Mauricio Pochettino spoke of his pride after watching Chelsea cling on with 10 men to earn a battling 3-2 win against Brighton at Stamford Bridge.

Captain Conor Gallagher was sent off late in the first half with the hosts leading 2-1, leaving them facing an uphill battle to hold off a fightback from Roberto De Zerbi’s side.

Chelsea had looked to be heading in at half-time two goals to the good, Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill each heading in their first Premier League goals three minutes apart to open up a commanding lead but Brighton halved the deficit through Facundo Buonanotte before Gallagher was shown a second yellow card.

The visitors’ fightback was curtailed midway through the second half when Mykhailo Mudryk, in for Cole Palmer who had picked up a knock in training, raced through on goal and drew a foul from James Milner, a penalty awarded following a pitchside review and a second goal for Fernandez clipped home from 12 yards.

Brighton battled gamely against a determined Chelsea rearguard and a goal headed in by substitute Joao Pedro breathed life into the contest at the start of 10 minutes of stoppage time.

Then in the final seconds, referee Craig Pawson was called pitchside again to adjudicate on a possible handball inside the box against Colwill. This time the call was no penalty, and Chelsea saw out the win to banish memories of last weekend’s 4-1 defeat by Newcastle.

“It wasn’t a sending off,” said Pochettino. “That is my opinion. Maybe I am wrong. This type of period where you are building something, it always happens. We are a young team. I want to clarify – not we are young players, we are a young team.

“We need to improve, we need to learn. The Premier League is the best in the world. We have too many players that need to feel what it means to play in the Premier League. We were a little bit more aggressive after Newcastle where we didn’t show our real face.

“We wanted to play well, to be aggressive and show we care. I think the team was really good, I feel proud. After Newcastle it was tough, and a team like Brighton is always difficult to play.

“I am so proud of the players and the character that they showed. I told them at half-time, ‘it’s 2-1 to us, it’s a great opportunity for us – now we need to show that we are a team’.”

The win was the first in six attempts that Chelsea have managed against Brighton in the league, and was notable for a standout performance from Mudryk who has looked increasingly at home in west London this season after a difficult first six months.

Pochettino reiterated the need for young players like the Ukrainian to feel settled before they can be expected to produce on the pitch.

“It’s not only about building the way that you want to play, your philosophy on the pitch,” he said. “Before that, you need to belong to the team, you need to belong to the club, to settle yourself.

“You need to grow, need to get experience. Too many things before you can talk about playing from the back, or play with three or four offensive players, or with three or five at the back. That comes in after.”

Brighton boss De Zerbi reflected on a game he felt his team did not deserve to lose.

“It’s hard because I think we played much better than Chelsea,” he said. “We made three big mistakes, two set-pieces in the first half and we conceded the third goal in an incredible way.

“It was a clear penalty for them, but we can’t concede a counter-attack in that way (from) a corner for us. In that way we are young, but we need to be more focused in that situation and at set-pieces.”

Mauricio Pochettino likened his role at Chelsea to that of a university professor as he seeks to install a more robust mentality in an inexperienced squad.

The team suffered a second-half collapse to go down 4-1 at injury-hit Newcastle last weekend, bringing an abrupt end to their recent run of impressive results.

With an average age of just over 23, Chelsea have the youngest squad in this season’s Premier League, though expectation has been driven sky-high by co-owner Todd Boehly spending more than £1billion during the last 18 months.

That investment had looked finally to be paying dividends after recent results which included a 4-1 victory away at previously unbeaten Tottenham and thrilling home draws against last season’s top two, Arsenal and Manchester City.

But at St. James’ Park they were routed by Eddie Howe’s side, losing captain Reece James to a second-half red card as the hosts scored three times in 23 minutes to inflict a second loss in seven games.

Ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Brighton at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino emphasised his role as mentor in helping his players come of age.

“You need to approach like you’re a professor of a university,” he said. “Sometimes you need to accept it’s not bad intention (from the players).

“Sometime they can’t perform because they didn’t understand our message, so we have to analyse ourselves to explain in a different way.

“They need to learn. On the pitch they need to make decisions for themselves. It’s a process.

“Of course I trust in the club, the players, the squad. It’s only a matter of time.”

The Newcastle loss was marked by an uncharacteristically poor performance from veteran defender Thiago Silva, whose costly error allowed Joelinton to make it 3-1 and effectively kill the game.

Pochettino defended the 39-year-old and insisted on the importance to a young squad of a player with almost 900 professional appearances for club and country.

“The more experienced players can deal better with pressure and with mistakes,” he said. “With (Silva’s) experience, he can deal with mistakes.

“That’s a help because it’s one player less to manage, we can focus more on the younger players. That’s how he’s helping us.”

Pochettino added that the week since the defeat on Tyneside has been spent analysing why the team capitulated so readily in the face of Newcastle’s pressure.

“It’s like when you go to the doctor because you have some pain in your body,” he said. “First of all, the doctor needs to do some analysis, then to detect the problem, then to give the solution, the medicine.

“It’s the same. It’s to identify why that happened. Then you attack the problem with a solution.

