Chelsea winger Willian believes the Europa League final in Baku will define his side’s season.
The West Londoners secured Champions League qualification finishing third in the Premier League this season, but manager Maurizio Sarri has reportedly failed the Chelsea hierarchy with his first season performance.
After a promising start to the campaign, the Blues suffered a dismal midseason run which saw them suffering humiliating defeats to Bournemouth, Spurs and Manchester City. It seemed they would be out of luck even betting on royal ascot this year.
Willian did not hesitate to admit that he and his team have underachieved this season, and winning a European silverware could be the only road to redemption that lies ahead of the club.
“I know that it has not been my best season,” the Brazilian told The Mirror. “It was okay, but it wasn’t top.
“I know I can play much better. Not only me, but the whole squad, it wasn’t our best season. We all know we can do better.
“But at the end we set some targets and we reached some of them. We reached the Carabao Cup Final, reached the third position in the Premier League and now we have the Europa League Final to play.
“If you see at the end and we win the trophy, then I think it’s been a good season. We have qualified for the Champions League and can win a European trophy which is a good season, even though we always want more.”
Willian has been in excellent form in the Europa League this season, making seven assists and scoring three goals in the 11 matches in which he has taken part. The number of assists actually beats the number he has achieved in the Premier League this year, six.
Chelsea face city rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final on May 29 with the Blues unbeaten in their last seven matches, while Arsenal are unbeaten in four. The two sides last met in January at the Emirates Stadium, where the Gunners came out 2-0 winners, thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny.
Maurizio Sarri hit the headlines last night when he appeared to storm off the pitch during training, angry at what appeared to be a tackle by Gonzalo Higuain on David Luiz. However Chelsea have since issued a tweet claiming his anger was the result of the Press being allowed to stay to the end of training, meaning that his side could not practice set pieces as he had intended.