Chelsea will be back in the Champions League again next season after securing a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League despite losing 2-1 at Aston Villa on the final day of the campaign.
Thomas Tuchel’s side, who went into the weekend third, looked to be facing the tricky position of needing to win the Champions League just to qualify for it in 2021-22, but Tottenham rescuing a late win at Leicester means Chelsea pipped the Foxes to fourth by a point.
Chelsea had the better chances in a first half they largely controlled but went into the break trailing as Bertrand Traore, who spent four years at the club, netted from a well-worked corner.
Clever play from Traore then earned Villa a penalty, which Anwar El Ghazi scored, early in the second half and that proved to be the winner as all Chelsea – who had Cesar Azpilicueta sent off late on – could muster was a Ben Chilwell goal.
Nevertheless, Leicester’s inability to take advantage of Chelsea’s slip-up ensured Tuchel’s side will be back at Europe’s top table next season regardless of their result in the Champions League final next weekend.