“It’s a young team that needs to be more mature and consistent. These ups and downs can happen. But now we need to realise why it happens in a young team, we need to emphasise different areas, to anticipate these type of situations in future.”

Mauricio Pochettino admitted Moises Caicedo’s international commitments with Ecuador have complicated the midfielder’s early Chelsea career.

The club paid a British record £115million to sign the 22-year-old from Brighton in August but frequent trips to South America to play for his country have limited the time he has been able to spend working with coaching staff at Cobham.

He has played 14 times in all competitions since his arrival, recovering from a red card on his first appearance against West Ham to become a steady if not yet spectacular performer in the heart of midfield.

Since joining Chelsea he has been called up three times by Ecuador and played in six matches, with each international window requiring a more than 11,000-mile round trip, sometimes not arriving back in London until the early hours of the day before Chelsea’s next game.

He revealed in an interview with the club’s website this week that he spent much of his first 10 days in England alone in a hotel room in tears and suffering from homesickness, after joining the Seagulls from Independiente del Valle in his home country in January 2021 during the Covid pandemic.

Restrictions on movement for people arriving into the UK meant he was unable to meet his Brighton team-mates until completing a period of quarantine, during which he phoned his parents in Ecuador asking to return home.

He recovered to become one of the standout successes of the team that Roberto De Zerbi led to a club-best sixth-placed Premier League finish last campaign, sparking a bidding war between Liverpool and Chelsea in which Pochettino’s side were victorious.

The manager reiterated a call for patience as Caicedo navigates life at Chelsea amid a hectic World Cup qualifying schedule internationally.

“When we signed him we knew what is going to happen,” said Pochettino. “He’s an emotional guy, an emotional player that needs time to recover.

“It didn’t help also the international games, travelling to Ecuador, to South America. That is really tough every single month, two or three weeks then go 10, 12 days away, then come back sometimes with some injury.

“It’s not an excuse but it’s the reality. Now we need time. Of course I say (the team) always need to perform. That is our mentality. But in some situations like his, we need to give time and not to be unfair in the way that we assess him.”

Caicedo has formed a reliable partnership in midfield with Enzo Fernandez, who the club paid a then-British record £107m to sign from Benfica in January while Graham Potter was in charge.

Pochettino revealed that the Argentinian World Cup winner asked for extra time off during the summer due to fatigue and was granted permission to join up late with the squad on their United States tour.

“It’s different because Enzo arrived last January, he was with different coaches here,” said the manager. “He asked when we arrived for a period of holiday because he was tired after the World Cup and everything. He joined us in North Carolina.

“I cannot judge the past. Only I can talk from when we arrived (at Chelsea). We expect all, not only (these two), all the players, even the ones not too much involved, to push their level.”

Mauricio Pochettino was “angry and disappointed” after watching Chelsea fall apart in their 4-1 Premier League defeat at Newcastle.

The Argentinian was left furious by his side’s second-half capitulation at St James’ Park, which saw full-back Reece James sent off to erase the memories of their creditable displays against Tottenham and Manchester City before the international break.

Pochettino, who watched the game from the directors’ box as he served a touchline ban, said: “We didn’t prepare ourselves in the best way to compete today, that is my concern.

“We thought that we were ready to compete today, but we didn’t in the way that the competition demands.

“Even if Newcastle weren’t great, it was an easy win to prepare for the Champions League today. We had to come here, Chelsea, to show that it’s going to be difficult for them to play, to win the game and to beat us.

“But it was really easy in the way that we conceded and the way that we were so soft in every single challenge. We didn’t show that we were playing for something important.

“That’s what makes me angry and disappointed. We talk about that we are a young team and we have to learn, but I think these type of games make me very, very, very, very, very angry because it’s about showing your personality and character.

“Okay, we are young as a team, but we cannot lose this type of opportunity to show our best.”

Newcastle had 13 players missing after midfielder Joe Willock had been added to the casualty list with a recurrence of an Achilles injury.

But the hosts took a 13th-minute lead when Alexander Isak, back after a month out, span on 17-year-old Lewis Miley’s astute pass and fired past Robert Sanchez.

The visitors levelled before the break courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s sweetly-struck free-kick, only to succumb to goals from Lascelles and Joelinton within three second-half minutes and a fourth from Anthony Gordon after James had picked up a second booking.

Magpies head coach Eddie Howe, who now faces the tasking of preparing his injury-ravaged side for Tuesday night’s Champions League trip to Paris St Germain, was delighted with the resilience his players showed in adversity.

Howe said: “It’s such an important win for us with the position we’re in, the stretched resources that we have.

“To be able to come together and give a performance like that speaks volumes for the character of the players we have, the leaders we have in the group and our ability to just focus on the present, on what’s happening right now.

“You look at the players who were missing and that was a giant performance from the players we have fit.”

However, Howe’s enjoyment was tempered by Willock’s misfortune with the player and his club awaiting a prognosis.

He said: “It looks like a recurrence of an Achilles injury that he had a few weeks ago. It’s a massive blow for us.

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be out, we’re going to have to seek specialist advice, but it’s a huge blow for us.”

Newcastle produced a stunning second-half display as the Magpies halted Chelsea’s Premier League momentum with a 4-1 win at St James’ Park.

