A
Came on for Diame with less than five minutes left.