David Luiz admits to missing Champions League anthem as Chelsea battle for top-four finish

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The Blues missed out on elite European competition for 2018-19, but the intention for Maurizio Sarri's side is to be back on that stage next season

David Luiz admits a season away from elite European competition for Chelsea has left him missing the Champions League anthem.

The Blues have been regulars on the grandest of continental stages in recent times.

Roberto Di Matteo even oversaw a first success back in 2012 as Bayern Munich were edged out in a thrilling penalty shootout.

Chelsea have, however, had to make do with Europa League football this season after finishing fifth in the Premier League under Antonio Conte in 2017-18.

The hope is that a top-four finish can be secured this term, with Maurizio Sarri seeing his side sat fourth as things stand, with Luiz admitting that everyone in west London is desperate to secure a Champions League berth.

It may be that the Brazil international is not around to take in such outings, as his contract runs down, but he has said in the Evening Standard: “It is important for our club. We are a big club and big clubs want to play in the Champions League.

“I have missed it. It's great to be there, to try to play against the best teams in the world, the best players, the best coaches. Everybody has been missing that.

“I watch a lot of football, but when the Champions League anthem comes on I miss it.

“It's hard, but we have to be humble and understand that we didn't do the job one year ago and we had to pay the consequences. We have to be mature enough to understand that.”

David Luiz Chelsea 2018-2019

Chelsea took another positive step towards Champions League qualification in their most recent outing, as they held fellow top-four hopefuls Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Luiz added on that result: “Was the draw at United a big step to making the top four? Yes. It is an important point for Chelsea.

“But we still have to think game by game.

“The last few games for everybody has been tough. People have started to joke that no-one wants to be in the top four because everyone is losing points.

“It’s not easy for anybody. We saw Manchester City fighting for the title at Burnley and it was difficult for them until the end.

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“Sometimes people forget to respect the other sides, they train every day, they have a philosophy, have great players, great coaches, great fans and they try to fight also.”

Chelsea have two Premier League fixtures left to take in this season, at home to Watford and away at Leicester.

They are, however, about to turn their attention back to European matters, with the first leg of a Europa League semi-final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt set to be taken in on Thursday.

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