Mauricio Pochettino explains what Chelsea need in second leg against Middlesbrough

Published: Jan 09, 2024
Mauricio Pochettino explains what Chelsea need in second leg against Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough were victorious against Chelsea on Tuesday, defeating the Premier League side 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium in the first leg of their Carabao Cup tie.

Boro were the underdogs in the match, and the EFL Championship outfit only held 28% possession and created two shots on target throughout the contest. In contrast, Chelsea created several opportunities in front of goal but could not get the ball past Boro goalkeeper Tom Glover, and the home side were able to ride Hayden Hackney's 27th-minute strike to victory.

Mauricio Pochettino came away disappointed in the result but not unhappy with his team's performance. The Chelsea boss would like to see more incisiveness in the final third, however.

"It is how we compete," Pochettino told Sky Sports. "We made some mistakes and we were punished for that, in football that happens.

"We have to be pushing. If you assess the performance, then overall we were the better side, we created more chances and had the clear chances. But, we didn't score.

"That has happened this season and there has been a lot of games we have not won because we were not clinical enough. We have a lack of goals, but not creating chances.

"We are creating many chances but not scoring them and if you don't score then it is difficult to win."

Despite Middlesbrough grabbing the advantage after the first leg, Pochettino noted that the tie is not over as the teams will reconvene at Stamford Bridge in two weeks' time.

"Today the pressure was good and intensity, we cannot say anything," he explained. "We made some mistakes in the first half, we gave them chances to scores and then they were so aggressive and tough.

"They play in the transition with the counter-attack and in a block really deep and it was difficult for us to break down. We had too many chances to score when we didn't score, that is football.

"We are disappointed but it is the first half of the tie. We need to be positive."


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