Rafa Benitez says Chelsea are certain to finish in the top three.
Former caretaker boss Benitez was back at Stamford Bridge this afternoon but his Newcastle team went down to a 3-1 defeat.
Dwight Gayle gave the Toon the lead before Eden Hazard bagged two and Alvaro Morata got the other to complete a comeback win.
Benitez endured a tough time while in charge of Chelsea and his appointment split opinion among fans.
But he was full of compliments for his old club after the game, backing them for a top-three finish.
He said: “We knew it could be like that, it was a pity because we started well but after that we made some mistakes and, like the game against Manchester United, we paid for that.
“It’s very difficult because they have players who can beat players in one-on-one situations which means you need cover and that leaves people free.
“When you press high they can run in behind and they have the width.
“They have a very good team and they have to compete for the title, it’s obvious they are one of the teams who will be in the top three.”
Benitez’s opposite number Antonio Conte, meanwhile, was left praising Hazard.
He said: “He played a really good game. I think he enjoyed playing this type of football.
“Eden for us is an important player because with him we can change our system, he can play as a second striker or a number 10 when we play 3-4-3.
“Eden and Alvaro showed a great link today, I saw a lot of good combination play. I’m happy but in this league there is a team doing extraordinary things, Man City. At the same time it’s important to look at ourselves and go step by step.
“The most important thing for me is to score the penalty. You can decide what you want with the way you prefer to kick but the most important thing is to score and that happened so I’m happy.
“Next time he must pay great attention because goalkeepers study players who take penalties, but he can repeat it.”