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Michy Batshuayi double helps Chelsea saunter past Newcastle in FA Cup

At the end of a routine day’s work Chelsea had safely navigated a passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup for the 18th time in 20 seasons and the crowd here were standing to acclaim Antonio Conte after one of those intermittent periods, such as is modern life at Stamford Bridge, when the manager’s job has come under scrutiny for the apparent crime of not having the Premier League title sown up already.

Chelsea’s supporters must know the drill by now, after all these years of Roman Abramovich rule, but this was about as comfortable as it gets for Conte’s men. Newcastle were obliging opponents and, if anything, it was just a surprise Chelsea did not add more goals to go with the two Michy Batshuayi scored before half-time and Marcos Alonso’s expertly taken free-kick during a prosaic second half when the away team played with a startling lack of self-belief.

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