Football

Chelsea did not pin hopes on Manchester City’s ban: Frank Lampard

Chelsea were not eager to learn whether Manchester City's ban from European football would be overturned or not and their target was always a top-four finish, manager Frank Lampard said yesterday.

Second-placed City were handed a two-year suspension from European football for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations in February, which would have allowed a team finishing fifth in the English Premier League to qualify for the Champions League.

CHELSEA NORWICH

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the decision yesterday, allowing City to compete in next season's elite competition and increasing pressure on teams battling for top-four spots with three rounds of fixtures left.

"I was never pinning my hopes on whether an extra team got in (to the Champions League)," Lampard said in a virtual press conference.

"We are sitting third, it's in our hands. This morning has just made it clear now and we have to fight for it.

"I don't see beyond our games. We have games and we want to win them to see if we get into the Champions League. We don't worry about other teams."

Chelsea are third with 60 points ahead of tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) game against relegated Norwich City, but Manchester United could leapfrog The Blues if they beat Southampton this morning.

"We are at a critical stage of the season, Norwich tomorrow then Liverpool and Wolves," Lampard added.

"We know our capabilities because of what we have done this season. We have to finish the job. Having good home form gives us confidence."

Lampard confirmed N'Golo Kante was still not fit but the midfielder could return for the weekend's FA Cup semi-final against United, while Andreas Christensen, who came off at half-time in the 3-0 loss at Sheffield United, is fit and available. - REUTERS

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