Mauricio Pochettino is pleased that the Premier League’s top four teams are guaranteed a Champions League group stage spot next season, a scenario confirmed following Arsenal’s Europa League exit on Thursday.
If arch rivals Arsenal had won the Europa League this season, the fourth-placed league team, currently Tottenham, would have been forced to play qualifiers early next campaign to seal a Champions League spot.
However the Gunners slumped to a 2-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals, meaning the league’s top four sides are guaranteed a Champions League group berth.
“Now it is guaranteed that top four means you are going to play in the Champions League,”:Pochettino told a news conference.
He added: “Of course I am not happy about (the result), I’m not a person who enjoys when another team loses, but for our interests always our focus is to finish third and if it’s not possible then fourth.”
We are a point behind third-placed Liverpool, who have played a game more, and are six adrift of second-placed Manchester United but Pochettino is hopeful that his team can grab second place if United slip up.
“Yes, it is not up to us. In our hands is to finish third because we have one game more than Liverpool,”: Pochettino said. “We need to win the three games but we have to wait for Manchester United to lose.All can happen in football, which is why it is such an amazing sport.”
Chelsea are challenging us for a fourth-placed league finish but Pochettino is confident that his team can hold on as their fifth-placed rivals sit five points behind, having played a game more.
Pochettino added: “No, I wasn’t worried and I am not now. I am worried about being focused on performing better than Monday, to perform better and be sure that we are going to win the games ahead. That is my only worry,”
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