5 key takeaways as Chelsea clinch Champions League place

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Chelsea

Chelsea (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Chelsea are headed to next season’s Champions League.

On Sunday, Chelsea beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to close out the season, finishing fourth to book their place in Europe’s top competition. Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud supplied the goals.

Both goals were scored in first-half stoppage time, with Mount whipping a beautiful free-kick past Rui Patricio before Giroud rounded the keeper and outmuscled his defender to double his side’s lead.

Despite the appearance of Adama Traore, the second half was very comfortable for the Blues, having complete control of possession and allowing Wolves one chance all half. Pedro also came on at the end for what was his final appearance at Stamford Bridge.

Here are a few thoughts on the game.

1. Kepa is out the door at Chelsea

In one of the most surprising selection choices, manager Frank Lampard opted with backup keeper Willy Caballero for the final game of the season, instead of his No. 1, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

In the end, this decision was totally vindicated, as Caballero did everything that was asked of him and kept a clean sheet in a match where he was relatively untroubled. He commanded his box well and his defenders looked more composed in front of him.

But even if he hadn’t played well, the fact that he started tells you all you need to know about Kepa’s future. The most important game of the season, top four at stake, and Lampard picks Caballero? Kepa is leaving.

The Blues boss tried to defend his goalkeeper by saying Caballero was in top form after the FA Cup win against Manchester United, but the fact that he didn’t trust his starting keeper, the most expensive keeper in the world, is very telling.

According to reports, Valencia are interested in him (though I’m not sure why) so this could be the opportunity to move him on in the summer, obviously for less than he was signed.

Regardless, if Chelsea can get £40-50m for him, it will be a very successful deal, as they can use those funds to help sign Jan Oblak, or another quality keeper this summer. It seems as though Chelsea supporters have finally got their wish with Kepa.

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