- Thomas Tuchel completes the mission as he takes Chelsea top 4 from 10th position in EPL
- Chelsea qualifies for UEFA Champions League despite losing to Aston Villa 1-2
On Sunday, the Blues had a nervy night of the season, however, their Head Coach Thomas Tuchel completed the mission where he took the club from the tenth position to top four in the league.
On the last day of the English Premier League (EPL) season, Chelsea qualified for the UEFA Champions League as Leicester City lost their match against Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 in their final match.
With an own goal from Kasper Schmeichel and two late strikes from Gareth Bale at the King Power stadium allowed Chelsea to squeeze into the lucrative competition despite their 2-1 away loss at Aston Villa in the 38th matchday.
As a result of the match, Chelsea will not not be relying on their upcoming match against Manchester City to secure a spot in the Champions League given their English Premier League performance was more than enough to finish Top 4.
Chelsea went down 2-0 at Villa Park after both Bertrand Traore in the 43rd minute and Anwar El Ghazi scored in the 52nd minute, with Ben Chilwell’s 70th-minute strike not being enough to avoid a defeat.
Thomas Tuchel-led Chelsea spent much of the 90 minutes outside the top four in the live table and pushed to secure at least a draw by bringing both Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech on from the bench in quick succession.
Pretty much the final nail in the coffin for Chelsea in the match was when Cesar Azpilicueta got a late red card in the 89th minute for slapping Jack Grealish in the face, which signified the emotions on show in the Midlands.
However, even after a lot of missed chances from the host, they could not find an equaliser and needed help from their London rivals to get over the line in the league.
Even though in a nervy fashion, the season for Chelsea completes an impressive climb up the table since January as Thomas Tuchel’s side went from being tenth on the points table to fourth place, achieving their primary mid-season aim.
“Tuchel had been charged with securing the club revenues through a Champions League finish when there were doubts about qualification for any European competition next season,” wrote Goal.com
As a matter of fact, the west London club could earn as much as £ 112 million ($ 160m) in revenue from accumulated revenues if they beat Manchester City in their upcoming Champions League final on the 30th of May at 12:30 AM IST.
As they were gifted the top-four finish this season, they now have yet another shot at earning those revenues next season, with a certain windfall guaranteed for reaching the group stage of the competition.
As Liverpool won their match 2-0 against Crystal Palace on the final day, at home, Jurgen Klopp’s side leapfrogged Chelsea into third. Yet, Chelsea secured fourth with Leicester to play in the Europa League again next season.
West ham secured the 2nd Europa League spot from the English Premier League, whereas Spurs’ win got them a spot in the inaugural UEFA Conference League even after Arsenal were able to beat Brighton 2-0.
Tuchel said, “We are lucky that Tottenham did the job for us and finished the job for us today. Like I said, we came to win and to put any doubts to the side but it was not possible”.
He added, “We are in the position, we are in it, that it was possible to end in the top four even with a defeat and that was possible because of the team’s hard work and consistently good results.
“We need to adjust details and we need to be spot on, on Saturday as we want a positive outcome. I knew it maybe three or four minutes before our game was over because the game at Leicester was over a bit earlier, so we knew about the result and that it was clear we were through.
“It was our main target but clearly, we did not play or prepare for the occasion today. We prepared for the match and the target was to win the match and I think that, again, we are absolutely able to win this match.
“It is normally so, so hard to create chances and to score against Aston Villa but we created a lot, many deliveries. They are still a young team and we try to evolve and to make them better, learn from every game but it has been our story throughout the season.
“We needed many clean sheets to overcome this lack of composure and precision, today we conceded two goals from set pieces and it was hard to come back but we had enough chances to turn it around.”