Arsenal vs Chelsea: What did Mauricio Pochettino not like about their start to the second half?

It was more than the defeat, the manner of the loss sent alarm bells ringing among their supporters.

Chelsea FC in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@ChelseaFC
By Karthik Raman | Apr 25, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Chelsea suffered a massive blow in their bid to secure European football after losing 5-0 away from home to Arsenal in the Premier League. The Blues were targeting a top seven finish which would secure a place in either the Europa League or Conference League. However, this latest hammer blow could be a big setback in their bid to clinch European football for next season. It was more than the defeat, the manner of the loss sent alarm bells ringing among their supporters.

Arsenal made a brisk start to the first half with an early Leandro Trossard goal. Chelsea took time to get back into the game but managed to compete better as the half grew on and ended the 45-minute period with a 1-0 deficit. However, they were unable to build on it and began the second half on a bad note. Early goals from the Gunners killed the Premier League contest, as the home side went on to score four goals in that half – two from Ben White and two from Kai Havertz.

Mauricio Pochettino on start to second half

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino was not happy with how his side started both halves. He was particularly not pleased with their start to the second period. “I feel disappointed, really bad. The performance wasn’t good, we didn’t start the game in the way we were supposed to start. We conceded the goal too easy, we made things so easy for Arsenal, started the game losing the game and after that it was really tough. 10 or 15 minutes after we conceded, we started to play a little bit and create some chances, like we started the game again,” Pochettino, quoted on the club’s website, said after the game.

He added: “We were talking at half-time, saying it is not possible to start a game like that at this level, but we started in a bad way again in the second half and conceded two goals. Then I think the team gave up and we were not in the game. The most difficult thing to accept is the way we started, because the last 30 minutes of the first half we competed well and the game was even and we started to force them to make some mistakes to create some chances. Then in the second half, the way we started when it went 3-0. I think in this moment the team started to suffer a lot and struggled to manage the game.”

‘Three days ago it was a fantastic game’

Chelsea narrowly lost the FA Cup semi-final to Manchester City at the weekend despite producing a solid performance. However, Pochettino was not happy with the level they showed on Wednesday night compared to what was on display at the weekend. “It’s difficult because we are talking after nearly one season in the same way, but it’s impossible to see Saturday at Wembey a fantastic performance, competing really well against one of the best teams in the world like Manchester City, and then today,” he explained.

The manager added: “You can lose games against a team like Arsenal that is fighting for the Premier League, but it is the way we compete, three days ago and then today. We needed to make changes to the starting line-up for different reasons, but that is the inconsistency we have been showing all season. Three days ago it was a fantastic game, great performance and we deserved to go to the final. Today you can use any words to describe our performance, it wasn’t good.”

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