Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has warned his team that they face a very hard fight to even finish in the top four, let alone win the Premier League.
The Blues’ succumbed to their fourth loss of their season, after a sixth-minute Marko Arnautovic goal, which gave David Moyes his first victory as the West Ham United manager. The loss puts Chelsea fourteen points behind leaders and the still unbeaten Manchester City, which makes it nearly impossible for Antonio Conte’s men to catch bar a miracle.
Even the Italian boss has said that it would make it impossible for Chelsea to catch up, but despite that, the Blues have to make sure that they manage to qualify for the Champions League for next season. However, given the fact that the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester United are all vying for a place in the top four, it will be very hard for Chelsea. unless they improve drastically.
In an interview, Antonio Conte went on to say “There’s a problem in this league. There are six top teams and there are only four places for the Champions League and two places for the Europa League. You have targets, also if Manchester City has many points over you, you have an important target to try to get into the top four and play in the Champions League.
Don’t forget, two years ago Chelsea missed this target, last season we didn’t play European games.”
With the Blues having qualified through their Champions League group stage with considerable ease, winning three games and losing one, it’s the Matchday six draw to Atletico Madrid, that will affect them the most. With Roma winning their last match of the group stage, it saw them surge past Chelsea on goal-difference and thus handing the Serie A club a comparatively easier draw.
But despite that, Antonio Conte further added “Our priority is to play the league. I repeat, we have our target to try to play for one of the four places in next season’s Champions League.
Don’t forget that last season Arsenal and Manchester United were out of the Champions League, then Manchester United won the Europa League, but otherwise Manchester United and Arsenal would miss out. This target is very important for me, for the players and for all. I repeat, it is not simple to reach the first four positions.”
Finishing in the top four is a very important job for any club in the Premier League, but for the Top six clubs it is a must achieve a target, not just the revenue that the Champions League provides but also the prestige of facing the top teams in the world. For Chelsea however, finishing in the top four is absolutely necessary otherwise, things may go south for Antonio Conte very, very fast.