(Reuters) – Chelsea could still miss out on a top four spot if they continue to have mixed results over their final four games of the Premier League season, manager Thomas Tuchel said after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Everton.
Everton forward Richarlison’s 46th-minute winner meant that third-placed Chelsea have picked up only four points from their last four games. They lead Arsenal by three points and Tottenham Hotspur by five in the race for an automatic Champions League spot.
“I said this many weeks ago that I didn’t feel safe and we’re never safe … if we are in a race for top one, top two or top four, no matter what the race, the last four games to only have four points will never be enough,” Tuchel told reporters.
“We have to take care about ourselves. At the moment we don’t get the points when we play well, and deserve more and we lose when we play okay. This is a bad mixture.”
Richarlison’s goal came after an error by Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and Tuchel said his team were paying the price for big mistakes in their last few games.
“We knew what was coming and like in the last matches, we struggled to have clean sheets,” Tuchel said. “In the last four we had one, against West Ham United, it’s the only win we have and I’m very disappointed.
“What can I do? The ball is free, give a goal away, it’s the worst thing that can happen … It happens too often. We struggle to play without big mistakes and it is why we struggle to have results.”
Chelsea will host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru)