EPL

Rodri wants Man City to move on quickly from frustration of Chelsea draw

By Sports Desk February 18, 2024

Rodri wants Manchester City to move on quickly from the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

The champions dropped two points in the Premier League title race after spurning a succession of opportunities in the second half of a compelling encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

It might even have been worse had Rodri not finally made a chance count by cancelling out Raheem Sterling’s first-half opener with a deflected strike in the 83rd minute.

The result ended City’s six-game winning league run and left them third in the table, four points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, which they play on Tuesday against Brentford.

Midfielder Rodri said: “We could do better in some situations. We have to learn from the mistakes and try to move on. Sometimes a point is not bad.

“We are frustrated we didn’t win but after a few hours that is it. We move on.

“We keep fighting but we have to perform well in the next game against Brentford.

“It is one of the most important games because we can be there again at the top of the table with Liverpool, with one point (difference). This has to be the mentality.”

Chelsea were also guilty of wasting chances during a first half in which City proved vulnerable to the counter-attack.

Sterling eventually made them pay with a well-taken goal against his former club two minutes before the break.

City dominated the second period but could not find a way through until Rodri drove home after a Kyle Walker shot rebounded into his path.

Erling Haaland proved particularly profligate, even missing a free header from six yards, but Rodri was quick to defend the normally clinical Norwegian.

He said: “You have to be precise and effective and we weren’t, to be honest. We weren’t ourselves.

“But that is normal. It is not always (perfect).

“Erling always helps us with his goals but he had three chances and it couldn’t be possible. We’ll just support him and we know he is going to give us everything for the next ones.”

Chelsea have been inconsistent throughout the season but their confident performance offered plenty of reason for optimism heading into next week’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic told chelseafc.com: “We didn’t realise our chances and we didn’t kill the game, maybe to make a two-goal lead and have a better chance.

“So we are a little disappointed but also happy because we showed to everyone we can play against a top team.

“It is a big motivation to everyone. We showed we can play and we will show that against Liverpool.”

Related items

  • Mikel Arteta says Mauricio Pochettino was ‘like a father’ to him as young player Mikel Arteta says Mauricio Pochettino was ‘like a father’ to him as young player

    Mikel Arteta said Mauricio Pochettino was “like a father” to him in his early playing days ahead of their meeting in Arsenal’s clash against Chelsea in the Premier League.

    Arteta played alongside the Chelsea boss at Paris St Germain before their rise as coaches in Europe’s top divisions.

    The Arsenal manager talked up the influence Pochettino had on him as a player, admitting he was inspired by the Argentinian as a teenager.

    The pair will face off at the Emirates on Tuesday.

    When asked how influential Pochettino was for Arteta as a player, he said: “He’s one of the most.

    “I was 17 or 18 in Paris with no experience in professional football. He doesn’t like me saying it but to me he was like a father, he took me under his arm, he gave me incredible advice and protected me, he inspired me and I learned so much in our two years together.”

    Arteta’s top-of-the-table Gunners have come a long way since he took over in 2019.

    They sit one point ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and lead Liverpool on goal difference as they continue their bid for Premier League glory with five games remaining.

    Arteta sought the opinion of Pochettino before leaving Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s assistant to become manager of the north London side.

    “When I had to make a decision I asked him and explained the situation and he gave me some advice and he was needed,” Arteta added.

    “I admire what he’s done in his career and he’s someone I’ve looked to because he was impactful to me in the most important stage of my career. As a role model I can’t pick anyone better.

    “He doesn’t need to help me about tactics. The best influence he has had on me is the way he speaks about his life, his professionalism, his family and who he was as a figure in the dressing room and the passion and love he has for the game.

    “That for me is the most important things which I learnt from him.”

    A league title will be Arsenal’s first since 2003-04.

    Arteta, whose side were dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich last week, noted that there are further steps he wants his team to make in their development.

    He said: “We need to see how we can make another step or two forward because that’s what this team is demanding to keep moving forward in a ruthless way because we’re not satisfied.

    “You can see the team really wants it. We will try to be as fresh as possible but I think we can cope with that.”

  • Mauricio Pochettino says Enzo Fernandez will be ‘much better’ next season Mauricio Pochettino says Enzo Fernandez will be ‘much better’ next season

    Mauricio Pochettino believes it is unfair to compare the impact of Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea to that of Arsenal’s Declan Rice, as the teams prepare to face each other at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

    England international Rice joined Mikel Arteta’s side from West Ham last summer for £100million, less than the £107m it cost to take World Cup winner Fernandez from Benfica to Stamford Bridge in January 2023.

