Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has accused his side of losing focus after they fell to a 3-0 defeat against Newcastle United on the final day of the Premier League season.
The result was symbolic of Chelsea’s season, which has been very frustrating and filled with inconsistency. It was not the title defence that fans would have hoped for after the Blues sailed to the crown last season.
Antonio Conte’s men headed into the game still in the running for a place in the top four as they were just two points behind Liverpool, who ended up thrashing Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0.
The Stamford Bridge outfit will now have to prepare themselves for Europa League football next season as they finished in fifth place – the second time in the last three seasons they have fallen short of Champions League qualification.
Rafa Benitez’s Magpies completed a comprehensive win on Sunday, through goals from Dwight Gayle and a brace from Ayoze Perez.
After the game, manager Antonio Conte admitted that he feels his team will lose if they turn in a repeat performance against Manchester United in the FA Cup final next week.
Cahill also spoke out and said that he felt that his side were actually not focusing on the game, but rather on the FA Cup final.
He said: “That was a below-par performance, and for whatever reason we were way off the pace today. Newcastle started very well and we were sloppy.
“It looked to me like everyone had one eye on the cup final which is very dangerous and we were lucky the game was kind of irrelevant. Had the Champions League truly been on the line it would have been very difficult to take. We came here to give a performance and take three points.
“Prior to the Huddersfield game we were in good form, but that’s not an excuse.”