Chelsea go into a vitally important two weeks standing on the verge of having either a very good season, or a pretty disastrous one. Having already reached the semi-final stage of both domestic cup competitions, the Blues went one step further this week by reaching the final of the Europa League.
A victory against Benfica in Amsterdam on May 15th will give Chelsea a second successive European trophy in two seasons, but that must be seen as a bonus, according to the man probably most responsible for Chelsea’s recent success, Juan Mata. The Spaniard has been nothing short of brilliant again this season and has helped the new Chelsea players like Oscar and Hazard to settle quickly.
If Chelsea fail to finish in the top four of the Premier League again this season, there is no backdoor through the Europa League and we will not be in the Champions League next season. For the quality of the players at Stamford Bridge, this would be a travesty and would turn a good season into a bad one.
Starting with Manchester United today, followed by Tottenham on Wednesday, Chelsea face two massive and difficult games which could define this season and Mata wants his team mates to give absolutely everything and forget about the cup final for now.
“We have to get in the top four. We have to win these two games,” declared the Spaniard.
“We want Champions League football next season. After that we can try and win another trophy.
“There are two tough games ahead. Playing Tottenham is going to be like a final because both teams will be fighting for the same thing.”
Hopefully, the United players will have taken their foot off the gas because the title is done, but Ferguson will want to get one over on Benitez, so will be urging full effort from them. If Chelsea really give everything, though, and play as we can, I think we will win today. Then it is just the small matter of stopping Gareth Bale, because when he doesn’t score, Spurs don’t win.