Belfast Telegraph

Kalou still targeting third

Salomon Kalou believes Chelsea could still finish third in the Barclays Premier League, despite them sinking to sixth after a damaging 1-1 draw at Fulham.

The Blues blew a chance to haul themselves back into the top four for the first time since February on Monday, throwing away victory in a wet and windy west London derby at Craven Cottage.

But striker Kalou told Chelsea TV: "We have to forget about the game and continue to work hard because it's still possible to get the third place."

Arsenal will go seven points clear of Chelsea if they win at Wolves on Tuesday, but regardless of that outcome the Blues must surely win the sides' showdown at the Emirates Stadium a week on Saturday if they are to stand any chance of finishing best of the rest behind the Manchester clubs.

But the Blues are still underdogs to finish fourth, never mind third, especially with Newcastle having leapfrogged them on Tuesday courtesy of their fifth straight victory.

The rearranged May meeting with Alan Pardew's men - originally scheduled for this Saturday before Chelsea reached the FA Cup semi-finals - is beginning to look just as significant as the Arsenal game.

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo welcomed the head-to-head contests, saying: "It's good that we still have to play these teams. It's still in our hands."

Chelsea looked a tired team at Fulham, having played twice a week since Di Matteo took charge more than a month ago.

The Italian will be keeping his fingers crossed his decision to give his players Tuesday and Wednesday off will allow them to recharge for another punishing run of games, starting with Sunday's Wembley semi with Spurs.

He said: "It'll be again until the end of the season very demanding physically and mentally. So, I think two days' break is good."


From Belfast Telegraph