Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hailed his team as they beat Leicester City to take a huge step towards a top four finish, but he issued a clear rallying cry.
Finish the job.
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Tuchel has had a sensational run since he arrived at Chelsea but the last week has seen his first bit of adversity arrive after losing in the FA Cup final to Leicester on Saturday, a few days after suffering a shock defeat to Arsenal in the league.
Chelsea now have a four point lead over fifth-place Liverpool (who have two games left) with one game to go at Aston Villa, while they jumped one-point above Leicester and into third place in the table. Leicester host Tottenham on the final day of the season.
Tuchel loved celebrating with the 8,000 Chelsea fans allowed into the stadium at the final whistle, but his focus immediately switched to the Premier League finale against Aston Villa and the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City a week later.
“Fantastic. It was an outstanding performance but the job is not done. We have two more to go,” Tuchel said. “The fans made a huge difference. The pace, speed in our game, the hunger, the ambition. It was a very, very strong performance. I’m absolutely delighted the team can present itself like this in front of our fans. Huge difference. We needed exactly that today. It was a big win, but it is not done yet. There is no time for celebration.”
Tuchel then added: “I need to repeat it: it is not done.” He was also asked if he was scared of his players being overconfident. He said he wasn’t but that there are two games to go, and that was exactly what he has to say.
Chelsea in driving seat in top four?
You would think so.
Winning away at Aston Villa on the final day of the season will secure a top four spot, and that would be a great achievement considering where they were when Tuchel arrived in January.
But with fans back at Villa Park and Jack Grealish back to full fitness, Chelsea will find it a tricky task, especially as the Champions League final against Man City will be in the back of their mind.
Tuchel has to do his best to keep his young side calm and focused, and this rallying cry was exactly that.
Given the emotion involved of having fans back and the enormity of their win against Leicester, Tuchel will now do everything he can to focus on two huge games.
First up: Villa. Second: Man City.
If Chelsea win those two, Tuchel will have surpassed all expectations. They are so close to glory. He knows it.