Gary Cahill has come out to give a frank assessment of the team’s performance on the last Premier League Matchday after they were dominated and comprehensively beaten by Newcastle at St James’ Park
Goals from Dwight Gayle in the first half and a brace by Ayoze Perez in the second half rounded up an average season for Chelsea. This was the 10th loss in the 2017/18n Premier League campaign, amid a fifth-place finish. Cahill singled out no scapegoat for the defeat in his assessment of the performance.
‘It was a below-par performance by ourselves,’ the skipper said.
‘For whatever reason, we were way off the pace. Newcastle made it very difficult for us early on. They started very well, but there were sloppy things from us: sloppy passes, things we shouldn’t be doing, so we are very disappointed in the dressing room.
‘There were individual mistakes here, there and everywhere which was putting us under extreme amounts of pressure. That’s not in our make-up.
‘It looked to me like everyone had one eye on the cup final, which is very dangerous. We are very lucky that the game was somewhat irrelevant in the end as Liverpool won, because if we had come off that pitch with that performance having thrown a Champions League spot away, it would have been extremely hard to take.’
Chelsea now have to prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley against Manchester United, two sides who are hungry for their first silverware of the season. Man United are unarguably the favorites for the win in this one. He hoped that the last two games for Chelsea were nothing but a blip.
‘It’s time to self-reflect. Prior to Huddersfield we were in great form. We have to try and brush it under the carpet.
‘That’s not an excuse, any other time I wouldn’t be saying that, but we have a massive week now to prepare for a cup final which is very important for us.’