Trippier’s own goal earns Chelsea draw against Newcastle after Gordon opener

While the players of Newcastle stood in front of the noisy travelling supporters and celebrated qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in two decades, their counterparts in blue wandered sheepishly around the Stamford Bridge pitch and wondered what comes next after the season from hell finally came to an end.

The immediate answer was a fond farewell to Frank Lampard after his stint as caretaker with a lively 1-1 draw with Newcastle. In terms of the wider picture, though, Chelsea are in for a long rebuild. They have finished in the bottom half for the first time since 1996 and, while they have convinced Mauricio Pochettino to take over, the reality for Chelsea’s owners, Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, is they will have little to celebrate when they mark the first anniversary of their takeover tomorrow.

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Ultimately it has been an exhibition in how not to run a football club. A spend of close to £600m on signings has achieved nothing and Boehly, who stayed away from this one, will know the months ahead could be long, painful and costly. A lot of players need moving on, if only to make Pochettino’s life easier, and perhaps Clearlake’s founders, Behdad Eghbali and José Feliciano, will have a better idea of who should go after turning up to watch yet another wasteful performance from Chelsea in front of goal.

There was something fitting about Chelsea’s campaign ending with João Félix and Christian Pulisic missing glaring opportunities in added time. Wastefulness has been the theme.

Kai Havertz is simply not equipped to lead the line for a top side and there was no better illustration of why Chelsea have scored at a rate of a goal a game in the league this season when their dud of a No 9, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, mooched down the touchline a few minutes before this game began and sat behind the bench after once again failing to make the match-day squad.

Afterwards Lampard would talk about a decline in standards, criticise his side’s lack of physicality and say the dressing room is too quiet. The message for Pochettino was that this will not be a quick fix; the hope, of course, is that Eghbali and Feliciano understood the need for patience and stability when they saw Eddie Howe being given a hero’s reception by Newcastle fans after the final whistle.

Howe has built carefully since joining Newcastle last season. In fact they have probably over-performed. After all not many people expected Newcastle to beat Liverpool to fourth place and, given that the squad remains light in certain areas, they will need to strengthen before tackling the Champions League.

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However, while a move for James Maddison is likely following Leicester’s relegation, it was interesting to hear Howe talk down his summer budget. “When you’re sat in my shoes it’s never as big as you want it to be,” he said. “Financial fair play will impact on what we do. We’re not huge payers of wages. The big clubs will always dwarf us on that. That makes it hard to attract the best players.”

Of course there was the possibility that Howe was underplaying his hand. But equally it is easy to see Chelsea being stronger under Pochettino. They still have the bones of a good squad. There are young players who will benefit from Pochettino’s coaching – Lewis Hall had another good game at left-back, Noni Madueke was a livewire on the right flank and Conor Gallagher offered thrust from midfield – while established stars such as Raheem Sterling are simply crying out for continuity.

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Others will move on. César Azpilicueta, the club’s legendary full-back, has seen better days. Mason Mount, absent with injury, is probably going. Mateo Kovacic, introduced as a substitute, is likely to be sold.

Pochettino will have to rework his squad. As for Lampard, the past six weeks have done little for his reputation. Chelsea have become worse since sacking Graham Potter last month and it did not take long for Newcastle to expose their frailties. Their goal, scored in the ninth minute, was a case in point.

There was no pressure on Allan Saint-Maximin as the winger dribbled down the left, no attempt to stop Elliot Anderson’s low cross and nobody bothering to track Anthony Gordon’s run into the box.

At least Chelsea, who wanted Gordon last summer, responded to the former Everton winger’s first goal since joining Newcastle. They were level in the 27th minute. Released by a quick free-kick, Sterling cut inside and saw his low shot turned into his own net by Kieran Trippier.

The rest of the game was knockabout fun. Both teams had chances. Newcastle’s teenage debutant, Lewis Miley, almost grabbed the headlines when he hit the bar. But a point felt fair. Newcastle were dreaming of trips to the Bernabéu and San Siro. Chelsea were thinking about life under Pochettino.