Chelsea ace insists getting back into Europe is a “step in the right direction”

Cole Palmer believes qualifying for Europe would be a clear sign of progress for Chelsea this season following Wednesday night’s win against Brighton.

The Blues headed to the south coast knowing they needed a win to keep their chances of a top six finish alive, and goals from Palmer and Christopher Nkunku secured the points, despite having to withstand heavy pressure at the end following the dismissal of Reece James and a late Danny Welbeck goal.

Newcastle’s defeat to Manchester United means Chelsea now sit sixth and only require a point against Bournemouth on the final day to guarantee Europa League football, providing United don’t win the FA Cup.

Palmer: Qualifying for Europe is progress

The 22-year-old gave the Blues the lead with his 22nd league goal of the season as he brilliantly headed home Marc Cucurella’s cross, before Nkunku finished nicely after being set up Malo Gusto.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men made it four Premier League wins in a row for the first time since October 2022, as Chelsea kept up their great late season form.

With a top six finish now in their own hands, Palmer believes finishing the job off and qualifying for Europe would be a clear sign of progress.

Chelsea are closing in on European football after beating Brighton.

“We needed the three points”, Palmer told Chelsea’s website.

“It was hard towards the end and throughout the match, but to get the three points and for it to be in our hands to get sixth place is big for us, hopefully we can do it.

“Chelsea is a big club, everyone wants to finish higher than sixth, but we have to look at where we’ve been at the start of the season, throughout the season.

“We’ve been 13th and 12th this season, last season was the same, so to get back into Europe is a step in the right direction.

“Big credit to the manager because all the players love him, we’ve got to fight for him. It’s been a good season and hopefully we can get European football at the end of it.”

Considering the poor start to the season which included winning just three of their first ten league games, Pochettino and the players deserve huge credit for this turn round in form.

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