Michy Batshuayi could be heading out of Stamford Bridge on deadline day – but the £33million Belgian striker fired Chelsea into the FA Cup fifth round with a first-half double.
Blues boss Antonio Conte does not rate Batshuayi and left him out of the starting line-up Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat at Arsenal – even though senior centre forward Alvaro Morata is injured.
But despite his lack of opportunities, Bathsuayi – who scored the Premier League title-clinching goal at West Brom last season – made it ten goals for the season to sink Newcastle.
Batshuayi has been lined up for a loan move to Sevilla before the window shuts on Wednesday, providing Chelsea can bring in a replacement.
The scoreline was severe on Rafa Benitez’s side, who forced Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero into five saves before half-time – but the Geordies are predisposed by securing Premier League survival just now.
Conte had moaned about his lack of options after that defeat at Arsenal and he made only four changes here – but the Toon were in the ascendancy before Batshuayi’s opener.
Jonjo Shelvey tested Caballero, who saved sharply at his near post, when the midfielder met Massadio Haidara’s cross with a crisp volley.
But a sweeping pass from Pedro pierced the Newcastle defence and Eden Hazard laid off for Marcos Alonso, who squared for Batshuayi to drill home.
Antonio Rudiger went close to a second with a brilliant left-footed curler from 25 yards – but Shelvey asked another save of Caballero after a dozy Danny Drinkwater was dispossessed on the edge of his own box.
But on 44 minutes, Pedro swept another pass forward for Hazard, who teed up Batshuayi. This time, the Belgian got lucky, his shot deflecting off Jamal Lascelles, who had slid in, attempting to block, only for the ball to cannon off his leg and loop over Karl Darlow.
Shelvey and Chancel Mbemba both tested Caballero before the break but Marcos Alonso’s thunderous volley was thwarted by Darlow early in the second half.
And when Davide Zappacosta won a free-kick 25 yards out, Marcos Alonso curled home his fourth goal in ten games to finish the contest 18 minutes from time.