It was the final day of the 2018 Premier League season, and Chelsea were in Newcastle for their last attempt at picking up points to help secure Champions League qualification.

Just four days before, Huddersfield Town had brought an end to the Blues’ four game win streak, on their way to themselves escaping relegation from the Premier League.

Newcastle United were hoping to break a four-game losing streak that started after their 2-1 win v Arsenal mid-April. They were also looking to change their fortunes against today’s opposition. This was the third meeting between the sides this season, and Antonio Conte’s team had won the two previous encounters 3-1 in the league, and 3-0 in the FA Cup. […]

Chelsea were back home in West London for their FA Cup fourth round tie vs Newcastle United.

Chelsea had just managed to scrape past Norwich City on penalties in the previous round, while Newcastle beat Luton Town 3 – 1, Ayose Perez (two goals) and Jonjo Shelvey (one goal) with three first half goals to quickly put the game to bed.

Both teams were coming off recent defeats though – Antonio Conte endured yet another difficult game against Arsenal in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semis midweek.
Newcastle had fallen victim to a Sergio Aguero hat trick at the Etihad, in the previous weekend’s Premier League game. Both Conte and Rafa Benitez would be looking for a positive reaction from their teams today. […]

It was matchday 15 of the 2017 season. Ex-Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United were in London for the first league game of the weekend, against his former club.

November had turned to December, and as Chelsea’s players returned from injury, and Antonio Conte settled on his favoured shape and starting line-up, his team’s defensive inconsistencies were fading into memory.

Newcastle’s recent form was relatively similar to that of the last visitors to Stamford Bridge, Swansea City. They had four losses and one draw from their last five games – but they sat twelfth, much higher up the league table than the eighteenth placed Welsh side.

Chelsea were in third, with four wins and one draw from their last five league games. They had a chance today to draw level on points with second placed Manchester United – if they could take all three points today. […]