Pochettino ‘can’t accept’ Chelsea penalty dispute


Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino expresses deep frustration over the penalty dispute during their 6-0 victory against Everton, emphasizing the need for clarity and warning his players against such incidents in the future.

Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke argued over who would take a spot-kick, before Cole Palmer – Chelsea’s regular taker – scored his fourth goal.

“I can’t accept this kind of behaviour,” said Pochettino.

“I told them it’s the last time I want to see this kind of behaviour.”

He added: “It is impossible to have this type of behaviour after this performance. If we want to be a great team, we need to change and think in a collective way.”

Palmer scored the 64th-minute penalty for the Blues – his ninth successful spot-kick of the season -following a bizarre 60-second confrontation involving five players.

Initially, Madueke and Jackson both rushed to seize the ball from Malo Gusto. Madueke reached it first, sparking a 30-second exchange between them. Thiago Silva stepped in, leading to Jackson walking away.

Captain Conor Gallagher then approached Madueke, gesturing towards Palmer and instructing him to surrender the ball. Despite the insistence of both men, Madueke refused, prompting Gallagher to take matters into his own hands and pass the ball to Palmer.

Palmer and subsequently Gallagher had to push Jackson aside as he attempted to intervene again. Finally, Gallagher gave Madueke a final shove, putting an end to the altercation.

Pochettino later clarified that all the players were aware that Palmer was the designated penalty taker.

“The penalty taker is Palmer. It’s Palmer who needs to decide if he wants to give the ball to a team-mate. It’s important to fix. They realise now,” the Argentine said.

“It’s a shame. It’s a process for a young team who need to learn a lot. I want to apologise to the fans.

“They need to learn and be professional. We need to be focused on the collective. It’s a clear example that it’s a process we still need to learn.”

Palmer has successfully converted all nine penalties he has taken in the Premier League, with only former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure boasting a better 100% conversion rate from 11 penalties in the competition’s history.

Palmer himself attempted to downplay the incident afterward.

“Other players wanted to take it, but I am the penalty taker and I wanted to take it,” the ex-Manchester City player said.

“I think we are showing everyone wants to take responsibility. It may be a bit over the top, but everyone wants to win – we are laughing and joking about it.”

Everton midfielder Dele Alli, watching the game for Sky Sports as he continues his recovery from a long-term injury, saw it differently.

This was Palmer’s second home hat-trick in a row, having scored a 100th-minute penalty in a 4-3 win over Manchester United earlier this month.

“This is them showing their age. I’m not there at the training ground every day, but as far as I’m aware in their last big game, in the last minute when the pressure was on I didn’t see them all fighting to take it then,” he said.

“It’s alright when it’s 4-0 and you all want to get on the scoresheet.”