Chelsea in 'battle' for Champions League place, says Frank Lampard

John Percy
The Telegraph
Frank Lampard - Chelsea in 'battle' for Champions League place, says Frank Lampard - GETTY IMAGES
Frank Lampard - Chelsea in 'battle' for Champions League place, says Frank Lampard - GETTY IMAGES

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Frank Lampard has admitted Chelsea are in “a battle” for a Champions League place and demanded consistency over their seven remaining games.

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While Lampard congratulated Liverpool on their deserved Premier League title win, Chelsea’s victory over Manchester City was significant in their own season and has strengthened their grip on fourth place.

Chelsea are now only one point behind Leicester - who they face in the FA Cup quarter-final this weekend - and in genuine contention to secure a spot in Europe’s elite competition next season.

Manchester United and Wolves both won their midweek Premier League games so Chelsea’s victory was sorely needed in their own quest to end the campaign on a high.

Christian Pulisic put Chelsea ahead with his eighth goal of the season before Kevin De Bruyne crashed in a spectacular free kick to equalise, but Willian's penalty - after Fernandinho handled and was subsequently sent off - earned Lampard three crucial points.

“It was a big performance for us, a big three points for us and we’re in a battle here,” said the Chelsea manager.

“It’s not going to be decided tonight, it’s a nice result to give us confidence but it’s the consistency now we produce until the end of the season that will define us this year, if we can get the finish we want to have.

“For the last three years Liverpool and Manchester City have been out on their own and that’s a gap we’ve got to try and bridge and move up towards. They are two of the best teams in the world and there for a reason.

“One result is a good feeling but the reason we’ve not amassed enough points is because of consistency. There’s a clear gap and it won’t happen overnight through one or two signings, there’s a lot of work to be done. 

“I’m not getting carried away and we can get better.”

Lampard insisted Chelsea’s win over City was not the title decider for Liverpool, who have ended a 30-year wait to lift the crown.

He said: “We congratulate Liverpool and I don’t think this game decided the title, that was decided a long time ago by their consistency and wins.

“They deserved to win it, they’ve got great players and a great manager. I know the hard work that goes into winning a title and the competition they’ve got.”

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