London: Chelsea were left contemplating the prospect of having to win this season's Champions League in order to qualify for next term's edition after a 2-0 defeat by Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

The result left sixth-placed Chelsea four points adrift of Newcastle, whose victory boosted their Champions League qualification hopes, with just two Premier League games of the season left.

Newcastle striker Papiss Demba Cisse, one of the signings of the January transfer window, made it 13 goals in 12 games as he struck twice for the Magpies.

In the 19th minute he unleashed a powerful shot past Petr Cech.

But in stoppage time at the end of the game the Senegal striker topped that effort with a stunning, swerving shot from wide out on the left for one of the goals of this or any other season.

The loss meant Chelsea, like fellow FA Cup finalists Liverpool, suffered a defeat in their final match before Saturday's showpiece match at Wembley.

Usually, the top three clubs at the end of the Premier League season qualify for the Champions League proper, with the fourth-placed side entering the preliminary round.

But if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final at the German club's home ground on May 19, they will take the place that would otherwise go to the team finishing fourth in the Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur, who started Wednesday in fourth place, were playing relegation threatened Bolton at the Reebok Stadium in a later kick-off match.

(Agencies)

 

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