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Europe a ‘step in right direction’ for Chelsea – Palmer

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Cole Palmer of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team’s fifth goal, his fourth, from a penalty

Image credit: Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Cole Palmer says European qualification would be a “step in the right direction” for the club.

The Blues moved up to sixth in the Premier League after Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Brighton.

Despite a difficult campaign, they will guarantee a spot in Europe next season if they claim a point at home to Bournemouth in Sunday’s final game.

“For it to be in our hands to get sixth place is a big thing for us,” said Palmer, who scored his 22nd goal of the season with the opener against the Seagulls.

“Chelsea are a big club and everyone wants to finish higher than sixth but you have to look at where we were at the start of the season.”

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have recovered from a poor start to the campaign and were in 12th place as recently as 3 April.

Palmer, 22, added: “To get back into Europe would be a step in the right direction.

“All credit to the manager. All the players love the manager and want to fight for him.”

Which places get you into Europe this season?

A fifth or sixth-placed Premier League finish would give the Blues a spot in next season’s Europa League, while seventh is only good enough for the Europa Conference League.

However, if rivals Manchester United finish outside the top six they could still take a Europa League place by winning the FA Cup.

If that were to happen, the side finishing fifth would also enter the Europa League, but sixth place would instead land a Conference League spot and a seventh-placed finish would miss out on Europe entirely.

With a three-point gap to Tottenham, Chelsea could end the season as high as fifth if results fall their way on the final day.

It would mark an incredible recovery as the Blues were ninth and 13 points behind Spurs when they lost 5-0 to Arsenal last month.

“We talked about patience and when you need to build something you need time,” Chelsea boss Pochettino told BBC Match of the Day.

“But it always looks like an excuse at a big club. We have kept working and being positive and to finish in a good way would be good for the club.”

The Premier League table

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