Mauricio Pochettino expressed regret for his outburst following Chelsea’s 4-4 tie with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, while also praising the growing resilience of his team.
The Chelsea coach was furious with the referee, Anthony Taylor, who had previously awarded a contentious penalty to City for a 1-0 lead. He argued that Taylor should have called a foul by Mateo Kovacic on Raheem Sterling instead of blowing the whistle for full time. Pochettino, who had to be restrained from confronting Taylor and received a caution, believed that Sterling could have potentially had a last-minute opportunity.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of City, waited for Pochettino to greet him. However, this did not occur as his opponent was caught up in anger.
“I would like to offer my apologies to Anthony, the assistant referees, and the fourth official,” Pochettino stated. “At that moment, I thought that perhaps Raheem could have made it through and scored the fifth goal. But when the game ended, I turned and exclaimed, ‘What the…?'”
I expressed, “Why pause the action at this moment?” Then I pivoted and declared, “I should be reprimanded.” I went over the limit, so I apologize for displaying this type of behavior, as it does not reflect well on me or on football.
Guardiola stated that he did not have any issue with not shaking hands with Pochettino. He explained that it was not a problem and did not want to discuss it further. He also clarified that any emotional reactions were normal and that he did not want to be misinterpreted regarding past incidents with Pochettino. Overall, it was not a big deal for him.
Pochettino apologized to Guardiola for not noticing him waiting during the game. He explained that he was solely focused on the action at hand.
Chelsea has recently tied with Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City, but managed to win against Tottenham. Pochettino expressed that the team displayed determination and mindset, as well as demonstrating their ability to dominate and generate opportunities against a strong team like City. Although they are currently not at the top of the table, there is a noticeable change in the atmosphere of the stadium and this type of performance will be beneficial for their future.
Guardiola stated that expecting to win by a large margin is unrealistic. He acknowledged the effort put in by Chelsea to build their team and recognized them as one of the top teams in the last 25 years. He also mentioned that it was a good challenge for his team and they are satisfied with the outcome.
Levi Colwill was absent from the game due to a shoulder injury, according to Pochettino. The defender is likely to not participate in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia for the England squad.