Chelsea beat Leicester in a good place in the Champions League next season despite losing to Aston Villa on the final day of the Premier League season.
The Blues had started the day in third place, knowing that defeating rivals. In the middle of the table would ensure a place in the group stage of the famous European club championship.
Thomas Tuchel’s side got better chances. But Chelsea was left behind when Bertrand Traore‘s effort went under the cross behind Matt Targett‘s corner.
Chelsea got off to a bad start when Edouard Mendy was injured, making him doubtful of the Champions League final against Manchester City next Saturday.
Anwar El Ghazi‘s penalty hit substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the second half. And after the former Chelsea striker, Traore was fouled by Jorginho before Ben Chilwell brought the visitors back.
Chelsea ended the game with ten men after receiving a red card from captain Cesar Azpilicueta for fouling Jack Grealish.
Still, Tottenham’s Leicester home defeat meant Tuchel’s side finished the season in fourth place with 67 points. One more than fifth-placed Leicester.
Chelsea From ninth place to the Champions League
On the grand final day, Tuchel and his players faced many emotions before they were finally guaranteed a place in the Champions League.
It was a good achievement considering that the Blues were nine when Tuchel took over in January. And then his team could have finished the season with a defeat as European champions.
But they will have to play better. And show more self-discipline than they did against Villa if they win in Porto next weekend. After their first defeat in the Premier League under Germany.
Traore was unmarked when he shot Villa forward. And Jorginho’s poor foul on the Villa midfielder gave the visitors a second goal from there.
Azpilicueta may have a few complaints about his red card. But what worries Tuchel the most will be Mendy’s toughness.
The Senegalese goalkeeper has been stable since he arrived from Rennes in September. And he has shown little impact on the defenders in front of him.
Tuchel will hope his injury doesn’t affect his plans for next weekend.
Checking out Summer for Villa
Villa finished the season very well with an exciting win in front of their fans. And their total of 55 points is more than 20 than they did last season. When they had avoided relegation on the final day of the campaign.
In front of England manager Gareth Southgate, who named his European Championship team on Tuesday, Villa produced a dynamic character. But manager Dean Smith faces a big summer.
Grealish’s return from injury has added momentum to the side. But will the captain be in the squad for next season?
The midfielder, who finished the league season with six goals and ten assists, draws attention to the fact. That it would only get worse if he were selected for England in the delayed Euro 2020.
Midfielder Ross Barkley looks set to return to Chelsea now that his loan spell has expired. But Villa’s future looks bright.
Ollie Watkins finished her first season leading by 14 goals. And goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has shown a trade-off. With Argentina keeping 15 Premier League clean sheets since reaching £ 17m last September.
‘Massive Positive’ – they say
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: “I think the fans have helped us cross the line against an excellent Chelsea team. The first 20 minutes I had to count was no more than 11 of them as they seemed overloaded on the pitch.
“It has been a season of progress. And finishing six places and 20 points more than we did last season is a sure sign.
“There are also some of the perfect things that we can also take this season. But we know we have to get better.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said: “I already knew about three or four minutes just before the end of our game. That Chelsea had been in the top four because the competition in Leicester was already over. And it was clear we were over.
“We didn’t prepare for the event today. We prepared for the game. It’s usually very difficult to create chances against Aston Villa, but we’ve created a lot.”