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Despite their 2-1 win over Fulham at the Craven Cottage on Sunday, the Blues remain sixth on the log with 56 points - two points behind Man United who fourth on the log.

Sarri blamed Chelsea players for under-par performances from the Blues' lynchpin, Jorginho. "We were trying to involve Tottenham in the..."

Indeed, if Sarri had always planned to introduce penalty specialist Willy Caballero ahead of the shoot-out, this would surely have been discussed with both goalkeepers in the run-up to the game.

In an incident-packed first half, the much-maligned Jorginho restored Chelsea's lead with his first goal since the opening weekend of the season.

From beleaguered to bullish, Maurizio Sarri's Blues now scent Champions League qualification.

Speaking in an interview with bwin, Pires said: "It's a very odd situation with Chelsea and how they treat their managers".

Vital wins over Tottenham and Fulham have kept Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish and given Sarri a little breathing space
Vital wins over Tottenham and Fulham have kept Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish and given Sarri a little breathing space

El-Confidential learnt that Abramovich was angry with Kepa Arrizabalaga's attitude during the final in the Carabao Cup against Manchester City and the Russian billionaire wants the former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper sold. But Kepa is a man and understood, and reacted very well.

"It was a normal decision, I think", the Italian responded when asked about his choice to bring the 24-year-old back into the equation. "I felt big pressure in Serie C, and very little sometimes in the Champions League".

"I just tried to free him up".

Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has insisted Tottenham Hotspur can not be confident of securing a top three finish in the Premier League after their poor run of form in recent weeks.

'I think that in the first 30 minutes, we understood why Jorginho is very important for our play, ' he said after Chelsea booked their place in the Europa League last 16. "It would be very good news for the Premier League if Zidane moved to England". "He made a mistake, but now that is enough".

Responses to Chelsea's birthday wishes on Twitter soon flooded in with one joking that he 'is the only player that hasn't let me down this season'. We need from everybody, the squad is ready to fight for everything and we have been working really hard.


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