    The fee for the Argentinian was a British record at the time, though the club have since surpassed it in signing fellow midfielder Moises Caicedo from Brighton for £115m.

    Rice has won plaudits for his transformational effect on Arsenal’s midfield, helping to forge a sturdier, more cohesive side than the one that fell away in the final weeks of last season’s Premier League title race.

    By contrast, Chelsea’s league position has not markedly improved in the 15 months since Fernandez arrived in west London, and despite clear flashes of his obvious talent and range of passing, question marks have remained over whether the club got value for money.

    However, his countryman Pochettino called for perspective on the obstacles that his player has had to contend with since arriving in England.

    “Declan Rice was playing for West Ham, an English guy who knows the Premier League, knows the language,” said the 52-year-old.

    “For Enzo, after the World Cup to arrive here, in a team that was inconsistent, difficult to get positive results, always it was really difficult.

    “In summer he was involved in too many games and he arrived late in pre-season, hasn’t had a holiday in the last two years.

    “Too many negative things happened. (It was) difficult for him to adapt, his family. It’s not easy to adapt and perform so quick.”

    Fernandez was responsible for creating Chelsea’s best chance of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, hitting an incisive, raking pass from deep that sent Nicolas Jackson through on goal, but the striker could not finish.

    He has scored three Premier League goals and made four assists since moving from Portugal in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s 2022 World Cup triumph, but Pochettino insisted the best is yet to come from the 23-year-old.

    “For sure he is going to be much better next season, after the experience of the whole season in this squad and this team,” he said.

    “He’s more experienced, he gets better feelings. The whole season is good for him to learn. Even if he is a world champion, he needs to adapt to the Premier League and to this club. For me, there is no doubt that he is going to be much better.”

    Pochettino said there have been no discussions over the future of striker Romelu Lukaku, currently on a season-long loan at Roma, but appeared to hint that the door could be open for a return.

    The 30-year-old has scored 18 goals for the Serie A side this campaign after telling Chelsea last summer that he wanted to leave.

    “He’s a Chelsea player, so for sure we will pay attention,” said Pochettino. “It’s an option. But still we did not take any decision.”

  • Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham wins Laureus award Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham wins Laureus award

    Jude Bellingham joined Novak Djokovic and Aitana Bonmati as the big winners at the Laureus World Sports Awards as the England midfielder won the World Breakthrough of the Year prize in Madrid.

    Bellingham became the first footballer to claim the honour the day after scoring Real Madrid’s late winner in their 3-2 El Clasico victory over Barcelona.

    The 20-year-old has had an outstanding first season at Real since joining from Borussia Dortmund last summer, scoring 21 goals in all competitions.

    Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record-equalling fifth time after winning the Australian Open, French Open and US Open to lead the way with 24 grand slam men’s singles titles.

    “I am incredibly honoured to have won my fifth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award,” said Djokovic.

    “I think back to 2012, when I won it for the first time as a 24-year-old. I am very proud to be here 12 years later, reflecting on a year that brought me and my fans a lot of excitement and success.

    “It was thrilling to return to Australia last January and win my 10th title. It is a tournament that is so dear to my heart and set me up for an incredible 12 months.

    “I could not have achieved so much success without an incredible team behind me, and inspirational rivals who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself.”

    Bonmati took to the stage twice to collect two awards – the first footballer to win the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year trophy and also represent the Spain team which won the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    She said: “It is humbling to see the list of previous winners of this award.

    “From Serena Williams to Simone Biles, Lindsey Vonn, Naomi Osaka and last year’s winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, they are all incredible athletes who have not only excelled in their chosen sports, but been incredible role models for younger generations of young women and girls.

    “As the first women’s team to win the Laureus, we are proud of our status as pioneers and as a group we are as committed to equality and representation as we are to what we do on the football pitch.”

    American gymnast Biles, a three-time winner of Sportswoman of the Year, won the World Comeback of the Year Award.

    Biles collected four gold medals at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, her first global event since leaving the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health issues and entering a near two-year break from the sport she had dominated.

    Other award winners were Rafael Nadal (Sport for Good), Diede de Groot (World Sportsperson of the Year with a disability) and Arisa Trew (World Action Sportsperson of the Year).

    :: The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards took place on Monday 22 April in Madrid, celebrating the leading names in sport from across the globe. To find out more, visit www.laureus.com.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.