Frustrations boiled over at half-time for Mauricio Pochettino, who let the referee know in no uncertain terms what he thought of the decision to give Thiago Silva a yellow card for being run into by a Burnley player who had made a terrible pass to absolutely no one. Pochettino copped a yellow for his troubles, which probably had more to do with Chelsea’s listless performance overall in the opening 45 minutes than any single incident involving our elder statesman.
Whatever setting Poch put his hairdryer on for the half-time talk, it worked wonders. Chelsea came out with much more purpose and intention in the second half, with Raheem Sterling stepping up to lead the way, and our brood of youngling attackers following in step behind.
Pochettino, like the rest of us, was obviously delighted by Chelsea’s response to going behind and ultimately winning in a rather dominant fashion. It’s been a year and a week since we last won a Premier League game after going behind (2-1 away to Palace), and it’s been nearly two years since we won any game by more than a one-goal margin after going behind initially (3-1 away to Villa in December 2021).
“The team was good, the performance was fantastic, they deserve the praise. So happy for them and go to the international break with a different feeling to the last. [...] When you concede first and then you need to break down the opponent, you feel proud when you achieve that.
“I think the team was playing well and we concede the first situation, that we concede a chance and that was unfair but the team was really good. We were solid in the whole team and we scored before the end of the first half which always helps a little bit in your belief for the second half we controlled the game.”
I’m not sure I agree that we were playing “well” in the first-half — uninspiring is a word that comes to mind — but we know that Pochettino likes to keep things positive. Thankfully, there was no need for any reality-substituting in the second half as we took care of business for real instead, and how!
“We are building something. We are a young group. We are a young team [and it] is only with time to know each other and to start to perform. We start to recover players now because we suffered too many injuries, also it’s going to help the team increase the level and the competition will be tough. Then it will be tough for me to select an XI but it is a thing I love to do and I hope it happens soon.
“Always in football, it is about performance and players need to feel that they deserve to play. If we want to be consistent and fight for big things it’s about being consistent every single game and that will be good with competition between them. We have a very talented squad but at the moment, for different reasons and circumstances, we cannot use all of the potential of the squad. Some bad luck against us in some situations but with time to be in the position we want to be. With the players fit, it will be massive competition and it will be good for the team to keep the level that we need to fight for big things.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
It’s starting to feel like we are finally getting started.