Jamaal Lascelles’ first-half error handed Raheem Sterling the chance to cancel out Alexander Isak’s opener with a superb free-kick, but the Newcastle skipper gave his side the lead with a bullet header on the hour.

Joelinton then pounced on Thiago Silva’s blunder on the day he became the Blues’ oldest ever outfield player at 39 years and 64 days.

The excellent Anthony Gordon produced a fine solo effort seven minutes from time to seal a thumping win, the perfect response to the Magpies’ 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth before the international break.

That it was achieved without 13 senior players – Joe Willock and Emil Krafth joined the casualty list on the eve of the game – will have been a source of huge satisfaction for head coach Eddie Howe.

The vast majority of a crowd of 52,227 left with smiles on their faces, but wondering what team Howe will be able to field at Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, who had seen his side score eight goals against Tottenham and Manchester City in their previous two games, looked on as a positive first half dissolved into chaos with full-back Reece James receiving his marching orders late on for two bookable offences.

Newcastle were ahead with 13 minutes gone when Gordon recycled Kieran Trippier’s cross beyond the far post and picked out youngster Lewis Miley on the edge of the box via a deft touch from Joelinton.

The 17-year-old slid a neat pass into Isak’s feet and the striker turned smartly before firing past goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

However, the visitors were back in it within 10 minutes when, after Lascelles had been dispossessed inside the visitors’ half, Nicolas Jackson played Sterling into the space he had vacated and the winger’s run towards goal was halted illegally by Trippier.

Sterling took charge of the resulting free-kick and curled it superbly over the wall and into the net with Pope rooted to the spot – the first league goal he had conceded at St James’ in 383 minutes of football.

Pope had to be at his best to turn away Enzo Fernandez’s effort after a flowing counter-attack sparked by Conor Gallagher in which James was twice involved and defender Benoit Badiashile headed straight at the keeper from the resulting corner.

But Pope was fortunate to escape when he scuffed a 36th-minute clearance straight to Gallagher and was relieved to see him make equally poor contact with his attempt at goal.

Trippier very nearly matched Sterling’s brilliance with 43rd-minute free-kick which rattled the crossbar as a rousing half drew to its conclusion.

The Magpies regained the lead on the hour when Trippier opted to play the latest in a series of free-kicks square to Bruno Guimaraes rather than into the box and he and Joelinton combined to feed Gordon, whose pinpoint cross was headed home by the unmarked Lascelles.

Newcastle increased their lead within two minutes when Silva’s miskick presented Joelinton with a chance to run in on goal and smash the ball past the helpless Sanchez.

James’ afternoon got worse with 17 minutes remaining when, having earlier been booked for dissent, he received a second yellow card for a foul on Gordon and was dismissed.

Fabian Schar would have made it 4-1 but for a fine one-handed save by Sanchez, but there was nothing the Spain international could do to keep out Gordon’s inch-perfect 83rd-minute strike.

Mauricio Pochettino believes Premier League managers should be invited to play a more active role in helping shape refereeing guidelines.

Chelsea have been involved in a number of controversial fixtures this season, most notably the frenetic 4-1 win away at Tottenham earlier in November in which Spurs had two players sent off, five goals were disallowed and VAR made nine interventions across a match that lasted over 110 minutes.

Pochettino has previously complained that the league’s request to meet with coaches in the week before the beginning of the season to discuss changes allowed little room for constructive input from managers and their clubs.

The current campaign has seen a barrage of complaints directed at on-field and VAR officials, with referees coming under almost unprecedented scrutiny following a string of errors, particularly relating to the influence of the video referee on the decision-making process.

“We all have full respect for the referees, we understand perfectly that their job is really tough,” said Pochettino, whose team face Newcastle at St James’s Park on Saturday.

“But the problem is you get frustrated sometimes during the game because of the VAR. The referee is not responsible sometimes. You cannot complain to the VAR. That is a problem.

“I’m going to try and control more my emotions. I think all the coaches respect the referees because they’re in a really difficult situation.

“I think sometimes we are frustrated. I think coaches need to be more involved in the decisions, and to work together during the season.

“It is not (ideal) to arrive the week before the start of the Premier League season and say, ‘OK, the new rules are this. What do you think?’. Nothing, because you have already made the decision. Like the rule that there can only be one coach (in the technical area). Why?

“England was always different about the relationship with the referee. You can talk, you can (previously) have four people in the dugout. Which way do we want to evolve in the Premier League?

“England is different. Not only because you drive on the right (of the car), but because of the relationship in football. It is the gentleman’s game.”

Despite those frustrations, and the ongoing confusion surrounding the proper implementation of VAR and its interpretation of the game’s rules, Pochettino acknowledged that the emotional side of football is ultimately what props up the business side of the sport.

“I think people look at football and understand that it is a big business,” he said. “The sport is very honest, with rules. But around that it is a business that we cannot stop.

“If the sport doesn’t produce that emotion it is producing, it is difficult to talk about it in this way, to have the chance to have good salaries, to give also to society.

“Football provides people with happiness and that is the most important thing. We are all part of this business.”

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Christopher Nkunku will not be fit to be involved in Chelsea’s visit to Newcastle on Saturday.

