Guus Hiddink refused to argue against John Terry’s claim that Chelsea can still qualify finish in the top four after their 1-0 win at Arsenal.
A London derby victory means interim boss Hiddink is now unbeaten in seven matches and the Blues undefeated in eight since Jose Mourinho’s departure last month.
Captain John Terry believes a top-four place and Champions League qualification is not beyond the team, despite a 14-point gap to fourth-placed Tottenham with 15 games to go.
Hiddink said: “With that gap, it’s difficult to go into fourth position. But when the captain is saying that I will follow my captain.”
Hiddink described Per Mertesacker’s sending off as “obvious” and rued the decision to deny Cesc Fabregas a penalty when Laurent Koscielny body-checked the playmaker.
“There was no doubt. From what I saw (Diego Costa) was tripped,” Hiddink said.
“I had some doubts over the Fabregas penalty, yes or no. I can understand why the referee didn’t give a penalty, fair enough.
“But on Mertesacker’s red card, look closely. It was obvious I think.”
Costa was withdrawn in the second half with a knee problem, but Hiddink did not know the extent of the injury.