Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has conceded defeat in the race to finish in the Premier League top four, admitting that the FA Cup is the Blues’ last chance of ‘rescuing’ their season.
“If you’re asking me if Tottenham are going to drop eight points-plus, it is not going to happen,” Cahill admitted to the Evening Standard.
“A good team is not going to let that kind of lead slip. I will be very, very doubtful if that is the situation. The way that me and my teammates play, we don’t give up on anything, but we know that the season hasn’t gone to plan.”
As Antonio Conte’s side were eliminated from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona, it is now very unlikely that they will feature in Europe’s premier club competition next term. Following their 1-1 draw against West Ham on Sunday, the Blues are now ten points adrift of fourth-placed Spurs with just six league games remaining.
The 2016-17 Premier League champions’ only remaining chance of silverware this season is the FA Cup, with a semifinal clash with Southampton awaiting them on Saturday, April 22.
The Chelsea skipper added: “The league is where it is at the minute and we have the FA Cup to rescue the season. The season is about trying to win the FA Cup.”
Even at Christmas, few would have predicted that Chelsea would be in this position, and they started 2018 in second place after hammering Stoke City 5-0 on December 30.
However, since then, they have endured a frustrating run of form, which has seen them win just three out of their past 11 games. Tottenham, meanwhile, have been in excellent form recently and, as Cahill suggested, it is very hard to see Mauricio Pochettino’s troops slipping up at this stage.