Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has advised his team-mates to focus more on securing a top-four finish this season than on winning the Europa League. The Blues face a tough test to finish in the top four this season amidst competition from the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Should they finish outside the top four, it would be the second consecutive time that this has happened. They finished fifth in the League last season and this was what ultimately resulted in Antonio Conte being sacked.
Should the Blues finish outside the top four in the Premier League, they can still potentially qualify for next seasons Champions League if they win the Europa League. They will be favourites to reach the final of Europe’s second-tier club competition as they face off against Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt in their semi-final tie.
Should the worst case scenario occur and the Blues fail to win the Europa League as well as finish outside the top four, they could be left without Champions League football for a second consecutive season. If this happens, it will be hard to see Maurizio Sarri keeping his job as manager of the club. It would also be a psychological blow to the West London giants as it would more or less prove that there is a gulf in class between themselves and Premier League counterparts Liverpool and Manchester City.
Kante told The Mirror: “The final is a target for the club and us, and it’s what we will try to do.
“We are three games away from the title but we need first to go for fourth and then do our best.
“Slavia was an important game for us, it was important to win and qualify and we did the job.
“We are happy with the win.
“The second half was a bit difficult. They scored two beautiful goals but, in the end, we went through and that’s the most important thing.
“It was a good feeling to be three goals up so early but we knew they were a good team with good fighting spirit because it’s what we felt away in the first game.
“They did very well in the second half and it was difficult but to score three goals in the first half was very good.”