Thomas Tuchel admitted Chelsea were “lucky” to be helped out by Tottenham but insisted they secured a fourth-placed finish on merit.
Chelsea lost 2-1 at Aston Villa in their final Premier League match of the season and would have missed out on a Champions League spot had their London rivals Spurs come from behind to beat Leicester, who finished fifth.
But it was a case of job done for Blues boss Tuchel, who feels his players earned their top-four place.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, he said: “We are lucky Tottenham finished the job for us today. We came to win and put any doubt to the side, but it was not possible.”
But the German added: “We are in the position and we were in the position that it was possible to end in the top four with a defeat. That was possible because of the team’s hard work and good results.”
Chelsea have been defensively superb under Tuchel but their shortcomings at the other end of the pitch were evident again.
“It was the story of the season. We needed many clean sheets to overcome this lack of composure and precision,” he said.
“We had enough chances to come back. We are still a young team and we try to improve them and make them learn from every game.”