Jose Mourinho has conceded defeat in Chelsea’s hopes of obtaining a top-four finish this season after Monday’s 2-1 defeat at surprise league leaders Leicester City.
England international Jamie Vardy bagged his 15th goal of the campaign in the first half before Riyad Mahrez produced a sublime finish just after the break to extend the Foxes’ run of form at the King Power Stadium.
Substitute Loic Remy did manage to pull one back for the visitors for the Frenchman’s first strike in the Premier League this term, but it was not enough as City held on to move back to the top of the table.
The result leaves defending champions Chelsea languishing down in 16th position, just one point above the relegation zone, and their hopes of defending the title are all but over.
More worryingly for the club is the threat of missing out on a Champions League spot and Mourinho has now ruled his side out of making Europe’s elite tournament next season.
“We can’t finish top four, but we can still finish top six because so many teams are dropping points,” he said. “At the moment, we are in a zone where I feel ashamed.”
Chelsea, who are 81.00 to be relegated to the Championship, desperately need to start picking up wins from somewhere and next face Sunderland in the league on Saturday.
The Black Cats are 19th in the table but victory for Sam Allardyce’s men would lift his side above the Blues and potentially out of the bottom three.
Chelsea are still the 1.33 favourites to pick up three points at Stamford Bridge, the draw is priced at 5.00 and the visitors are 10.00 outsiders.