Nothing has changed for Chelsea despite being ruled out of the title race. Top four is the priority.

Antonio Conte has written off our title challenge this season with Manchester City FOURTEEN points clear of us. Nothing has changed from ...

Antonio Conte has written off our title challenge this season with Manchester City FOURTEEN points clear of us. Nothing has changed from our targets set out before the season started. 

If you were honest as a Chelsea fan talking ahead of the season starting, knowing that you are back in the Champions League, you would have taken a top four finish and to do well in Europe's biggest club competition. You would still expect us to make some sort of challenge for the Premier League with the addition of a good Cup run (and that can still happen by the way). That's me being honest and I am sure it echo's the thoughts of plenty of other Chelsea fans around the world after a season without European involvement for the first time in god knows how long.

However, in the back of our minds we still looked to be more than good enough to beat 95% of the sides we would face week in, week out in the Premier League on paper, with the main challenges coming from our top four rivals. That fact that we have lost to THREE of the sides I would categorise in the 95% has ruined our challenge and we now need to focus on maintaining our place inside the top four, top three if possible, for the remainder of the season.

Speaking of this seasons targets now, Antonio Conte said:

“Our priority is to play the league. I repeat, we have our target to try to play for one of the four places in next season’s Champions League.

There’s a problem in this league. There are six top teams and there are only four places for the Champions League and two places for the Europa League.

You have targets, also if Manchester City has many points over you, you have an important target to try to get into the top four and play in the Champions League. Don’t forget, two years ago Chelsea missed this target, last season we didn’t play European games.

Don’t forget that last season Arsenal and Manchester United were out of the Champions League, then Manchester United won the Europa League, but otherwise Manchester United and Arsenal would miss out. This target is very important for me, for the players and for all. I repeat, it is not simple to reach the first four positions." - Source: The Telegraph.

It's important despite the tone of this and my other two posts published at the same time this afternoon (check them out), that we had been on the back of good run in the Premier League recently. Starting tomorrow night, you would have said on paper that our fixtures to Arsenal on 3rd January are more than favourable for Chelsea to pick up a number of points - the maximum if possible to cement our place in third or even second place.

You always regret defeats in the game, especially to the sides you know that you could have beaten if you had turned up and played the way you know you can. To ensure that we finish inside the top four this season which now has to be the main priority, we have to ensure that we play to our best or at least somewhere near that between now and the end of the season.

The Champions League is our next priority (put to bed until February which is good as we do not need that distraction at the moment) followed by the FA Cup then the League Cup.

Although it's disappointing to be out of the title race already and its not even Christmas, we knew it was going to be tough with addition of the Champions League this year. As I said before the season had started we would have taken the top four finish so nothing has really changed.

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