Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino applauded the “massive contribution” Cole Palmer has made to the team since his transfer from Manchester City in the summer.
The 21-year-old was involved in both goals as the Blues beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, opening the scoring in the 54th minute before teeing it up for Nicolas Jackson shortly afterward. It’s the third time he has produced a goal and assist in a single game this term.
The result means Chelsea have won consecutive home Premier League matches for the first time in 14 months. It is just their third win in front of their own fans in their last 16 league games at the ground.
“I’m very pleased,” Pochettino told BBC Match of the Day. “The performance was good. It’s always good against a team who play aggressively with a low block.
“In the second half we changed the position of Palmer and Raheem Sterling, we tried to put Palmer and Mudryk in a better position in front of goal.
“I’m confident, even when we lose. I really believe in the players and the club. Now it’s about to use that in the next competition in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.”
Palmer, who is Chelsea’s joint-top goal scorer in the Premier League this season with six goals, is thriving in the number ten role, registering three assists in 14 appearances since leaving Man City in a deal worth £42.5million.
“For me he’s a playmaker, a player who can link the team,” Pochettino said. “He’s also a player with the capacity to score goals and give assists. The contribution of Cole Palmer from day one has been massive.”
Meanwhile, Christopher Nkunku was named on the bench following his recovery from a lengthy injury, but did not feature in the game. “We didn’t want to take a risk with him and give him more time for his recovery,” the Argentine explained.