With Chelsea surprisingly getting through to the final of the Champions League tonight by winning their two legged tie against Barcelona, that may make it even harder for Newcastle to get into the Champions League next season.
Roberto di Mateo – has done great job at Chelsea
Chelsea drew the game 2-2 in Barcelona tonight, and won on aggregate 3-2, even after going down the ten men in the first half when Chelsea captain John Terry was caught kneeing Alexis Sanchez in the back, and he received a straight red card.
It was a stupid action by the Chelsea captain, and it could and probably should have cost Chelsea the game – you cannot go and knee somebody in the back and expect to remain on the field these days.
That compounded Chelsea’s defensive problems since Gary Cahill went off after just 14 minutes, with what looked to be a hamstring problem.
Just before half time, Barcelona scored twice but then remarkably Chelsea pulled one back just before the half time whistle, through a terrific goal from Brazilian Ramires.
The score at the half was 2-1 which meant Chelsea were still ahead on away goals, and they amazingly held out in the second half to secure their place in the final, and that was after Lionel Messi missed a penalty.
And as fate would have it, Fernando Torres scored a good breakaway goal in stoppage time, to make the final score tonight 2-2 and Chelsea won overall 3-2.
Barcelona showed a lot of cracks in their team over the two games with Chelsea, and missed a lot of chances and couldn’t break down the Chelsea rearguard, which was well organized.
Chelsea getting to the final could well complicate matters for Newcastle, because if Chelsea beats Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final in Munich on May 19th, and they finish outside of the top four in the Premier League – they will be given a place in the Champions League to defend their title.
They will take the place of the 4th placed team in the Champions League, who will get an additional place in the Europa League. Newcastle are currently in 4th place, 3 points ahead of Tottemham and 4 points ahead of Chelsea.
The European Champions League Final is six days after the Premier League ends, and therefore if Newcastle are 4th top and Chelsea wins the Champions League - Newcastle will be in the Europa League.
And that as far as we know, would be the very first time that has happened in Premier League history.
One way Newcastle can guarantee their place in the Champions League next season is to finish 3rd top, by overtaking Arsenal, and we are 3 points behind the Gunners with a game in hand right now, but a much worse goal difference.
We don’t think what happened tonight in Barcelona will change the plans of Alan Pardew and his players one little bit - because they will simply go about their final four games of the season, and try to win them all.
That’s the best approach in this increasingly complex situation.