Roberto Di Matteo: It is now beat Bayern Munich or bust for Chelsea

 

Stamford Bridge

Roberto Di Matteo has all but conceded Chelsea must beat Bayern Munich later this month to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Chelsea were once again unable to beat a team above them in the Premier League, losing 2-0 to Newcastle at Stamford Bridge, a defeat which leaves them four points behind Tottenham, who beat Bolton 4-1 and last night's opponents, with just two games remaining.

If Di Matteo can lead his side to glory in Munich later this month, then they will knock out the fourth-placed team in the Premier League from next year's competition. That is now their most realistic hope of reaching a 10th successive Champions League.

When Di Matteo was asked if he would have to win the competition to qualify, he said: "It's going to be difficult now for us to reach fourth spot. The season has proven difficult. We'll keep pushing though until it's impossible. We won't give up.

"We've lost many points during this season and, ultimately, looking back over the whole season, that's why we're in the position we are. My players have given everything. The effort is there. We've been asking them to push and push and push and they've done well. We'll regroup and pick them up. We've got a big game, a great final, on Saturday and we'll go again. We'll look forward to the FA Cup final.

"In the first half we didn't raise our tempo to where we needed to be to be able to dominate the game. The second half was better and we pushed them back into their half, creating a few chances that were cleared off the line, but Newcastle did well tonight, defended well, had two shots and scored two goals.

"We've been pushing the players for the last two months and they've responded extremely well. Tonight we have to give credit to Newcastle. They did well and played a very good game against us. They have a player in their team at the moment that, whatever he touches, it goes in."

Newcastle's two goals came from Papiss Cissé, who has now scored 13 times in the 12 games he has played since moving from Freiburg in January. The win keeps Alan Pardew and his side in sight of a possible Champions League qualification spot themselves, ahead of a titanic clash with Manchester City at St James' Park on Sunday.

"It's all to play for," said Pardew. "We've got ourselves in a great position. You don't get in this position unless you have great players and some of our players tonight were phenomenal. We've got two games to go and the aim is to try and win them both and see where that leaves us. It's going to be a special day for us."

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine