Newcastle United 3 Chelsea 0: Fans deliver message to Rafa Benitez after convincing win
Newcastle United ended their season on a high '“ with a convincing win over Chelsea.
Rafa Benitez's side deservedly beat last season's champions 3-0 at St James's Park to secured a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League.
Ayoze Perez netted twice and Dwight Gayle also found the net as Newcastle fans made it clear they want manager Benitez to stay at the club.
Chelsea never recovered after being put firmly on the back foot in the first 25 minutes.
Newcastle tore into their visitors, and Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame tested Thibaut Courtois before Gayle opened the scoring in the 23rd minute.
Courtois pushed out a shot from Jacob Murphy, recalled to the starting XI in place of the ineglible Kenedy, and Gayle reacted first to head United into the lead.
It was a lead that they would never look like losing, such was Chelsea's lethargy.
They steadied themselves a little before the break, but once Perez made it 2-0 in the 59th minute, it was all over. An attempted clearance from Tiemoue Bakayoko dropped for Shelvey, and his shot was redirected past Courtois by Perez.
Four minutes later he added a second, also from close range, after Lejeune put the ball across the face of goal.
Many Chelsea fans had seen enough at that point and headed for the exits.
Massadio Haidara – who will leave the club this summer – made a farewell appearance late in the game.
There was a chant of "Rafa Benitez, we want you to stay" as the final whistle approached.
Benitez and his players lapped the pitch to show their appreciation to supporters after the match, which left Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on the brink.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett; Diame (Haidara, 87), Shelvey; Ritchie (Hayden, 72), Perez, Murphy; Gayle (Joselu, 48). Subs not used: Darlow, Manquillo, Gamez, Merino.
CHELSEA: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Barkley (Willian, 77), Kante, Bakayoko, Emerson; Hazard (Pedro, 82), Giroud (Morata, 77). Subs not used: Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas.
Goals: Gayle 23, Perez 59, 63
Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)