There had been hopes that the £52million summer signing from RB Leipzig would have sufficiently recovered from the knee injury he sustained on the pre-season tout of the United States to play a part at St James’ Park.

But, despite being fit enough to have taken part in training with the first team, the 26-year-old has not worked tactically with the squad and will not travel.

Chelsea struggled without the France international in Pochettino’s first Premier League games in charge, with the goalscoring problems that he had been acquired to help solve carrying over from a tumultuous campaign last season during which the team scored fewer league goals than they had in almost a century.

Those issues have become less urgent in recent weeks, with four goals scored on three separate occasions against Burnley, Tottenham and Manchester City.

By contrast, the team had not previously scored four times in a game since April 2022.

“(Nkunku) was doing things with the group last week,” said Pochettino. “But he’s not fully recovered to be part of the squad.

“He’s a fantastic player, top scorer in the Bundesliga last season. He can play different positions, his quality is amazing. It’s really bad luck to lose him from the beginning of the season.

“We’re going to find the best way for him to fit in the team. He’s going to find massive competition. His team-mates are ahead of him, they’ve had four months of competition. He needs to build his form and be at his best level.

“We need to understand he’s coming back from injury, he will need time. We will be patient with him.

“It’s not a competition (the Premier League) that he’s normally used to. He came from Europe, he needs to recover from injury but also to know the league. It’ll take time to perform at his best.”

Pochettino confirmed that Romeo Lavia, signed in the last week of the transfer window from Southampton for £53m, is also nearing fitness but is slightly behind the progress made by Nkunku.

Wesley Fofana has trained on grass at Cobham as he continues his rehabilitation from an ACL injury, though is unlikely to be available before the new year.

Chelsea had come into form prior to the international break with five wins from eight in all competitions, a run which saw them score 19 times having previously netted only seven in their first seven under Pochettino.

The manager is hopeful that the pause will not have disrupted his side’s rhythm ahead of their visit to face Eddie Howe’s side.

“The break came at a bad time,” he said. “It came in a moment we were building a way to play, results were on our side. But I believe we can keep momentum even after two weeks with no competition.”

Pochettino added that the squad has held group discussions about why performances and results have been better this season against the stronger teams – draws with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City and victory over Spurs – while there have been home losses to Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.

“It’s part of the process,” he said. “We’re a young team, we started to work four months ago. We need to be more mature, more patient. We cannot get frustrated so soon when things don’t work.

“Expectation creates nervousness when you play a team with less quality than you. You take rushed decisions, get frustrated. You want to do the job of your team-mate.”

Eddie Howe has insisted the decision not to introduce a ban which could have prevented Newcastle from loaning players from Saudi clubs is no great advantage to them.

Premier League clubs this week voted against a move to stop members drafting in players on temporary deals from associated clubs – those who share owners – which had been interpreted as a bid to thwart the Magpies, who had been linked with a January move for Al-Hilal’s Ruben Neves.

Newcastle are 80 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which also has controlling stakes in four Saudi Pro League clubs including Neves’ employers, and the decision means in theory that they could sign loan deals to bolster their squad in the midst of an injury crisis.

Howe said: “I found it a bit strange that the focus has been solely on us. Every club has a right to vote how they want to vote, and it hasn’t gone through so it’s not just about us.

“It was a Premier League vote – we’re not the only club involved in that vote. I think the majority of clubs in the Premier League own other clubs around the world, so it’s not solely on us, I don’t think.

“Newcastle as a club had a view. We voted our way in the way we’re allowed to, and the vote came out on the side that it did.

“Just from my dealings with it, we’re very relaxed on it. It’s not the be-all and end-all for us.”

Howe’s squad has been ravaged by injuries and suspension in recent weeks, but midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is available for Saturday’s home clash with Chelsea after serving a one-match ban, as is Kieran Trippier after leaving the England squad for personal reasons.

Striker Alexander Isak is close to a return from a groin injury, but Howe is still without the likes of Dan Burn, Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff, Sandro Tonali, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson.

Asked if he would consider signing a player from a Saudi club in January, Howe said: “It’s not even in our thoughts at this moment in time.

“It would only be a reaction to the injuries that we have and whether we need to recruit because the majority of our players would be back in January. At this moment in time, we don’t know.”

Howe put the final touches to his preparations for the Chelsea game having watched back his side’s 2-0 defeat at former club Bournemouth on their last outing no fewer than five times in a bid to address what went wrong.

He did so with £55million summer signing Tonali, who is serving a 10-month ban for breaching betting rules, showing just how much of a miss he will be on the training pitch.

Howe said: “You wouldn’t know from our training sessions that he’s unavailable to play and it’s probably been the best we have seen him in training. I’d love to see him when he comes back into the team because I think he will be a huge player for us.”

Tottenham sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on this day in 2019.

The sudden and unexpected decision came less than six months after the Argentinian had guided Spurs to the Champions League final.

Pochettino had been in charge for five-and-a-half years but paid the price for a poor start to the 2019-20 season.

He left Spurs 14th in the Premier League table after winning just three, and collecting only 14 points, from their opening 12 games of the campaign.

“Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing,” said chairman Daniel Levy.

“We were extremely reluctant to make this change. It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste.”

