Chelsea vs Leicester City: What did Mauricio Pochettino say about booking another Wembley ticket?

The hosts pushed hard for the winner and found it with two injury-time strikes from substitutes Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke.

Chelsea FC in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@ChelseaFC
By Karthik Raman | Mar 19, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Chelsea had to dig deep to get past a resolute Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final. The Blues threw away a two-goal cushion before scoring late goals to win the contest 4-2. The home side went ahead 2-0 up at half-time through Marc Cucurella and Cole Palmer’s strikes. However, Leicester got back into the tie with an own goal from Axel Disasi and Stephy Mavididi’s amazing strike. Not long after the equaliser, the visitors were reduced to 10 men with Callum Doyle being sent off.

The hosts pushed hard for the winner and found it with two injury-time strikes from substitutes Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke. It is the second time the Blues will go to Wembley after losing the Carabao Cup final to Liverpool recently in the same stadium. Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino expressed his delight with the win but stated that they had missed multiple opportunities in the first half. “Yes, it was harder [than it needed to be]. If we scored with all the chances we created in the first half I think the game would have been finished after 45 minutes. But we missed too many chances,” Pochettino, quoted on the club’s website, said after booking the FA Cup semi-final ticket.

This group of players deserve great credit: Mauricio Pochettino

He added: “Then conceding [the first goal] in the way we did had an emotional impact. That is the magic of the FA Cup – as we saw yesterday with Coventry and that is football. But we fully deserve to be in Wembley and we will now go back to Wembley. We are in the FA Cup semi-final, so we are going twice at the moment but hopefully three times (including the final) we can go. But I think this group of players deserve great credit and also the staff. In the circumstance of the beginning of the season, to go twice and fight for cups twice, is massive.”

Even though Chelsea are scoring a decent amount of goals, the number of goals they are conceding could be a cause for concern. Reflecting on it, Pochettino calls for “collective balance,” as he explained where the issue lies and how to rectify it. “We scored five today with the goal of Axel as well. I think we need to find a collective balance because we have great offensive players,” the manager explained.

He further added: “They also need to think about defensive actions. There are two phases in football, one with the ball and one without the ball, and when we concede goals it is not only about the goalkeeper or the defensive line. We cannot at the moment find this balance. We have young players who need to be more mature and have more energy when we go to press and run backwards. That is the reality and that is why it is difficult to find consistency. We need to fix that with time and find the balance in this aspect.”

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