There were plenty of hugs and smiles as the final whistle blew under the Friday Night Lights, and the scoreboard showed three goals in favor of the Blues, and none against — our first win at Stamford Bridge in nearly six months.
No, that’s not a typo. (Incidentally, that 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund was the last time yours truly was at the Bridge; I’m glad we finally got a win without me having to be there!)
And it was also the first official win of the Mauricio Pochettino era.
We had played well in the first two games, by and large, but had just one point to show for it. It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing last night either, but we showed our requisite quality when it mattered the most. Raheem Sterling was absolutely electric, Robert Sánchez made one key save, and then we made sure of things late on.
It was hardly perfect, but it was good enough.
As delighted as Pochettino may have been, he also wasn’t getting carried away. That’s part of any head coach’s job definition, but ultimately, this was just another step towards our ultimate goal of consistent excellence. We have a long way to go, building step by step, game by game, day by day, and we’re not going to get there over the course of one game, or even two games.
Winning is of course preferable along the way.
“It is the way [...] in the Premier League, if the intensity is not there, it is difficult to win games. Today the key was to match the energy and desire of Luton, and after with the quality to score goals and create chances.
“[We] can talk about the present and the future and the way we want this project and challenge to create a team with full energy but also with quality. To have the capacity to be competitive and challenge the big teams like Liverpool and Manchester City and company.
“It is the way we love to work. Very pleased because the performance was very solid but it is only the first step and we need to work really hard to improve because the way we want to arrive to play, we are far away, but we are in a very good way. [...] The process is important, trying to work to create all these links [between the players] and the way that we want to play and animation and to know each other we need time. When you are in a team in the process that we are, it is a matter of time.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
First win out of the way. On to the next one!