REUTERS – Struggling Premier League champions Chelsea can still eke out a top four finish this season and qualify for the Champions League, according to winger Willian.
Interim manager Guus Hiddink last week said a top four finish was “mathematically possible” but Chelsea dropped more points on Saturday, drawing 2-2 with Watford to drop 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
“This situation is difficult for us,” Brazilian William told the British media. “But I think we can go and win game by game and finish the league in the top four.”
The four-time league winners are in 15th place, having lost nine of their 18 Premier League games this season, which cost the manager Jose Mourinho his job earlier this month.
“I think we deserved to win (against Watford). We played well second half. Of course we were in a difficult moment in that half when Watford scored a second goal but we kept going,” added Willian.
Chelsea face Manchester United in the league on Monday and are without striker Diego Costa, who is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card on Saturday.
They are also without Radamel Falcao, who is out due to injury, leaving Hiddink with only striker Loic Remy to lead their attack against United.
The Blues, who are winless in their last six games away from Stamford Bridge, might even miss Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who according to a media report, has not traveled with the Chelsea squad to Manchester.
(Reporting by Nayan Das in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)