Juan Mata: Chelsea determined to leapfrog Arsenal back into third

Juan Mata says Chelsea are out to capitalise on Arsenal's draw with Everton on Tuesday by winning their two games in hand

juan mata
Juan Mata signed for Chelsea from Valencia in August 2011 Photo: The Sport Review

Juan Mata is desperate to help Chelsea secure victory at Fulham and move back into third place in the Premier League table.

Victory at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night would hoist the Blues up above their London rivals with six games left to play and Rafael Benitez’s men could move further clear of the Gunners if they win their other game in hand.

And Mata, 24, knows that the west Londoners are heading into a crucial stage of the campaign as the race for Champions League qualification reaches its climax.

“We just arrived in the season’s most important moment,” Mata, who joined the Blues from Valencia in 2011, told Chelsea’s website.

“We have seven games to go in the Premier League and have to win as many as we can to play Champions League football next season. It means we need three points at Fulham, and we’ll try to get them.

“It’s been a little time since we played two Premier League games together but we now have the opportunity to get six points.

“It will be difficult against Fulham and at Liverpool as well, but we will try to finish the week with 64 points and in a strong position in the league.

“Hopefully the picture will be clearer after that. With six points it could help us make a gap to our rivals.”

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