Micky Hazard will applaud former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino when he returns with Chelsea and hopes “class and dignity” will be shown by the club’s supporters.

Pochettino will come back to Spurs for the first time since his 2019 dismissal on Monday night, but could be greeted with boos due to a fanbase split over his decision to join bitter rivals Chelsea despite a memorable five years in N17.

The climax of Pochettino’s tenure was a remarkable run to the Champions League final, while he also masterminded two ultimately unsuccessful title challenges.

Ex-midfielder Hazard has walked in Pochettino’s shoes after he left boyhood club Spurs in 1985 to move to Stamford Bridge, but remembers his return 12 months later where he scored twice in a 3-1 win for Chelsea.

“When I went back, I would like to think I got applause and cheers because the fans respected the job I did for them,” 1984 UEFA Cup winner Hazard told the PA news agency.

“They also respected I had a job to do because I was at another club and it was no slur on Spurs that I scored two goals. And it almost felt like it was two own goals because Spurs is my team.

“When Pochettino comes back and while the rivalry is that much greater nowadays, I think it is important as a fanbase we rise above it.

“We can show dignity and class by welcoming him back – not giving him a guard of honour as Ange (Postecoglou) says but when his name is read out, to give him a round of applause as acknowledgement and recognition of what he achieved.

“Then we go out and try to win the game and Poch is the enemy then, but ultimately we have to respect the job he did. I for one will certainly give him a round of applause when his name is read out.”

Pundits had expected Pochettino to hit the ground running at Chelsea and Tottenham to struggle without record scorer Harry Kane.

The opposite has occurred, with Postecoglou embarking on a superb 10-game unbeaten start to the Premier League season, and Hazard lauded the impact of summer signing James Maddison.

He added: “Look, anyone that loses a player of the stature and quality of Harry Kane is not going to be a better side because of it, but what Ange has managed to do is introduce a style where the players enjoy playing to that style.

“Of course James Maddison has come in and been the hub of the team with the creativity. That’s something we haven’t had for a while, that instinctive, creative, flair player that can unlock tight defences, play telling passes and score the odd goal, so he has been a revelation.

“It has been a real pleasure for me to see and he has ignited quality elsewhere in the team as well, which is brilliant.


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“It feels like the players have all been given the freedom of expression within the framework of what Ange wants. There are smiley, happy faces on the pitch and we’re playing smiley, happy football, so they both go hand-in-hand and for me it is a joy to watch.”

While Hazard acknowledged there are “bigger tests” to come for Spurs, they pale into insignificance compared to the challenge his family has faced in recent times.

Hazard’s nephew Jay took his own life in 2019 but through the darkest of periods Hazard’s sister Michelle joined forces with her brother to set up Legend on the Bench charity.

It aims to raise funds to put benches in parks across the UK with telephone numbers on to help with suicide prevention and the first bench in memory of Jay, which will have the numbers of mental health helplines lit up, will be installed on February 28 in Sawbridgeworth.

The next fundraising event will occur at Fishers Green Car Park on November 18 with a 10-kilometre trek.

“We set the charity up in memory of Jay and we decided to go down the path of fundraising to help people in similar situations because we had no idea Jay was about to do it. He never spoke to anybody,” Hazard reflected.

“We named it Legend on the Bench and people sometimes think we mean like former players, but no, it is the name of the telephone numbers because they are the people who are the legends, the people that people will ring and who will save them.

“And the message is talk. There is always someone there to listen or to talk to, so if you are sitting there in your moment of need, just give those numbers a call and someone will be ready to talk to and possibly we save a life.”

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is unsure if reuniting with former club Tottenham will feel like bumping into an ex-girlfriend because he cannot remember having one.

Pochettino enjoyed five full seasons in charge of Spurs between 2014 and 2019 but is poised to return for the first time as manager of one of their fiercest rivals.

The Argentinian, who believes Tottenham are genuine Premier League title contenders this term, is uncertain how he will be greeted by home supporters on Monday evening.

Yet he insisted a negative response would not tarnish his memories as he laughed off an analogy referencing his love life.

“My goodness,” he replied with a hearty chuckle when the situation was compared to meeting a former girlfriend.

“It’s difficult because I think I am nearly 32 years with my wife and I don’t know even if I had a girlfriend before my wife.

“That’s why it’s difficult to answer that question because I don’t know how you can feel.”

Pochettino led Tottenham to a second-placed Premier League finish in 2017 but was unable to end their long wait for silverware and was sacked five months after reaching the 2019 Champions League final.

Speaking about the reception he expects, the 51-year-old continued: “I’m not going to say nothing at the moment because until Monday we cannot guess what is going to happen then.

