Advertisement

Mauricio Pochettino drops mysterious hint about ‘something affecting’ Chelsea before Fulham clash

Mauricio Pochettino hinted something affected his Chelsea side  (Action Images via Reuters)
Mauricio Pochettino hinted something affected his Chelsea side (Action Images via Reuters)

Mauricio Pochettino admitted something had affected his Chelsea side in the build-up to their hard-fought 1-0 win over west London derby rivals Fulham.

Cole Palmer scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot, although the Blues were unable to kill off the match but the result has provided some much-needed relief for the club following their midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Middlesbrough.

It was the only goal and came at the end of a first half where almost every shot was blocked at the edge of the box and every pass destined for the area was lifeless.

However, Pochettino hinted that there was a reason for Chelsea’s flat performance.

The manager said: “Of course, the first half wasn’t the first half that we planned. Something happened before the game that I don’t know how to explain but I think it affected the team. But in the second half we started really well, for 30 minutes we should have scored another goal and killed the game.

“But when it’s open like this in the last few minutes we concede some set pieces and they have good potential in these situations and we defended well and I think it was good for us to suffer a little bit but I think this game will help us grow.”

Even when pressed for an answer, the manager declined to mention what it was that could have affected the performance.

Cole Palmer made the difference at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Cole Palmer made the difference at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Despite the slightly lacklustre performance, Chelsea have notched up three successive wins in the Premier League which has briefly lifted them into eighth place ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Raheem Sterling has won a number of penalties in the Premier League across his spell at four different clubs, and it was a foul on him by Issa Diop that provided the hosts with the crucial breakthrough.

When asked about Sterling’s action, Pochettino said: “I think it’s good for the team it was a good action and a good performance to provide the penalty for the team and Palmer’s execution was excellent because he provides the team good things and helped to achieve the three points to help us to be in a better position in the table.”