Chelsea’s Pochettino Concerns Grow

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Following Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge to Aston Villa, Mauricio Pochettino emphasized the need for his players to mature as a team, as it marked their third loss of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino expressed his concern about the maturity of his Chelsea squad following a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, marking their third defeat this season.

The turning point in the game occurred in the 58th minute when Chelsea’s Malo Gusto received a red card for a late challenge on Lucas Digne, initially shown a yellow card but upgraded after a VAR review by referee Jarred Gillett due to its dangerous nature.

Pochettino made a tactical change, bringing on Ben Chilwell and shifting Axel Disasi to right-back, but Chelsea’s attacking ambition remained undeterred as they sought a decisive goal.

However, this decision backfired, as Villa capitalized on a counterattack led by Moussa Diaby, who set up Ollie Watkins. Watkins’ initial shot was blocked by Levi Colwill, but he managed to score on the second attempt, angling the ball into the net off the far post.

This marked the second consecutive season where Watkins played a pivotal role in a Villa victory at Stamford Bridge, exposing Chelsea’s persistent struggle to convert promising opportunities in the final third into goals.

Striker Nicolas Jackson, who had only scored once since his £31 million summer transfer from Villarreal, collected his fifth booking of the season for obstructing a Villa free-kick, resulting in a one-game suspension.

Pochettino refrained from criticizing the officials and emphasized that the responsibility for the team’s poor start to the season rests with the players.

“It’s our responsibility and the players’ responsibility,” said Pochettino. “We can’t blame the VAR or the referee. The situation, we need to act different, in a different way. I’m not going to blame or say anything against Malo Gusto. Situations happen in football and they affect the game and the team in a negative way.

“We need to grow up like a team, not only in an individual way. A player like Nico (Jackson) that is so young, feeling the Premier League and he’s learning, he needs time. In this type of game, we’re competing and we want to win. But players, when they are young, need to learn with experience.

“That’s why we feel disappointed because we are playing too many situations like this. Another small detail and in the end we are losing the game. We are in a situation we need to change as soon as possible.”

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