Will Mauri­cio Pochet­ti­no keep his job?

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 36th round

May 05, 16:00. Stam­ford Bridge (Lon­don)



West Ham

Chelsea defeat­ed West Ham (5:0) in the 36th round of the Pre­mier League and increased their chances of qual­i­fy­ing for Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion. The Blues will remain in sev­enth place until at least Man­ches­ter Unit­ed’s clash with Crys­tal Palace on Mon­day, leav­ing them just two points behind sixth-place New­cas­tle. Thus, Mauri­cio Pochet­ti­no’s team is in a tight race to qual­i­fy for the Europa League or Con­fer­ence League. There is no longer a chance for the Cham­pi­ons League — Aston Vil­la, which is in fourth place, is 13 points ahead, and the Lon­don­ers have only three games in hand.

In the Pre­mier League, the first four teams go to the Cham­pi­ons League, the fifth to the Europa League. Two more tick­ets to Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tions are giv­en to the win­ners of the FA Cup (a place in the League of Leg­ends) and the League Cup (in the Con­fer­ence League). The sec­ond tour­na­ment in Feb­ru­ary was won by Liv­er­pool — just in the final against Chelsea (1:0 in over­time). But the Merseysiders will def­i­nite­ly not slip out of the top 4, so the sixth team in the cham­pi­onship is cur­rent­ly get­ting a place in the League of Leg­ends — New­cas­tle is cur­rent­ly there.

Mauri­cio Pochet­ti­no.
Pho­to by AFP

Every­thing is becom­ing more inter­est­ing with the sev­enth line, where Chelsea is now — it can also become a Euro­pean Cup. On May 25, the FA Cup final will take place between Man­ches­ter City and Man­ches­ter Unit­ed: if they win, the Red Dev­ils will receive a tick­et to the Europa League, regard­less of their posi­tion in the Pre­mier League. If the “cit­i­zens” take the tro­phy, then sev­enth posi­tion in the cham­pi­onship will bring a place in the Con­fer­ence League, sixth – in the Europa League.

Haa­land is unhap­py with the replace­ment — Guardi­o­la left him with­out a pen­ta-trick. Arse­nal are first, but Man City are favorites

For Chelsea, sev­enth place is more like­ly, because three rounds before the end of the cham­pi­onship the team is two points behind New­cas­tle, and in terms of lost points it is three behind Man­ches­ter Unit­ed. At the same time, the club did not lose its chances for sixth posi­tion, because the Blues prob­a­bly have the sim­plest cal­en­dar among their com­peti­tors:

The Red Dev­ils have the tough­est sched­ule: they have one more match left to play, and also have a meet­ing with cham­pi­on-fight­ing Arse­nal. Also, a lot will depend on the game of New­cas­tle and Man­ches­ter Unit­ed.

In any case, Chelsea need to win the remain­ing rounds — in this case, they will most like­ly get ahead of one of the com­peti­tors who will have a head-to-head meet­ing. The Man­cu­ni­ans have a more pre­car­i­ous posi­tion in the fight. The Lon­don­ers are cur­rent­ly ahead of Man­ches­ter Unit­ed thanks to a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence (+11 ver­sus +1), and it is unlike­ly that Erik ten Hag’s men will win back this hand­i­cap in the remain­ing rounds. In addi­tion, the Red Dev­ils still have to play against the pow­er­ful Arse­nal.

Also, get­ting into Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion is very impor­tant for Blues head coach Mauri­cio Pochet­ti­no: the Argen­tinean’s can­di­da­cy rais­es seri­ous doubts for the next sea­son. The final deci­sion on the coach’s fate has not yet been made, but, accord­ing to The Tele­graph, he will def­i­nite­ly be fired if he does not qual­i­fy for con­ti­nen­tal tour­na­ments. But now Chelsea is in good shape — the team has only one defeat in the pre­vi­ous 12 rounds of the Pre­mier League.