Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said his side are closer to Liverpool than he previously thought after the Blues’ 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The London side were denied a victory only by a stunning late strike, as Daniel Sturridge cancelled out Eden Hazard’s first-half opener.
And despite being denied only by Sturridge’s wonder strike, Sarri continued to stick to his assessment that Chelsea were only contenders for the top four and not challenge for the title.
“I think City and Liverpool are a step forward of us, but I think also we are more close than I thought one week ago,” said the Italian.
“I think we can fight for the Champions League.
“There are six, seven top level teams, top in Europe, not only in England. It’s not easy to get in the Champions League.
“We have to try to stay very close on the table with the top level teams. And we have to try to improve more.”
The 59-year old added that he was not too concerned about the lack of goals from strikers Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata.
“I am not really worried about it. Because we have a winger (Hazard) that is able to score so frequently,” Sarri said.
“I think at the end of the season we can have four, five players over 10 goals. And so it’s not only Hazard.
“I think he’s able to score 40 goals. So he has to score another 33; 40 in a season, not (just) in Premier League.
“He’s trying to do it. I’m really very happy with the defensive performance of Hazard today, especially in the second half.”