“The gap is big, but we are competing with maybe the two most successful teams that ever played in this league, so the stakes are high,” Thomas Tuchel said when asked about the gap between Chelsea and Liverpool and Man City.
“Given the last two defeats at home, the gap is bigger than it should be and before that, it was bigger than it should be. But that was due to circumstances, not due to our effort or quality or whatever.
“The effort is there, the ambition is there and it’s no problem to be ambitious but maybe not reach it. It would not suit us if we played it down and told everyone before the season that we would open a box of champagne if we were fourth.
“We tried, we tried hard at some points, to get over the gap, but we have seen now dramatically in the last two games against Brentford and Arsenal why the gap is that big to City and Liverpool.
“They don’t have these matches in their season. We are ninth in the home table, we conceded late goals against Burnley and Everton, and these were absolutely games where we dominated and had big chances but struggled to convert our chances and from that the gap was growing.
“But we don’t feel ashamed and we should not feel ashamed and we should not feel disappointed because in general it is very tough to end up in the top four and from there we try to compete.”
Chelsea have indeed struggled with finishing their chances at times this season. It was particularly evident against Real Madrid earlier this month as the Blues were the better side but were knocked out of the Champions League.
Chelsea are third in the Premier League table, 15 points behind City and 14 points behind Liverpool