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Kepa: Champions League is a ‘realistic objective’ for Chelsea

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga says his side’s 1-1 draw with top four rivals Manchester United means Champions League qualification is a ‘realistic objective’ for the club.

Marcus Alonso capitalised on yet another mistake by United goalkeeper David De Gea to earn a vital point at Old Trafford, a result which keeps Maurizio Sarri’s side in the Premier League’s top four.

Chelsea will secure a return to Europe’s premier competition with wins over Watford and Leicester in their remaining two fixtures, and Spanish international Kepa says he was ‘pleased’ with a draw.

“We knew both teams would be feeling the pressure of a very important match because Man United are very strong at home and also have hopes of Champions League qualification. We were aware they could go level with us in the league if they won,” Kepa told the official Chelsea website.

“It’s true that they started better. Man United is a difficult place to play at – their fans gave them such a massive boost – so we were glad to have equalised and not gone in a goal down at the break.

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“I think it was probably a more positive outcome for us than it was for them.

“We are quite pleased with the result as it means qualifying for the Champions League is still a realistic objective for us.”

Chelsea next host Watford on Sunday before a trip to Leicester on the final day, and Kepa has urged his side to maintain their focus after a series of slip ups from top four contenders in recent weeks.

“We must win our last two games. The last few weeks have shown us, more than anything, that no game is easy, whoever you are. Teams above and below us are having trouble winning matches.

“We have to be prepared, stay attentive, maintain our focus, train hard. We can’t let this precious opportunity that we have escape us.”