Chelsea marked the end of their disappointing Premier League campaign with a point against Newcastle United.
Frank Lampard bid farewell to Chelsea on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, securing a point for the Blues after going behind early on in the capital.
Anthony Gordon, who was linked with Chelsea before moving to Newcastle, opened the scoring after nine minutes from close range.
Kieran Trippier put into his own net to hand Chelsea a leveller after his initial block of Raheem Sterling’s cross-cum-shot deflected back off his hand into the Magpies’ own goal.
Kepa was forced into action early on as he denied Alexander Isak at his near post inside the opening two minutes.
And it was the hosts who took the lead after nine minutes. Anthony Gordon tapped in from close range, following a well-worked build-up from the visitors which carved the Blues open at the back, converting Allan Saint-Maximin’s low cross past Kepa.
Newcastle were opening Chelsea up and Isak almost doubled the lead minutes later from the edge of the box, but he could only fire his effort just wide on Kepa’s goal.
Chelsea didn’t get their bit of luck when Thiago Silva’s header was scooped off the goal line by Martin Dubravka at the back post to ensure the hosts didn’t find an almost instant leveller. Noni Madueke had a volley blocked and deflected over shortly after as Newcastle held firm.
The hosts managed to weather the storm and In the 27th minute they levelled the game. Raheem Sterling’s cross-cum-shot was turned in by Kieran Trippier at the back post.
Chances were opening up for Miguel Almiron. The first he curled wide, before having a free shot at the back post eight minutes before half-time, however he could only strike off target.
Noni Madueke was one of Chelsea’s bright sparks on Sunday, like he had been on many occasions since joining from PSV, but even he was unable to take his chance on the edge of the box as he struck straight at Dubravka – their first shot on target of the half – three minutes from half time.
The chances kept coming for Newcastle and Almiron. Saint-Maximin played the Paraguay international in one-on-one, but Kepa matched the strike with a fantastic save to keep the score at 1-1 in the capital.
Sterling was denied his goal after it went down as a Trippier own goal earlier in the half, and he nearly got his 10th of the season in stoppage time. But Dubravka somehow managed to claw the winger’s shot from close range from Lewis Hall’s cross away from danger.
Lampard made his first changes on the hour mark. Joao Felix and Carney Chukwuemeka came on for Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who went off to a standing ovation on his potential Chelsea farewell as he waved to the home crowd.
Sterling had another chance to score, another cross from Hall, but he could only fire well over the bar from close range.
Mateo Kovacic, who could be making his final appearance for Chelsea, then came on with 20 minutes to go for Conor Gallagher.
Chelsea thought they should’ve had a penalty with 12 minutes to go. Chukwuemeka teed up Sterling, who saw his effort deflect off of Dan Burn’s hand inside the penalty area, but nothing was given.
Newcastle went down the other end and almost took the lead through substitute and teenager Lewis Miley, but the 17-year-old forward was denied by the crossbar.
Christian Pulisic was brought on in the closing minutes for what could be his final appearance for the club.
There were few chances in the second half and Jarred Gillett brought an end to proceedings and blew for the end of the season.
It’s time for Mauricio Pochettino to come into Chelsea and overhaul the squad to go again next term as they look to avoid a repeat of the dismal 2022/23 season. Until August…
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