Antonio Conte: FA Cup final not my Chelsea farewell

Newcastle United v Chelsea will be live on Sky Sports Premier League

Newcastle United v Chelsea will be live on Sky Sports Premier League

"I was really proud of that", said Benitez.

"It is easy to see what we have, now we need to do something more and be a little bit better".

They say preparation is key to success in all walks of life, and pre-season for a top Premier League club is no different.

The Italian has feuded with Chelsea's hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans past year and has done little to quell the impression he would be willing to leave. Not a great start.

One can only hope that Chelsea Football Club will not be scouring the pages of the Italian Yellow Pages in search of another temperamental manager.

Not only was the price tag a surprise, but even more so the destination.

That makes Chelsea's lifeless display all the more worrying. The uphill battle had begun.

Chelsea have lost three of their last four games on Tyneside and are without a win since December 2011.

Jonjo Shelvey could play himself into England manager Gareth Southgate's plans for the World Cup with a good showing against the Blues. Instead it took Chelsea until the 52nd minute to record a shot on target, even if it was a wonderful flying, looping back-heel by Olivier Giroud, which had to be pushed over the bar by a rapidly back-pedalling Martin Dubravka.

With the Premier League season now at an end, Chelsea fans will not be happy with the performance of their team in this season.

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"Of course I want to play in the Champions League, but it isn't a priority".

Rafael Benitez's Newcastle defeated Chelsea 3-0 on the final day of this Premier League season. However, with European football back in an already congested fixture list, Conte desperately needed the players he wanted.

Newcastle will be without on-loan midfielder Kenedy as the Brazilian is ineligible to face his parent club. Antonio Conte's side are unbeaten in their last five games, picking up 11 points.

As defeats mounted other unusual stories began to circulate about unrest at Chelsea, and players fell out of favour.

As is the case when such rumours develop, several names have come up as possible replacements of the Chelsea Manager. We all like working with the coach and having this relationship in the long-term.

With slim hopes of finishing in the top four, one would assume Chelsea would fight tooth and nail to achieve that.

"I would like to thank Rafa Benitez for his magnificent achievement this season", said Ashley.

With the game over as a contest, neither side were prepared to put too much effort into the closing stages and the game naturally petered out, with Newcastle ending the season on a high and Chelsea left needing to regroup ahead of next week's FA Cup final with Manchester United.

Is Conte staying or going?

That is a significant achievement for a club which embarked upon a frustratingly modest - in the eyes of its manager, at least - summer recruitment campaign in the wake of promotion, and relied exclusively upon the loan market in January.

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