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Azpilicueta says Chelsea must aim to finish top four

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea looks downcast after the Premier League match between Everton FC and Chelsea FC at Goodison Park on March 17, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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The Chelsea captain says his team cannot afford to believe they can win the UEFA Europa League in order to qualify for the Champions League next season.

After losing 2-0 against Everton, Chelsea dropped to the sixth position of the English Premier League table, far away from the top four spots.

The Blues have 57 points, thanks to 17 wins, six draws, and seven losses.

They are three points away from the top four, but in the Premier League, this is an immense distance.

This is why Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta insists his team has to aim to finish top four to enter next year’s UEFA Champions League, instead of waiting to win the UEFA Europa League.

“We missed a chance to get points and every time you don’t get the three points you put yourself in a more difficult position,” Azpilicueta told The Independent.

“There is still a lot of games to play and we are going to fight because we cannot miss Champions League qualification.”

“I don’t see just the Europa League as the only way of being in the Champions League, because Chelsea’s place is not to be sixth in the Premier League so I cannot accept this,” he added.

“There is a way of going into the Champions League, it is a trophy, and we will play until the end but we are not in a position in the league where you can say we are not going to reach the Champions League spots.”

“If we had won the (last) two games we would be third going into the international break and we could have said we were already in the Champions League,” he continued.

“Obviously with five more points, we could have been much better.”

“The reality is that the numbers are there. From 30 games only one we came back in the Premier League,” coach Maurizio Sarri added.

“It is frustrating. It is not the first game where we played very well in the first half and we didn’t kill the game and then in the second half are in trouble from the first minute. That was the case against Everton.”