Chelsea manager Antonio Conte took the blame as his side missed out on a place in next season’s Champions League after losing to an outstanding Newcastle on the last day of the Premier League campaign.
The Blues had a chance of sneaking into the top four by beating the Magpies, but Liverpool’s victory over Brighton means they finish fifth and must settle for a Europa League spot.
Last year’s champions were second best throughout the game at St James’ Park and fell behind through Dwight Gayle’s close-range header.
“We deserved to lose because our start wasn’t good and we suffered by losing every ball. Newcastle were more determined than us,” Conte said.
“We didn’t lose our Champions League place today, we had chances in the last two games, but to finish the season this way is not good for anyone connected to the club.
“When you are at the end of the season, this performance can happen, but the first person to answer for this must be the coach. I wasn’t able to convey that determination to my players.”
Ayoze Perez of Newcastle celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal, doubling their advantage over the London club