Mauricio Pochettino, whose Chelsea team lost humiliatingly to Liverpool 4-1 at Anfield, declined to criticise the referees.
Due to goals from Diogo Jota and Conor Bradley, the Blues were behind at the half. Shortly after, the hosts added a third goal through Dominik Szoboszlai. Chelsea had a small moment of optimism thanks to Christopher Nkunku, but Luis Diaz’s goal in the 79th minute put an end to any hopes of an unexpected comeback.
Even though the outcome seemed clear-cut, there was some dispute when Chelsea had two penalty calls rejected. Although neither was given by VAR, Pochettino was hesitant to assign responsibility after the game.
“It’s not a conclusive excuse,” he stated. They were worthy winners. Compared to us, they were superior. However, since it’s related to football, I don’t want to talk about it. They were superior to us from the start. You have to applaud Liverpool when they play a game like this.
“They were more at it than us,” the Argentine went on. We were having trouble connecting and having fun. Our ball loss was quite easy. We say they compete better since they outperformed us in those domains.
“At 2-0 in the second half, we give Mudryk an opportunity, and if we score, we might gain confidence and play better. We would not have been happy with our performance even if we had won and drawn.”
The game on Wednesday night at Anfield served as a practice for the Carabao Cup final between the two teams at Wembley, which takes place next month.
Pochettino gave the Blues a dire warning, saying that if they want to have any chance of winning the trophy before their opponents, they would have to step up their game considerably before that rematch. But he did emphasise that the game away from Anfield will be different.
“It will definitely be different in a neutral place,” he continued. That is, of course, how it feels. It’s advantageous since we wish to compete. And the outcome will be the same if we compete in the same manner as we do now. It’s going to be hard if we don’t get better. In this type of game, learning is what’s important to us. We were up against the best team in the league. It is healthy for us to believe that we
must do better.