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Chelsea fail to take advantage of rival slip-ups as top-four race remains wide open

Chelsea drew goalless with Brighton and Hove Albion
Chelsea drew goalless with Brighton and Hove Albion
ANALYST
Modified 21 Apr 2021
Feature

It has been a very weird week for football and fans across the globe. The proposal to form a European Super League has dominated the headlines since Sunday evening.

On Tuesday, right before Chelsea’s Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion, news filtered in that some clubs were making a U-turn to pull out of the breakaway league.

That, though, didn’t stop some Chelsea fans from besieging the city to express their displeasure at the club welcoming such an idea in the first place.

In their numbers, they carried various placards with anti-European Super League messages. On the pitch, the Brighton players also made their point clear when they came out for the warm-up in t-shirts that said: "Earn it; football is for the fans."

Chelsea drop points against Brighton

All this may have contributed to the kind of performance that Chelsea put up against the Seagulls on Tuesday night.

The Blues had the chance to move up to third but failed to take their chances. They were apathetic, looked fatigued and clearly not up to the challenge.

For larger parts, Brighton were the better side and created better chances. Danny Welbeck. Adam Lallana and Neal Maupay all had chances to punish the Blues but were let down by their poor finishing.

"It was not our best game - the opponents defended well and we weren't in the same rhythm,” Blues boss Thomas Tuchel admitted after the game, as quoted by Goal.
“Maybe we were tired and a bit distracted, maybe a combination and it wasn't our best performance."

Having beaten Manchester City to reach the final of the FA Cup last week, Chelsea were expected to beat Brighton easily but it turned out to be yet another game where they disappointedly dropped points.

A week of slip-ups for top-four contenders

By drawing with Brighton, Chelsea missed a big opportunity to take control of the top four race. With six more matches to be played, there are still five teams fighting for a Champions League spot.

Manchester City and Manchester United seem to have guaranteed the top two places, but third and fourth-place are still up for grabs.

This means Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham United and Tottenham are all fighting for the remaining two spots.

Interestingly, though, almost all the top-four contenders dropped points this week. Liverpool drew with Leeds United and Tottenham were held to a 2-2 draw by Everton, while West Ham were beaten by Newcastle United.

These results leave the top four race wide open as the Premier League enters its final six matches. There’s still all to play for.

Published 21 Apr 2021
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