A year ago, Chelsea were Premier League champions. This season, they’ve failed to qualify for the Champions League and have finished fifth. Their final Premier League game of the season ended away to Newcastle United, and finished the way it started; with defeat. Goals from Dwight Gayle and an Ayoze Perez double condemned the Blues to a 3-0 defeat, meaning they finish fifth. A truly poor performance, and it was a real struggle to find three players who are deserving of a spot in the top three. Here’s who impressed, albeit slightly, in Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat away to Newcastle on Sunday:
3. Olivier Giroud
Due to the awful performance from the defence, the third best player on Sunday was Olivier Giroud – despite contributing almost nothing. He was an isolated figure up front for Chelsea, and wasn’t given anything to fight for, which wasn’t his fault. He came close to scoring an equaliser for the Blues with an acrobatic effort, but a great save from Martin Dubravka denied the Frenchman. He should start in the FA Cup final against Manchester United next week.
2. Eden Hazard
Another player who really didn’t show up on Sunday, but scrapes his way into the top three. His performances this season have been some of the best this season for Chelsea. Like Giroud, he wasn’t given enough support and didn’t see the ball as much as he’d like to make the desired impact. On another day, he might’ve helped to light up St. James’ Park. He must stay at Stamford Bridge next season.
1. Ross Barkley
Perhaps Chelsea’s brightest spark on an otherwise gloomy day in the North East. Making only his second start since his £15 million move from Everton in January, Barkley might’ve been slightly off the pace during the game, but could’ve opened his Chelsea account if it wasn’t for a brilliant stop from Dubravka. Hopefully we see a lot more from Barkley in a Chelsea shirt next season, as he deserves an opportunity to show his talent.