Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Chelsea, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Fulham FC at Stamford Bridge on January 13, 2024.
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea boss Pochettino makes red card admission after Fulham win

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino suggested that Malo Gusto was fortunate to avoid a red card during Saturday’s narrow win over Fulham.

The full-back was booked in the 38th minute for a foul on Willian, but Marco Silva believes the ankle-high challenge warranted a sending off.

After the final whistle the Cottagers boss said “it is a clear red card” and complained about the lack of consistency in key refereeing decisions.

Pochettino was sympathetic with Silva’s complaints and pointed out the Blues have received red cards for such fouls in the past. Gusto was sent off against Aston Villa earlier in the season for a similar tackle.

“Of course I understand, I respect his opinion,” the Argentine told TNT Sports. “It was a challenge, a difficult one for the referees and VAR. We’ve already suffered some sendings off for actions like this.

“I’m not going to say nothing, I accept and understand that it was maybe a red card. I don’t want to say too much because I’ve not seen all the angles. That is football though, sometimes it is for you and sometimes it isn’t.”

Pochettino felt that his side were deserving of the victory nonetheless after Cole Palmer scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot deep into added time of the first half. Chelsea have now won three Premier League games on the bounce, moving them up to eighth in the table.

“This type of victory is important because when you see Fulham in the way they played against Liverpool or Arsenal in the last few weeks you need to put some value on the win,” he said.

“The players deserved credit. They are not an easy side to play against. People suppose that Chelsea should be in a different position but we are in a realistic position and in a position that we deserve because we weren’t clinical enough. We’ll get what we want. We are in a process to build and fighting to do our best. I am so happy with the squad.”

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