Chelsea captain Gary Cahill claimed his team-mates were driven by a desire to save their season in the 1-0 FA Cup final win over Manchester United.
Eden Hazard scored the only goal from the penalty spot midway through the first half and Chelsea withstood persistent United pressure during the closing stages to close out victory.
The Blues slumped to a fifth-place finish to miss out on Champions League qualification after their Premier League title defence subsided and Cahill was delighted to wrap up the campaign on a positive note.
“You can see what it means to us, to the fans and to our staff,” Cahill told BBC Sport.
“This was to save our season. We’re used to winning. Not in an arrogant way but we have to win things.
“It’s difficult to win back-to-back leagues. I’m not saying we’ve had a magnificent season by any stretch.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 19, 2018
Asked whether the players were motivated to win for boss Antonio Conte, Cahill stopped short of a ringing endorsement for the Italian, whose future has been the subject of sustained speculation for most of the season.
“Listen, we needed to achieve this goal for everybody, no matter what happens in the future,” he added.
“We’re not in control of that as players. I’m sure the club and himself will make the best decision. Who knows what’s going to happen?”
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