Pochettino left puzzled as Spurs’ unbeaten run ends at Chelsea
FA Premier League: Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
28 November, 2016 — By Paul Cowling
Mauricio Pochettino: ‘We lost a little bit of control after their goals, but Chelsea were clinical’
MAURICIO Pochettino said he “couldn’t explain” Tottenham’s loss at Stamford Bridge on Saturday after seeing Chelsea come from behind to inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on his stuttering side.
Pochettino saw Spurs take a deserved lead on 11 minutes thanks to a cracking shot from Christian Eriksen.
His charges continued to dominate and looked set to go in at half-time a goal up, but, like a bolt out of the blue, Chelsea were level. Pedro turned smartly before curling in an unstoppable shot past Hugo Lloris.
“I think we played well for 44 minutes,” reasoned the Tottenham boss afterwards. “Then Pedro scored a great goal. But it is difficult to explain when you concede two goals like that.”
The second Chelsea goal, and the decisive one, came from a rapid counter-attack in the opening minutes of the second half.
Diego Costa crossed for an unmarked Victor Moses to slot home on 51 minutes. It was terrible marking by Spurs and a body blow to their hopes of recording their first league victory at Stamford Bridge in 27 years.
“We lost a little bit of control after their goals, but Chelsea were clinical,” said Pochettino, who also saw his side dumped out of the Champions League this week.
“We played better than we did in Europe against Monaco and kept going, so there are a lot of positives.
“It was tough to go out of the Champions League, but I think the answer from the players was clear against Chelsea.”
Pochettino decided to rest key players against Monaco, including defenders Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker.
Asked whether the changes had led to the exit from Europe, and their first league defeat, he was somewhat philosophical.
He said: “I accept crIticism, but I have no regrets about changes to the team. Journalists seem to be focused on rotating the team, and I understand that, but I needed to use the whole squad to be competitive.”
SPURS: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Wimmer, Wanyama, Ali (NKoudou, 73), Eriksen, Dembele (Janssen, 83), Son (Winks, 65), Kane
Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Carter-Vickers, Onomah