Eden Hazard expects top-four battle to go down to wire
Chelsea are sixth after their draw with Wolves on Sunday, but have a game in hand on their rivals.
Eden Hazard anticipates the four-way fight for two Champions League qualifying places to continue until the final day of the Premier League season.
Hazard rescued a point for Chelsea in a 1-1 draw with Wolves on Sunday, when Arsenal beat fellow top-four hopefuls Manchester United 2-0.
With Manchester City and Liverpool in a two-way title duel, there are four teams battling for the two remaining top-four spots.
Tottenham, who lost at Southampton on Saturday, have 61 points and Arsenal 60. United are on 58 and Chelsea 57, but with a game in hand.
Hazard told Chelsea TV: “It’s a good battle. Man City and Liverpool are far away, then there are four teams who want to be in the top four.
“It’s going to be a good race to the end. We have nine games to play now. We have to give everything.”
Chelsea next play Everton on Sunday, after Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg at Dynamo Kiev. They hold a 3-0 first-leg advantage.
The Blues lost at Wolves in December and Hazard had mixed feelings following his late intervention which salvaged a draw.
He added: “We lost away three months ago. The game was exactly the same. We created a couple of chances, but not enough.
“The good point is we gave everything until the end and we scored a goal. A bit of happiness, even if we are a bit sad.
“I like to score and then we win the game. I scored, we drew. It’s a bit disappointing.
“We need to keep going. We have a tough game on Thursday and then on Sunday.
“Let’s move forward, back in training, work together and try to win games.”
Wolves remained seventh and defender Romain Saiss rued the dropped points.
“It was very, very hard to concede this goal at the end,” Saiss told Wolves TV.
“Our plan was good. We tried to frustrate them and tried to do something when they made a mistake.
“We did it well, but unfortunately we didn’t keep the result till the end. We deserved more. We gave everything on the pitch.”
"We can be proud because we did a lot of effort today. We have to keep moving forward and continue in this way."— Wolves (@Wolves) March 10, 2019
Romain Saiss reflects on a hard-fought point at @ChelseaFC. #CHEWOL
Wolves next face Manchester United – conquerors of Chelsea, last season’s winners – in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Saiss added: “We have to switch on for this game now. It’s an important game for us to get to the semi-final at Wembley.
“We play at home. We have to be ready for this game. We’ll try to do something great next Saturday.”