Sports

Europe qualification in our own hands: Lampard

LONDON • With a fifth-placed finish no longer sufficient to land a Champions League berth next season, following Manchester City's successful appeal against their two-year European ban, Frank Lampard knows what his Chelsea side have to do.

Third-placed Blues still remain in the driving seat – they have a one-point lead over Leicester (59) and two over Manchester United – with three more rounds of the Premier League left. And he wants his side to win them all.

Today's home match against relegated Norwich should be a given, but their following fixtures will decide whether they suffer just their third failure to qualify for the Champions League in 17 seasons.

With United travelling to Leicester on the final day, positive results at Liverpool, who have eased off slightly since landing their first English title in 30 years, and the home game against Wolves, will ensure Chelsea a top-four spot.

At his virtual pre-match press conference yesterday, manager Lampard said: "It (qualification) is in our hands. This morning has just made it clear now and we have to fight for it.

"I was pretty neutral on it (the verdict for City) really. I didn't know much about the case, I just looked at the result this morning.

"I don't see beyond the games in hand, we want to win them. I was never pinning my hopes on it, we just looked at ourselves.

"My only concern are the games ahead. We are at a critical stage of the season. We know what is in front of us. We have to try to finish the job."

The Blues are smarting after a 3-0 reverse at Sheffield United last Saturday, but Lampard claimed his side had moved on.

However, he warned his players to treat Norwich with the "utmost reRead More – Source