Chelsea went to Old Trafford last weekend to face Manchester United and came back with a share of the spoils — could’ve been more! — keeping the Blues in middle of the top four fight and all but eliminating the Red Devils from the same.
It was a game fraught with drama, pressure, and generally low quality football from both sides, but six-point showdowns with everything on the line often result in games that depend more on will and determination rather than skill or tactics. Such occasions also amplify mistakes, as Kepa’s national team teammate David De Gea found out (again). Kepa himself remained solid as usual, making a handful of saves, missing with a few medium-range passes, but not costing his team when it came to goals.
“We knew both teams would be feeling the pressure of a very important match because Manchester United are very strong at home and also have hopes of Champions League qualification. We were aware they could go level with us in the league if they won.”
“It’s true that they started better. Manchester United is a difficult place to play at — their fans gave them such a massive boost —so we were glad to have equalised and not gone in a goal down at the break.”
“I think it was probably a more positive outcome for us than it was for them. We are quite pleased with the result as it means qualifying for the Champions League is still a realistic objective for us.”
The recipe for Chelsea to lock in Champions League football for next season is quite simple: win the last two league games, against Watford at home and Leicester City, away. The backdoor through the Europa League remain viable as well, but if we can’t beat mid-table sides in the Premier League in proverbial finals, what hope could we have in actual elimination matches against actual quality?
“We must win our last two games. The last few weeks have shown us, more than anything, that no game is easy, whoever you are. Teams above and below us are having trouble winning matches.”
“We have to be prepared, stay attentive, maintain our focus, train hard. We can’t let this precious opportunity that we have escape us.”
-Kepa Arrizabalaga; source: Chelsea FC
Kepa’s never played in the Champions League. Let’s get him in there!