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‘This is not Chelsea standard’ - Loftus-Cheek concerned Blues could get drawn into top four battle

9:32 PM SGT 2/5/22
Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea 2021-22
Thomas Tuchel’s side have allowed those below them in the Premier League table to start closing in

Ruben Loftus-Cheek admits individual errors which have marred recent Premier League performances are “not Chelsea standard”, with the Blues suddenly left looking over their shoulder in a battle for a top-four finish.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have occupied a Champions League qualification spot for long periods of the 2021-22 campaign, with the west London outfit proving to be the best of the rest behind title-chasing Liverpool and Manchester City.

They have however taken only one win from their last four games – with their latest game delivering a 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Everton – and are now just three points clear of Arsenal and five ahead of Tottenham with four fixtures left.

Will Chelsea secure a top-four finish in 2021-22?

The Blues’ fate remains in their own hands, but mistakes have crept into their game with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta paying the price against Everton for dwelling on the ball too long as he presented Richarlison with the opportunity to grab the match winner.

Loftus-Cheek told Chelsea’s official website: “We’re all very disappointed. Coming into the game we knew it was going to be a hostile atmosphere and it’d be like a final to them. We felt that straight away.

“They came out of the blocks second half and caught us napping. We were fighting an uphill battle from then on, the fans were behind them, and it was hard to break them down. It was disappointing.

“We’ve made a few mistakes over the past few matches and haven’t kept clean sheets from individual errors. That is how football is, if you keep shooting yourselves in the foot it will be difficult to get out of it.”

Will Chelsea pay the price for their mistakes?

Loftus-Cheek admits collective standards need to be raised again at Stamford Bridge over the coming weeks.

The England international midfielder said: “It’s up to us as individuals to tune in and sharpen up as a team together.

“Getting everyone ready for the game, these are basics in football. If you don’t have these basics, you will struggle like we have the last four games.

“This is not Chelsea standard at all. Our concentration levels were not good enough.

“We want top four but we cannot perform like that with other teams doing well around us. We need wins. It is hard to process it right now and we will look back at it once the emotions have calmed down.”

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