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Monday’s morning breaking news greeted us with report that the ban placed on Manchester City in the Champions League has been lifted.
Manchester City were sanctioned by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) for breaches of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
This sanction had implied that the Citizens would be absent from next season’s Champions League as they were given a two-year ban. However, City took their case up to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
City’s ban from European competitions has now been overturned, as CAS ruled in favour of Manchester City.
This now implies that Chelsea must finish in top four to make Champions League next season.
Reacting to this news, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has insisted Chelsea were never pinning their hopes on Manchester City’s Champions League ban being upheld.
When asked about the decision to overturn City’s ban, Lampard replied: “I was pretty neutral on it, really. I don’t know much about the case, or any of the details. I just listened to the result as everyone else did this morning.
“I genuinely don’t see beyond the games in hand. We’ve got a few games now, we want to win them and then see if it gets us Champions League football for next season.
“I was never pinning my hopes on it being meaning an extra team got in or not. ‘We worry about ourselves and if we can win enough games now we can get into the Champions League qualification.”
“We’re sitting third, as I said before it’s in our hands, I wouldn’t like the players to think there’s an extra place so they can relax. It can’t be the way. I think the pressure was [always] there. It’s just clear now what the positions are.”