Chelsea narrowed the gap on the top four with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
After their Champions League heroics in midweek, it was anticipated that Jurgen Klopp’s side could have been suffering with physical and mental tiredness – but they started the better of the two sides and fashioned a couple of chances from Sadio Mane.
However, Chelsea took the lead against the run of play just after the half-hour mark courtesy of a header from Olivier Giroud, and from there on in there only looked like being one winner.
The pace of the game was frustratingly slow for almost the entirety of the second half as the Blues looked to hold onto their lead and Liverpool struggled to fashion a chance together.
In the end, that Giroud goal was enough to give Chelsea all three points – their fourth league win in a row – and narrows the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham to just two points with just two games remaining. Victory over Huddersfield in midweek will see Antonio Conte’s side involved in a final-day three-way battle for the final two places.
For Liverpool, meanwhile, their task remains a straightforward one. If they defeat Brighton at Anfield next Sunday then they will be assured of a top four place, regardless of what happens in Chelsea and Tottenham’s games.
Alternatively, they will qualify for next year’s Champions League should they defeat Real Madrid in the final of this year’s competition.
For Tottenham, they must keep matching or bettering Chelsea’s results to stay ahead of them. Victories over Newcastle and Leicester in their final two matches (both at Wembley) will guarantee them Champions League football next season. A sip- up in either, however, and it could allow Conte’s men to sneak in ahead of them right at the death.