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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink believes that a Premier League top four finish is still possible after his side secured a 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Sunday (24 January). The Dutch manager also revealed that Diego Costa was replaced in the second half of the game due to a "knock on his knee", adding that Didier Drogba will not join the club, at least in the short-term.
The Spanish striker himself stole the headlines, scoring the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute shortly after Arsenal were reduced to ten men after Per Mertesacker brought him down when he through on goal. Captain John Terry insisted post-match the top four is still within their sights, despite sitting 14 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
"If the captain says yes then we follow the captain," Hiddink said. "It's a gap but if you see the results in the Premier League, how competitive all the teams are, it's unpredictable which means all teams can beat all teams. With the gap it's difficult but when the captain says that I will follow my captain.
"I am very pleased with the attitude of the team. I'm also pleased with the way the team tried to play – it was not just reactive, but proactive in the first part of the first half.
"We showed ambition to go forwards. We had one or two good chances through Willian. The team showed its ambition and that was pleasing against an opponent who are very skilful even with one man down. They always have the ability to surprise so we were very pleased to see the attitude and also the way of playing."
But the victory at the Emirates Stadium may have come at a cost for the Blues after Costa was forced to leave the pitch in the second half, after the striker was also replaced during the draw Everton on 16 January due to another problem to the shin.
"He got a knock on his knee," Hiddink explained. "I don't know if it's slight or more severe but we will check on it."
Hiddink also ruled out the return of Didier Drogba to the club for a third time, confirming the striker's final decision to continue at Montreal impact.
"In the short term, no, but in the longer-term we talked about players with a big image for this club being welcome," he said. "There's no time issue on this so I wish him all the best now in one of his later seasons."