Pochettino left Southampton to take over at Spurs in May 2014 and led them to the League Cup final in his first full season but lost to Chelsea.

They pushed Leicester for the title in 2016 but ultimately finished third. They were runners-up the following year and third again in 2018.

Their run to the Champions League final in 2019 included memorable wins over Manchester City and Ajax in the knockout stages but they were beaten by Liverpool in the showpiece in Madrid.

They also won only three of their final 12 Premier League matches of that season and it was the continuation of that form that eventually cost Pochettino.

His period in charge had also spanned Spurs’ move from their old White Hart Lane stadium to their new arena on the same site, with home games played at Wembley for 18 months.

Spurs wasted little time in replacing him, with his successor Jose Mourinho appointed the following day.

Pochettino returned to the game as Paris St Germain manager in January 2021, and after leaving the French club 18 months later he took charge at Chelsea this summer.

Cole Palmer believes his impatience is paying off having flourished for Chelsea and earned a first England call-up since leaving all-conquering Manchester City in search of regular football.

Part of Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning squad before helping his country win the Under-21 European Championship, a more prominent role at club level looked on the cards this term.

Palmer scored in the Community Shield and another in the Super Cup, but made no secret about his desire for regular action after his man-of-the-match display against Sevilla in the European curtain-raiser.

It proved his final City appearance and a fortnight later the forward joined the glut of gems being collected by free-spending Chelsea in a deal worth up to £42.5million, signing a seven-year deal.

“It happened fast, to be fair,” Palmer said. “I spoke to someone at Chelsea and I was speaking to my dad, but I really didn’t know what to do.

“I was just thinking about it for a couple of days, like near enough every minute of the day.

“But then I just thought for my career and stuff I have to go and try and get regular game time.

“It was a big move for me. I’d never been out of Manchester, not even on loan or anything like that, so to move down there on my own was a big thing.

“When I first went down there it was difficult, like staying in a hotel and stuff, but now I have settled in more and I’m enjoying it.”

This season always felt important in promising Palmer’s career, especially after a combination of injury and competition restricted him to just seven starts last year.

The 21-year-old has already made eight in an impressive beginning to life with the Blues, leading to a first England call-up following some withdrawals from the initial selection for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.

“Obviously you know how good of a manager Pep is and he gave me the opportunity and the platform to kick-start my career, so I’ll always be grateful to him,” Palmer said.

“Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed.

“Maybe I would have played more, maybe not. But I think the decision that I made to go to Chelsea so far is paying off.”

Palmer gave short shrift to a question asking him to compare Guardiola with Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino when he faced the media for the first time since his England call-up.

But he was more forthcoming when it came to his current manager’s ability to develop English talents, as he did with aplomb at Southampton and Tottenham.

“A lot of people told me how he is with young players,” Palmer said.

“Ever since I went to Chelsea I can see it, so I’m enjoying working with him and excited to carry on working with him.

“He has given me the confidence and licence to go where I want on the pitch, where I feel I can use my strengths, so I’m grateful for it.”

Palmer certainly does not lack confidence, which was abundantly clear along with his cheeky side in Sunday’s stunning 4-4 draw with City.

Footage went viral of the Chelsea forward pretending to listen to his former team-mates on an afternoon when he celebrated his stoppage-time spot-kick equaliser with a nonchalant shrug.

“When I saw the ref give the penalty, I just thought ‘it’s my time’,” Palmer said.

“I spoke to Raz (Raheem Sterling). He said ‘what’s happening?’ and I was like ‘I want to take it’.

“He was like ‘fine’ and then when I put the ball down I just tried to focus on a spot and put it there.”

Asked if he felt pressure or nerves, he said: “Not really, to be honest.

“I felt I was waiting for a while and obviously I did think about my old club and stuff but after that not really.

“It was a crazy game. I did feel a bit nervous before and a bit weird to see everyone from the club I’ve been at for 15 years.

“But when the game started it felt normal and it was a good game.”

More positive news awaited him when he waded through the myriad of messages on his phone after returning to the Stamford Bridge dressing room.

“I got the message near enough straightaway after the match,” he said of his maiden England call-up.

“But my phone was going crazy because I have got some City fans that are my mates and family and all that.

“I read it and then like I read it again, so it was confirmed.

“I just rang my dad straight away and he was with my mum, so I told them first.”

Emile Heskey will be stunned if Mauricio Pochettino isn't given time to rebuild Chelsea, who are beginning to show signs of life under the former Tottenham boss.

Chelsea have spent over £1billion in the transfer market in 18 months since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over, and they have been inconsistent since embarking on another spending spree ahead of Pochettino's first campaign in charge.

After a below-par start under the Argentine, Chelsea have shown encouraging signs in recent weeks, thrashing nine-man Tottenham 4-1 in a remarkable London derby before playing out a thrilling 4-4 draw with Manchester City on Sunday.

That latter game – the first in the Premier League to feature four equalising goals since Liverpool and Arsenal's iconic 4-4 draw in April 2009 – saw Cole Palmer convert a 95th-minute penalty to deny his former club victory.

