Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Picture: MICHAEL STEELE/REUTERS
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Picture: MICHAEL STEELE/REUTERS

Bengaluru — Chelsea’s hopes of a top-four finish and Champions League qualification are still in their hands despite Liverpool’s dramatic late winner from goalkeeper Alisson Becker against West Bromwich Albion, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Monday.

Alisson scored a stunning header in the fifth minute of stoppage-time as fifth-placed Liverpool snatched a 2-1 win at relegated West Brom on Sunday to move within one point of Chelsea, who are fourth, with two games left.

“It was a fantastic header in the last minute that makes things interesting and tight. It’s still in our hands,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s crunch match against Leicester City, who beat them 1-0 in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

“The setback for us was the Arsenal game [a 1-0 loss at home]. We let the door open so Liverpool have a foot in the door. They’re a strong team and it’s what they do.

“We should be aware of the huge performance we’ve made so far but we need to finish the job. We need to rely on ourselves because we are in the situation where we don’t have to look at other grounds.”

A win for Chelsea would move them up to third, a point above Leicester who have 66 points. The FA Cup final defeat handed Tuchel consecutive losses for the first time as Chelsea manager and the German said he was “fighting hard” to recover momentum and get clean sheets again.

“The margins are so tight in football for wins and losses. It’s easy to handle your self-confidence when you win but nobody needs to be afraid of the situation,” Tuchel said.

“If we bring out the same performance as in the final, the same work rate and energy, improve with details in the match, we are able to win games. We are aware we need momentum and luck in any match for results.” 

Leicester defender Jonny Evans will miss the trip to Chelsea due to foot injury, manager Brendan Rodgers has said. Evans was forced off in the first half of Leicester’s FA Cup final victory on Saturday, and Rodgers is hoping to have the experienced centre-half back for the final day of the Premier League season against Tottenham on Sunday. 

Reuters

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