English Premiership

'Every game is a final': Willian eyes Chelsea charge

2019-03-09 10:35
Willian (Getty Images)

London - Willian admits every game is a "final" for Chelsea as they aim to boost their bid for a top four finish against Wolves on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri's side have 10 Premier League matches left to overhaul fourth placed Manchester United, who are currently two points ahead of the sixth placed Blues.

Chelsea have a game in hand on United and fifth placed Arsenal and could also qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League.

They are on course for the Europa League quarter-finals after a superb free-kick from Willian inspired a 3-0 win in their last 16 first leg against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday.

But sterner tests lie in wait in Europe, while the top four race is so tight that any slip-up could be decisive.

As Brazil winger Willian acknowledges, Chelsea have no margin for error when Wolves arrive at Stamford Bridge.

"Now is the moment we have to win every game," Willian said.

"Every game is a final for us now and we have to go well in every game.

"We know our targets, we know what we want. We want to reach the top four, to stay there, and play Champions League next season."

Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League last season under Sarri's predecessor Antonio Conte following a fifth-placed finish which led to the Italian's sacking.

Sarri remains in danger of suffering the same fate after a troubled debut season including a humiliating 6-0 loss at Manchester City and an equally dismal 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth.

Qualification for the Champions League is essential for Sarri to avoid the sack and recent results have offered him some much-needed breathing space.

Wins over Tottenham and Fulham have kept Chelsea in touch with United, Tottenham and Arsenal in the top four battle.

But Sarri's team face United in a crunch clash on April 28 and can't afford to fall behind any further before their visit to Old Trafford.

Chelsea defender David Luiz concedes his side are fortunate to have two chances to return to the competition.

Luiz, who was stand-in captain against Kiev, hopes Chelsea can continue their recent resurgence, which has resulted in three wins in nine days since they lost the League Cup final against City.

"We are lucky. I am happy because we have two opportunities and so let's fight for both," Luiz said.

"We are trying to improve our game every single week, every single day, every single match and of course it is a positive moment for us."

Wolves memorably beat Chelsea 2-1 in December and have lost just four times in their 18 games in all competition since then.

They are now an impressive seventh, with Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo admitting that morale-boosting success was a turning point in his promoted side's season.

"The win over Chelsea was a very important moment because it ended a very bad moment, a bad run we had," Nuno said.

"It was a turning point in the competition but we know there are always ups and downs.

"We think about Chelsea and we know what we're going to face - fantastic players, a fantastic manager, ideal football.

"It's very difficult but we have to try and be focused on what we can do to prevent Chelsea playing."

Read more on:    chelsea  |  english premiership  |  willian  |  soccer

 

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Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth, King Power Stadium 17:00
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