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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future