Chelsea went into the November international break five points adrift of the Premier League's top six, and with the team starting to show positive signs, Heskey believes Boehly will have greater patience with Pochettino than he did with predecessors Graham Potter and Thomas Tuchel.

"If you haven't negotiated that you need time at Chelsea, a club that was going through so much turmoil at that time, it would be silly," Heskey told Stats Perform.

"I'd be very surprised if he hasn't gone through that with them; 'We need time to actually build this and make sure we've got the time'. 

"The reality is that if you look at some of their games, they've battered teams but not won. So there's something else there in play where the confidence of the players to go and finish, they've lost that. 

"You can't say that you created 26 chances and not scored. There's something right there because you're creating 26 chances, but something's fundamentally wrong when that composure to finish isn't there. 

"That could be with the stadium, the crowd, the tension that comes with that. They've never had it before because you've had all these top forwards who were just banging in goals. 

"They were ruthless. They were relentless. Now they haven't got that, they need something. 

"They've got players that need an arm around them, and they've got players that are low on confidence. How do you bring them back up?"

Chelsea are yet to win a trophy under the Boehly regime, though Pochettino has led them to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, a competition which appears wide open with City, Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal already being knocked out.

Heskey won that competition four times during his playing career, twice with Leicester City and twice with Liverpool, also finishing on the losing side in another two finals. 

While many consider Chelsea among the favourites to win the trophy, Heskey feels they face a tough task in the last eight, adding: "If I look at the next round, they've got Newcastle and that's not an easy job. 

"Newcastle are flying at this moment in time. And for me, if I'm Eddie Howe, that's the competition I want to win."

Mauricio Pochettino said Chelsea will approach the rest of the season confident in the knowledge they can compete with the best teams after dramatically drawing 4-4 with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Cole Palmer struck a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to deny the club with whom he won the Premier League title in May and snatch a sensational point at the death in west London.

City thought they had won it via Rodri’s deflected strike four minutes from the end, his effort spinning into the goal past the wrongfooted Robert Sanchez off Thiago Silva’s outstretched foot.

Earlier, the lead had been passed back and forth on a topsy-turvy afternoon, Erling Haaland opening the scoring from the spot after 25 minutes before Silva nodded his team level from a corner.

Raheem Sterling scored against his old team to give Chelsea the lead from Josko Gvardiol’s mistake, but they could not hold on until half-time as Manuel Akanji was afforded space from a corner routine to equalise on the stroke of the interval.

Haaland struck again to make it 3-2 moments after the restart, Nicolas Jackson thumped home on the rebound when Ederson failed to hold on to Conor Gallagher’s drive from outside the box for 3-3, before the late drama for which a stunning match will be best remembered.

And Pochettino predicted the performance and the result would have a transformational effect on his young side as they continue their recovery from an indifferent start to his tenure.

“I’m very proud,” he said. “I’m so happy. The players deserve credit, the performance this evening was amazing, against for me the best team in the world.

“Many circumstances that happened during the game that made me proud, the way that we managed the game was really, really good.

“There are things to improve, but it’s the process. When you want to build a project from zero, this type of thing is really good.

“These types of experiences will improve a lot out play and our team. But now we need to translate in the future.

“I am so tired, after Monday (the 4-1 win against Tottenham) and Sunday. I don’t want to be wrong when I assess, but if I go back, we were very disappointed (in earlier) results but this is a process. It’s a young team, you feel the pressure to win.

“This type of performance will build belief and confidence. (But) we have to have patience in some games.”

Having struggled for goals during August and September, Chelsea have now netted eight times in their last two matches following Monday’s frenetic win at Spurs.

It is the third time this season they have scored four times in a league game. By contrast, the team did not manage to do so throughout the whole of the last campaign.

“It showed the character, showed the mentality, showed that we can go for the goal against a team like Man City and to dominate and have the capacity to create chances,” said Pochettino. “I think it’s really important today to build our confidence and to believe more in the way we are working.

“We’re still far away. But that’s the process. It’s a different moment, this period. But of course this type of performance we need to use for the future.

“We go step by step, maybe we can jump two steps. But caution. Today was a massive motivation.”

City boss Pep Guardiola reflected on a fair result as his team moved a point clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.

“It was a good advert and entertaining game for the Premier League and both teams wanted to win,” he said. “I wouldn’t have expected differently. Chelsea have a fantastic team and players.

“We had momentum, two or three transitions one-on-one which we could not finish. But the game was in the moment at the end.

“A tight game, but a fair result. I congratulate the team, we go into the break and we qualify for the Champions League and we come back (after international break) and go.”

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg said Tottenham went down with “the flag held high” in their 4-1 loss to Chelsea and has backed the squad to cope with the absence of key personnel.

Spurs lost their unbeaten start to the Premier League season in a pulsating London derby in which five goals were disallowed and the hosts played the final 35 minutes with nine men.

To add salt into fresh Tottenham wounds, Micky van de Ven was forced off with a hamstring injury and James Maddison had to be withdrawn due to an ankle knock, while Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie, who were both sent off, will sit out this weekend’s trip to Wolves.

Ange Postecoglou’s side battled admirably, first with 10 men from the 35th minute and then when down to nine early in the second half, but Nicolas Jackson grabbed the first of his three goals with quarter of an hour left to finally break the hosts’ resolve.

