Carabao Cup final: What did Mauricio Pochettino make about Chelsea’s missed chances against Liverpool?

The Blues ended the 90 minutes as the strongest of the two teams, creating multiple opportunities but were denied an opener by an in-form Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Mauricio Pochettino in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@ChelseaFC
By Karthik Raman | Feb 27, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

It was heartbreak for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final after they lost deep into injury time against Liverpool. The Blues came into the contest in a good moment after registering some impressive results in recent weeks. They carried that momentum into the final and matched the Reds toe-to-toe. Even though Liverpool missed plenty of players through injuries, they were still expected to provide a tough fight on the night and the Blues had answers to their questions.

Chelsea came close to opening the scoring when Conor Gallagher hit the woodwork and Raheem Sterling did find the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Besides, the Blues ended the 90 minutes as the strongest of the two teams, creating multiple opportunities but were denied an opener by an in-form Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher. Chelsea paid the penalty for those missed chances when Virgil van Dijk scored the winner deep into injury time to help the Reds lift the Carabao Cup trophy.

Mauricio Pochettino on missed chances

Reacting to the missed chances, Mauricio Pochettino, quoted on the club’s website, said after the match, “I think that was the key. Today we created five or six good chances but we didn’t score. In a game like today, in a final, the team that scores first has a big advantage. We didn’t score that was the problem. Then we conceded at almost the last minute, so it was difficult to react. But a final is about winning, it’s not about talking too much about what could have happened, because you can’t go back,” he explained.

Pochettino understands the disappointment of his players as they came close to breaking the deadlock in regulation time. However, soon he started to sense that some players were becoming tired. “Of course it was difficult. Sometimes some experience and leadership on the pitch helps, but after it is frustrating. The players feel the disappointment because we were so close to winning the game in 90 minutes and we started to lose the energy, and some players like Conor or Chilly start to feel really tired and we need to use maybe different players to go in and help,” the manager said.

He further added: “But we cannot say nothing because the effort was massive, I am happy with the effort. It is only about believing and we didn’t get the goal that we wanted. We made a few changes with Conor and Chilly coming off in extra time, but it’s true that we didn’t keep the energy of how we finished the second half. But for sure I feel proud of the players, they made a big effort.”

It is so painful: Mauricio Pochettino

The Chelsea manager expressed his disappointment with the result and described it as “painful.” However, he urged his squad to move on if they need to keep producing the goods. “I feel the same as the players. I am so disappointed, it is so painful. I am the guy with less time left to win titles, they are younger than me and for sure they have time,” he explained.

Pochettino added: “In football it is always about when you have the opportunity, because people think their first time in the final should be good, but after when you don’t get what you want, it’s like all the effort you made for seven or eight months has disappeared so quick. That is painful and difficult to manage. But we are competitive and if we want to win we need to move on.”

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