Hiddink writes off Chelsea's top four chances after Stoke stalemate

Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Stoke City has struck off any chances of a top four finish, according to manager Guus Hiddink.

Hiddink writes off Chelsea's top four chances after Stoke stalemate
Guus Hiddink has ruled out a top four finish after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Stoke City. Image source: Daily Mirror

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has written off his side’s chances of finishing in the top four after Saturday’s 1-1 stalemate with Stoke City.

Frustrating draw

Hiddink’s side were looking to make it four wins on the trot as they made a late surge for the Champions League spots. They seemed to have sealed the three points after Bertrand Traore’s early effort.

However the victory was snatched away five minutes from time as Mame Biram Diouf’s first goal since September earned a share of the points and scuppered any remaining European ambitions.

Mission impossible

That seemed to change the mind-set of the Dutchman after the contest, with ten points separating them and fourth-placed Manchester City with nine matches remaining.

Hiddink told Sky Sports that it was “almost impossible” to gain a top-four finish at this stage especially with other teams in higher positions also “knocking on the door”.

Hiddink continued with a sense of optimism as he said it “would be nice” to finish the season in style with a “beautiful” March and April and make progress in both the Champions League and the FA Cup.

Above: Bertrand Traore celebrates during Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Stoke City image source: Daily Mirror
Bertrand Traore celebrates during Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Stoke City. | Image source: Daily Mirror

Poor refereeing

Hiddink was left disappointed that his side didn’t claim the three points as he believed that referee Mark Clattenburg missed a clear penalty in the second period as Marc Muniesa’s challenge on Oscar was left unpunished.

Hiddink said it was a “clear penalty” and believes that if the challenge was outside the area “all the referees” would give it but in the area he feels they have the “fear to do so”.

The manager was also full of praise for Traore as he likes to see him and further youngsters “play brave” and it is “encouraging” to see.

Chelsea will take on Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, March 9 with kick-off at 7:45pm BST.