Hojbjerg said: “I think we went down with the flag held high. We gave it our all but the result hurts a lot.

“We showed what we had in our hearts but the result hurts.

“Tuesday we have a day off and when we see each other on Wednesday, we’ll gather the pieces and focus on the next game, as we have to.

“Everyone has to show their availability and show they are prepared to do what it takes.

“A good squad is not 11 players. It is 18 or 25 players and this is what we have to show. The result hurts a lot but we have to keep going.”

Mauricio Pochettino’s first return to Tottenham had initially started in the worst possible fashion when Dejan Kulusevski’s curled effort deflected off Levi Colwill and beyond the helpless Robert Sanchez after six minutes.

The wheels started to fall off during a 57-minute first half where four goals were chalked off by video assistant referee John Brooks at Stockley Park, who decided that Romero’s tackle on Enzo Fernandez was worthy of a red card and a penalty in the 33rd minute.

Spurs’ uphill task increased further when Udogie was shown a second yellow after 10 minutes of the second period, but Postecoglou deployed a high line and Guglielmo Vicario starred in the sweeper-keeper role before Jackson made it 2-1.

Tottenham remained resolute and started to create chances with substitute Eric Dier marginally offside when he volleyed home soon after Jackson’s first goal before Rodrigo Bentancur and Son Heung-min squandered opportunities.

 

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Jackson made the points safe in stoppage time when he lashed in from Conor Gallagher’s pass, but Spurs supporters greeted the goal with a standing ovation for their crestfallen players.

Kulusevski said: “It was unbelievable, honestly. Some things are bigger than life, bigger than football, bigger than the wins.

“Honestly I was really proud of that moment and the fans. I was grateful and it makes me want to give more back.

“It has to give us fuel. We lost the game, we hate to lose, it was the first of the season, but we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again and play 11 v 11 because then it is much harder to beat us.”

The consequences of this defeat could be long-lasting with Romero set for a three-match ban, which will rule him out of matches with Wolves, Aston Villa and Manchester City.

Of bigger concern is centre-back partner Van de Ven after he pulled up at the end of the first half in a sprint with Jackson, which saw him helped off the pitch and he was later seen on crutches.

Udogie will also miss Saturday’s clash at Wolves and with Ben Davies nursing an ankle knock, Postecoglou could use Under-21 defenders Ash Phillips or Alfie Dorrington this weekend.

“It will be a test for sure. They (Van de Ven and Maddison) are amazing players and I hope they are back very, very soon, but as you saw the players that came in were amazing,” Kulusevski said.

“We train really hard every day and everybody is ready. You saw Eric Dier, he came in, did his first appearance and was unbelievable. The guys are ready.

“Everybody wants to play and it is so high level the training. So, if (Phillips) will be called, he will be ready.”

Chelsea ended Tottenham’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with an extraordinary 4-1 win over their London rivals on Monday evening.

A hat-trick from Nicolas Jackson helped Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino enjoy a successful return to his former club, but only after a pulsating contest with two red cards and five disallowed goals.

Here, the PA news agency looks at 10 of the greatest games in the Premier League era.

Manchester City 3 QPR 2 (May 2012)

Perhaps the most significant of all. City started this game knowing a win would earn them a first Premier League title but when they went 2-1 down – even against 10 men – it looked as though rivals Manchester United would take the trophy. However, Edin Dzeko scored in the second minute of time added on to level and Sergio Aguero (or, to quote Sky commentator Martin Tyler, “Agueroooooooooo”) won both the match and the title with 93:20 on the clock.

Arsenal 4 Tottenham 4 (October 2008)

Best remembered for David Bentley’s stunning opener for Tottenham against his former club, this game saw Spurs come back from 4-2 down to earn a point. Trailing to Bentley’s amazing volley, the Gunners exposed Spurs’ weakness at defending set-pieces to lead through Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas. Emmanuel Adebayor added a third for the hosts before Darren Bent pulled one back. When Robin van Persie restored Arsenal’s two-goal cushion it had looked all over, but Harry Redknapp’s men showed a new resilience and Jermaine Jenas’ late strike gave them hope before Aaron Lennon struck at the death.

Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 (April 1996)

Sure to feature on everyone’s classic list, this was the game which saw Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan slump over the front of the dugout as his side’s title chances went up in smoke. Liverpool came back from 2-0 down to level, only to see Faustino Asprilla make it 3-2 seconds later. Stan Collymore soon levelled and then won it two minutes into added time, with Tyler again taking over with his line of “Collymore closing in”.

Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4 (February 2011)

The game that demonstrated why supporters should never leave early. When Theo Walcott scored for Arsenal 44 seconds into this game it set the tone for a blistering period of away play, with Johan Djourou and Van Persie, who netted twice, putting Arsenal 4-0 up. However, the game turned as Abou Diaby saw red for Arsenal and Newcastle mounted a stellar comeback. Two penalties from Joey Barton and a Leon Best goal gave them a foothold, but they still needed a brilliant 87th-minute volley from Cheick Tiote to get a point.

