Chelsea can catch Spurs! Cahill lays down gauntlet ahead of derby
Chelsea's Gary Cahill feels Blues have a great chance of catching fourth-placed Spurs in the race for Champions League football
Gary Cahill is convinced Chelsea can catch up with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur as the race for qualification for next season’s Champions League intensifies.
Chelsea were dealt a blow in their bid for a top-four finish after the Londoners were undone by late goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri as Manchester City claimed a dramatic 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The defeat leaves Chelsea trailing Spurs by five points after Harry Redknapp’s men picked up a point against Stoke City ahead of the Premier League clash between the two London sides at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
And Cahill, whose deflected shot had put Roberto Di Matteo’s side ahead in the second half at Eastlands, admits the Blues must put their midweek disappointment behind them and turn their attentions to a “huge” game in their league campaign.
“We have had some good results of late and the mood in the camp is positive at the moment, so we lick our wounds and go again on Saturday,” Cahill told Chelsea’s website.
“It is important we get mentally ready to play Spurs at the weekend.
“It is a huge game and we play at home where we have some confidence now, and we look to get a positive result.”
Cahill feels Spurs, who have picked up just one point from the last 12 available, are suffering from a dip in form – but warned his side to expect a difficult encounter on Saturday lunchtime.
“Arsenal have hit some decent form but Spurs have been hit in the last couple of games – it is hard to keep momentum going throughout a whole season,” he continued.
“You always have a blip in the season and maybe it has come now for Spurs, but nevertheless they have a fantastic manager and fantastic players and it is going to be a tough game.”
The England centre-half pointed to Manchester City’s second-half penalty as the turning point in Wednesday’s game, when Michael Essien was penalised for handling in the box.
“I felt we were organised, I felt although Man City had a lot of possession most of it was side to side, not really hurting us too much,” he added.
“Unfortunately the penalty was the turning point and they really came at us after that, but to go 1-0 up we are disappointed not to go home with at least a point.
“Man City were fresh having not played at the weekend but the lads worked tremendously hard and to do that and come away with nothing is disappointing for us all.
“It is always frustrating when the opposition score so late on in a game but we can’t let it affect us because we have huge games coming up in the next couple of weeks.”