The defeat confirmed Chelsea’s absence from the Champions League next campaign, with last season’s Premier League champions having to settle for Europa League football next year.
And Cahill believes the upcoming final provided his side with enough distraction to lose focus in their defeat to Newcastle, with the England international condemning his teammates for capitulating on Tyneside.
“Newcastle started very well and we were sloppy.
“It looked to me like everyone had one eye on the cup final which is very dangerous and we were lucky the game was kind of irrelevant. Had the Champions League truly been on the line it would have been very difficult to take. We came here to give a performance and take three points.
“Prior to the Huddersfield game we were in good form but that’s not an excuse.”