Pochettino reveals his thinking behind taking off Chelsea stars ahead of extra time vs Liverpool

Mauricio Pochettino explains why he made Chelsea changes ahead of extra time vs Liverpool

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino answers why he subbed off players before extra-time in the wake of a 0-1 defeat to Liverpool in the final of the Carabao Cup.

The Argentine manager made a total of five changes in the match, bringing in Christopher Nkunku in the 67th minute and Mykhaylo Mudryk in the 90th minute, Noni Madueke in the 97th minute and Trevoh Chalobah in the 113th minute.

The Argentine manager felt other players were running out of fuel, and replacing them was the best decision he could make after introducing Chalobah in place of Ben Chilwell.

This saw his side go five at the back and four in the middle of the park, with one forward in the attacking line. It was obvious the Blues tried to park the bus as they hoped for a penalty shootout. One can only assume that Pochettino hoped the Reds’ youngsters lacked the nerve should it came to spotkicks.

But Liverpool had other ideas when Reds’ skipper Virgil van Dijk headed the ball home in the 118th corner from Konstantinos Tsimikas’s corner. After the game, Pochettino explained why he made the changes, quoted by Fabrizio Romano:

“The players started to lose their energy. The team felt maybe penalties would be good for us. Chilly felt really, really tired. Gallagher, after five minutes, we needed to change. The effort was massive.”

It’s the wrong mindset from Pochettino.

Mauricio Pochettino explains why he made Chelsea changes ahead of extra time vs Liverpool.
Mauricio Pochettino says he prepared his side for penalties in defeat to Liverpool.

Pochettino should have used more attacking intent instead of going full defence in extra time. We were really good at attacking and created five big chances, but our inefficiency was on display. Had he remained with the same lineup instead of going defensive, we might have scored in extra time. He did the same against City when he went five at the back, and we conceded after that.

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Perhaps we ought to just take a risk and finish our game now. Unlike Old Chelsea, who can effectively defend even with a deep block, this team cannot be defeated. Although Pochettino’s in-game management might use a lot of improvement, he won’t have to make any difficult decisions if the players perform well. It is a two-way process. Pochettino and the players both need to get much better.