The Blues are now two points behind fourth-placed Liverpool in the table with an inferior goal difference and their chances of claiming a Champions League spot are dependent on Brighton beating Liverpool while they secure a long-awaited away triumph over Newcastle United.
Gayle went off injured early in the second period but a four-minute double from Ayoze Perez saw the Magpies home for a comfortable victory, with FA Cup glory unlikely to be enough to remove the bitter taste for Chelsea and keep Conte at Stamford Bridge next season.
Conte said in his post-match comments that Chelsea did not deserve anything in the game at St. James' Park. Newcastle have nothing to play for but they will look to end their season with a win.
Whilst Conte is not entirely responsible for our downfall, the Italian's attitude has been far from professional in recent times and his negative approach to games have also cost the team.
Blues boss Conte has already warned his team "don't have a chance" of beating United at Wembley to lift the FA Cup - in what well could be his last game as manager - if they fail to produce an improved display. Antonio Rudiger then wasted two glorious chances before the FA Cup finalists finally equalised in fortuitous fashion - a clearance striking Marcos Alonso in the face before flying into the net.
'You're talking about spirit and the other team was more determined than us, ' he said.
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New UEFA rules mean that finishing in fourth place in the Premier League will result in automatic qualification for the group stages of Europe's premier club competition. One such effort allowed Perez to double Newcastle's lead just as Chelsea were in the ascendancy, before an inviting free-kick delivery enabled Lejeune and the Spaniard to combine to put the match beyond doubt.
"I am working with my players this season and it is not right to say something about this. There are other people to judge our season and [say] which are the problems to finish out of the Champions League".
Newcastle's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in midweek all but ruined Chelsea's hopes of a top four finish, but the hosts will be hoping to finish the job on Sunday.
"For the next game, for sure we must change".
"We deserved to lose because our start wasn't good and we suffered by losing every ball". They showed a great desire and will to take three points and finish the season in the best possible way.
"I have a contract and I'm committed for this club", he insisted.