Leicester 3 Arsenal 3 (August 1997)

Perhaps best remembered for Dennis Bergkamp’s brilliant solo goal, this game had far more to it. The Dutchman’s wonder goal, which sealed his hat-trick, was actually to put Arsenal up after Matt Elliott had scored in the third minute of stoppage time for Leicester to make it 2-2, but there was still time for Steve Walsh to score another dramatic goal and make it 3-3.

Norwich 4 Liverpool 5 (January 2016)

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp lost his glasses amid wild celebrations on the touchline after Adam Lallana’s last-minute strike gave Liverpool an astonishing first Premier League win of 2016. Klopp’s men had trailed 3-1 with under 30 minutes to go, then led 4-3 before Sebastien Bassong’s stoppage-time goal levelled matters. But there was still time for substitute Lallana to mis-hit a shot into the ground and secure a 5-4 victory.

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 3 (October 1999)

Nigeria forward Kanu took centre stage as the Gunners mounted a terrific comeback against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu got Chelsea 2-0 up, but then Kanu took control. He pulled two back from close range in regulation time and then, in stoppage time, broke free, skipped past goalkeeper Ed de Goey by the corner flag and then curled in the winner from an improbable angle.

Tottenham 4 Leicester 4 (February 2004)

Just 18 days after squandering a 3-0 half-time lead against 10-man Manchester City to be dumped out of the FA Cup, David Pleat’s Spurs needed a late equaliser from Jermain Defoe to avoid another embarrassing defeat in the league. Defoe had put the home side 2-1 up after 13 minutes and Robbie Keane made it 3-1 before half an hour had elapsed, but Les Ferdinand pulled one back against his former club before James Scowcroft was sent off. Leicester’s 10 men improbably took the lead through goals from Ben Thatcher and Marcus Bent before Defoe’s leveller.

Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5 (November 2004)

Four years before the 4-4 thriller at the Emirates, White Hart Lane hosted a similarly high-scoring affair prolific tie between the two local rivals. The home side took the lead through Noureddine Naybet, but Arsenal equalised through Thierry Henry and then went 3-1 ahead through Lauren, who converted a penalty won by Freddie Ljungberg, and Patrick Vieira. Jermain Defoe pulled one back almost immediately before Ljungberg and Ledley King traded goals and, although Robert Pires added Arsenal’s fifth nine minutes from time, Freddie Kanoute’s goal made for a frantic finish.

West Ham 5 Bradford 4 (February 2000)

West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop suffered a broken leg just minutes into the game to hand a debut to 18-year-old Stephen Bywater, who conceded four goals but still ended up on the winning side. The comeback from 4-2 down started with 25 minutes left when Frank Lampard and Paolo Di Canio argued over who would take a penalty, Di Canio eventually winning the tussle and converting from the spot. Joe Cole soon equalised and Lampard scored the winner from the edge of the box with seven minutes remaining.

Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson promised to work even harder after his hat-trick earned boss Mauricio Pochettino a statement victory at former club Tottenham.

Jackson’s second-half treble settled a pulsating London derby where five goals were disallowed and red cards were shown to Spurs pair Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie either side of half-time.

While Chelsea were far from vintage on their way to a 4-1 victory, Jackson eventually made the difference.

The Senegal attacker side-footed home his first goal in the 75th minute from Raheem Sterling’s cross before he grabbed a similar second after Conor Gallagher’s pass and completed his treble in the seventh minute of stoppage time when he rounded Guglielmo Vicario.

After receiving more yellow cards (five) than goals (three) during the first three months of the campaign, the £31million summer signing from Villarreal was pleased to start to pay back his price tag on Monday night.

Jackson: “Yeah, very happy. It was a difficult time for everybody in the team, but now we are coming back slowly, slowly and I am very happy to score three goals.

“It has been very difficult (for me) but life is like this. Now my first hat-trick and I am very happy I did it in the biggest club in England and everywhere.

“Always need to improve, always need to work harder. We continue working and now this (hat-trick) is the past, so we forget about it and move forward.

“We were dreaming about this, playing big games and winning big games. Now we continue to work hard and the confidence is coming slowly, slowly.”

Chelsea’s youthful side had struggled for consistency during the early months of Pochettino’s tenure, with battling draws against Liverpool and Arsenal married with home defeats to Nottingham Forest and Brentford.

Pochettino watched the Blues struggle to make their numerical advantage count against Tottenham until captain Reece James played through Sterling, who squared for Jackson to slide home with quarter of an hour left in N17.

Next up for the 10th-placed Blues is the visit of champions Manchester City on Sunday, which means a reunion for Cole Palmer against his old club.

Palmer, who took his Chelsea goal to three with the equaliser against Spurs, told Sky Sports: “This was a big game, we knew it was before we came into it. Big stadium and obviously they were unbeaten, but we thought we could come here and get a result and we did that.

 

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“Obviously it is easier to play against nine men, but we knew we needed to win the game when they went down to 10 and then when they went down to nine especially.

“We knew we needed to score and if we kept pressing, making the runs in behind, because their line was so high, we would get in and we did eventually.

“It has obviously been a difficult start for Nico, no hiding from it, but he was brilliant.

“He just needs to work hard on the training pitch and keep his head down. Then I think he will get many more hat-tricks.”

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