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Sarri tells Spurs they are in top four battle after win at Fulham

Fulham 1 Chelsea 2

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: PA

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: PA

PA

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. Photo: PA

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri has warned Spurs their Champions League qualification place is under threat.

Sixth-placed Chelsea have a game in hand and are now a point behind fifth-placed Arsenal and two adrift of Manchester United in fourth after yesterday's 2-1 win at Fulham.

Third-placed Spurs, beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, are just five points better off than the Blues.

Sarri reckons Mauricio Pochettino's men should be looking over their shoulders.

Sarri said: "We were trying to involve Spurs in the fight and now they are involved.

"So, better two teams for four places than three for one place."

Sarri praised Kepa Arrizabalaga's response to his disciplinary action after the goalkeeper made a major contribution to the win at Craven Cottage.

Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho ensured Chelsea inflicted a losing start on Fulham caretaker boss Scott Parker.

The decisive goal came just three minutes after Calum Chambers had equalised, while Kepa made fine saves to twice deny Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Kepa - the world's most expensive goalkeeper at £71.6million from Athletic Bilbao - ignored Sarri's attempts to replace him in last Sunday's Carabao Cup final loss to City, with penalties looming.

Kepa was fined and dropped for Wednesday's Spurs win, with Willy Caballero replacing him.

"It was a normal decision to recall him," Sarri added.

"The reaction today was really very good. Now the situation is closed."

Chelsea, and Higuain, in particular, had chances to put the game out of Fulham's reach, but a third goal did not come.

Jorginho scored his first goal from open play for Chelsea and was cheered off when substituted in the second half, 10 days after being booed when coming on against Malmo.

"I'm very, very happy for him," Sarri added.

Fulham are now 10 points adrift of safety with nine games to go.

Ryan Sessegnon thought he had earned a crucial point, but the stoppage-time effort was ruled offside.

Parker said: "He looked offside, to be fair. It's minimal, but it's the right call.

"On the run of play the second half - maybe speaking with my heart - 2-2 would have been a fair result.

"We had a disallowed goal and the keeper pulled off a couple of world-class saves."


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