Tags Posts tagged with "top four"

top four

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Conte celebrates at the end of the FA Cup semifinal against Spurs © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea have almost lost all their chances to qualify for the next Champions League with Wednesday’s draw vs Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues, however, can still win the Fa Cup, but in any case, Antonio Conte believes this is a good season for him and his team:

I’m very happy. I’m very happy for last season. I’m very happy for this season. You learn in this job. If you are clever you continue to learn and improve yourself, to try and be better in the future.” Conte said during his pre-game press conference. It’s a great experience, we had two hard seasons, this season and last, but a fantastic season for me. It’s OK. I think this league is great, is the toughest league in the world. To compete in this league, with so many teams and so many clubs very strong, it’s always a great chance you have”.

As the Premier League is the toughest league in the world, Conte has always been aware of the chance of finishing out of the top-four:

You must know that there is this possibility because you play in a strong league. For this reason, you have to know this and prepare in the right way”. Conte explained. “There are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League. It can happen. In the past, it happened the same. Don’t forget two years ago, Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the FA Cup final, not in the semifinals of the Carabao Cup, and they were eliminated in the last 16 against PSG in the Champions League. It can happen.”

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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas spoke about the race to finish in the Premier League‘s top four and gain a place in the next Champions League:

What has changed is that we’ve won the last four games we played, they’ve been dropping points and it’s got to a point where now we are close to them”. Fabregas said. “The bad thing about all of this is that it’s not up to us. What’s up to us is winning the last two games, putting pressure on Liverpool and Spurs and seeing what happens”.

Pochettino‘s side and the Reds, as Fabregas said have dropped points recently and the Blues midfielder hopes this will happen again tonight and on Sunday: “We’ll be watching closely to see what they can do and if they drop points that’s fantastic because the target is winning titles, of course, but for clubs like Chelsea it’s also being in the top four and doing well in the Premier League”. Fabregas went on. “To always be in the Champions League is very important”.

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French striker Olivier Giroud scored yesterday the winning goal vs Liverpool and kept alive Blues’ hopes to get a place in the top-four of the Premier League table.

Giroud himself described the action which led to the goal: “I know Vic [Victor Moses] and when he doesn’t cross the ball as his first intention, he goes on his left foot and still tries to cross it and tries to pass the first defender, and he has done it very well.  Giroud said. There was a small deflection and I have to be in front at the first post, and it was a great cross and I have just finished it.”

 

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard is confident the Blues can have a great end of the season and reach their goals, especially if the team play as they did yesterday vs Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

It is not in our hands”. Hazard said. “It does not only depend on us but we will play, we will hopefully win, and then we will see the results of Tottenham and Liverpool and we will give everything”.

Hazard also claimed not only the result, but also the performance, gave Chelsea players a good feeling: “Beating Liverpool was a massive result. Now the target is just to win and be in the top four at the end of the season, and if we play like this the last three games, we can have something special at the end of the season. Let’s hope for something big. We all work together and when we play this kind of game, it is a good feeling after the game.”

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Olivier Giroud keeps Chelsea alive for gaining access to the next Champions League tournament.

Thanks to a goal scored by the former Gunner Antonio Conte‘s side obtain a crucial win against Liverpool that allow them to sit 5th in the table with 69 points, only 2 behind Spurs ( 4th with 71) with three games to go ( the Blues has got one game in hand, against Huddersfield Town, and they will play it midweek).

Liverpool began better but Sadio Manè couldn’t capitalize a couple of dangerous chances in the first 30′.

Chelsea took the lead at 33′ with a super goal by Giroud and then were able to control the match, even creating chances to double the score.

Liverpool tried everything in the last minutes to level the score, but Conte’s guys remained focused and were super in defending their goal: ex Stamford Bridge wonderkid Dominique Solanke missed a great chance to equalise in the injury time, anyway, when a header of his went slightly high on the crossbar.

Three points that let Chelsea hoping to conquer a spot in the top 4, and should the Blues win against Huddersfield next Wednesday the chances will even increase.

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Chelsea latest results and performances have restored confidence in the Blues players as shown by Thibaut Courtois words to the Chelsea official website.

We have been playing well lately,” Courtois said “Liverpool have been having a great season, they obviously have the Champion League in their mind, but they also know that if they get a good result here against us, they are guaranteed of the Champions League next season as well. For us, we have to win on Sunday, win against Huddersfield and win at Newcastle and then hope that maybe in the last game, Brighton [in their match against Liverpool] can do something for us, but we will see. We can win all of our games and finish on the same points as Liverpool, but we have to score so many more goals than them so it will be hard”.

The Belgian goalkeeper then said he expects a very close game tomorrow at Stamford Bridge:

Lately you can see Liverpool have had very good games, offensively they are very strong, but you see as well that they can concede goals,’ he explained. ‘I think the game we played against them away, they were in a good moment of form then. We played a very good game and we deserved the draw”. Courtois went on. “It was an equal game and it will be an equal game on Sunday I think. When you win a game to put yourself in the Champions League final, you have a confidence and they will be ready to win, so we have to be on point, and hopefully we will get the right result”.

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Liverpool manager, Jurgen Kloop believes tomorrow’s Premier League game vs Chelsea will be very similar to the game the Reds played vs As Roma this week.

Chelsea is a similar situation to the [Roma] game – fighting with all they have, they don’t have anything to lose,” Klopp told Liverpool official website. If we draw it’s not good for them; if we win it’s not good for them. They have to win and they will try to do so. It’s like a Champions League semi-final, to be honest”.

The German manager, so, said his team will do all they can to win tomorrow at Stamford Bridge and guarantee a place in the Premier League top-four.

“We will see what we can do there. The good thing is that we have another game but we don’t think about that at the moment. We need to be ready for the game.” Klopp went on. “We had a few really nice moments already this season but you never have time to celebrate it for a second! There is always the next one. Now we have to play that game – Chelsea are waiting.”

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Chelsea are fighting to get a spot in the Premier League‘s top four and qualify for the next Champions League.

This can be crucial under various aspects, included the next summer transfer window.

Speaking to Radio CRC, Bruno Satin, Koulibaly‘s agent, confirmed Champions League will be crucial for his client if the London club want t convince him to leave SS Napoli.

I don’t know anything, neither do I know if Chelsea will qualify for the Champions League or not,” Bruno Satin said. “It’s important to understand how the season will end because important players want to play the Champions League.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte reached yesterday his 50th Premier League win with the Blues and, more importantly kept alive the London club’s hopes to qualify for the next Champions League.

“We got three points and it was very important for us if we wanted to keep hopes alive and achieve Champions League football,” Conte said.  “The situation is not in our hands, but the only way to put a bit of pressure on Tottenham is to get three points in every game. It won’t be easy, we know they (Tottenham) will play against Watford. But you know very well football is not simple. It is not simple to win a game in this league but for sure our situation is not in our hands.”

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill, believes it is very difficult for the Blues to qualify for the next Champions League, as Tottenham and Liverpool are very good teams and it’s unlikely they will drop a lot of points in their last Premier League‘s games.

I mean, I am not being negative by any stretch, but the games are running out and the teams in there are very good, so if they do let it up it’ll be very, very surprising,” Cahill said after the Fa Cup semifinal vs Southampton“(There is) that gap and the point difference, but the obvious thing is all we can do is win our games. We got a decent result at Burnley and we just need to keep winning.”

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