“The most important thing is people know that we cannot forget all that we lived together, amazing memories there.

“I am going to respect the people, how(ever) they are going to express, but it’s not going to change my emotion, my view, my feelings about a club that I think we spend an unbelievable journey (with).

“(It is) really special because I am back after four years in a place that we have amazing memories, we created amazing memories together. I think it’s special, I’m not going to lie.”

While Chelsea are languishing in mid-table 10 games into the campaign, unbeaten Tottenham top the table under Ange Postecoglou.

Pochettino feels the north London side are capable of remaining in that position and ending the season as champions.

“Yes, I think so,” he said.

“Ange and the coaching staff, they are doing a fantastic job and then of course very good players, very good team. You can feel they can be a contender.

“Of course it’s early in the season but they are showing the quality to be contenders.”

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino wants his side to convert this season’s lack of continental competition into a successful set of domestic cup runs.

The Blues moved one step closer to securing a first Carabao Cup since 2015 with a 2-0 last-16 victory over Blackburn on Wednesday night, and will host Newcastle in their December 19 quarter-final.

Should Chelsea go all the way, Pochettino would become just the third Blues manager in club history, after Gianluca Vialli and Jose Mourinho, to lead the five-time winners to a League Cup in his first season with the club.

He said: “We need to think that this is an important competition for us because we are not in Europe, and that should be the priority for us, like the Premier League, and when in January we start the FA Cup.

“Of course, we need to think that we can win this competition.”

Chelsea, 11th in the Premier League with just 12 points from their first 10 top-flight matches, sit 10 points behind Aston Villa, currently occupying fifth and the Europa League group stage position, and may need to defy recent odds to lift the League Cup.

Every winner since the 2017/18 season has also finished top four in the Premier League, though Chelsea have reached two finals in the last five seasons.

Pochettino’s ranks got a boost on Wednesday night, welcoming captain Reece James back to the starting line-up for the first time since August and Benoit Badiashile marking his first appearance since May with the opener at Stamford Bridge, where Raheem Sterling fired in the Blues’ second.

Still, the Argentinian knows there is work to be done and a morale boost necessary to improve on their 2-0 defeat to Brentford last Saturday and just one Premier League win at home, August’s 3-0 victory over newly-promoted Luton, particularly with Premier League leaders Tottenham followed by title holders Manchester City up next.

He said: “After Saturday it was important for us to win the (Blackburn) game, to go through in the competition, of course too many (missed) chances, we need to be more clinical, but that you cannot change from Saturday to (Wednesday), and now we try building the confidence.

“Now we’re looking forward to the next round but now to prepare for the next two games that are so important and into the international break.”

Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson was impressed by his side’s fight against their Premier League challengers, with the average age of his starters just 22.6 years old.

Blackburn particularly impressed in the first half, defending well inside their 18-yard box to deny Chelsea early chances, while Rovers were left to rue a potential Conor Gallagher handball shout that could have been a game-changer for the Championship side.

He said: “It’s true, we always need a bit of luck when you’re playing against a team who is on another level, because Chelsea is of course an excellent team, but still we need to be honest.

“They were better than we were. Nothing wrong with that. They should be better than we were.”

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is taking a “careful” approach with captain Reece James, who started a match for just the second time this season in the Blues’ 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Blackburn.

James, who has been making his way back to full fitness after sustaining a hamstring issue in August, played 61 minutes of Wednesday’s tie before he was swapped for Malo Gusto.

Benoit Badiashile netted the opener in his first appearance this season, while Raheem Sterling added a second after the break to book the Blues a quarter-final clash with Newcastle.

Pochettino said: “The plan was to check at half-time how (James) was feeling, and after 15 minutes he starts to feel tired and we’re checking from the second half, and we need to be careful how we manage him.

“We decide to make the change because I think it is important now, the progression, and being careful about not going back, sometimes (you) play 90 minutes and maybe take some risks, but we need to avoid this.

“It’s true that we cannot 100 per cent avoid risk, but the plan is to go little by little.”

Badiashile, who had not appeared for Chelsea since May, broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark after Leopold Wahlstedt’s save deflected favourably into his path.

Both sides had penalty shouts go unanswered by referee Tim Robinson before the break, including a potential handball on Conor Gallagher that could have swung momentum in the visitors’ favour, but Sterling’s top-corner strike made it a comfortable second half for the hosts.

Blackburn had their chances – Harry Leonard firing just wide moments after the interval and substitute Arnor Sigurdsson coming close in stoppage time – but never looked close to a comeback in front of the 3,000 fans who had made the trip south.

Jon Dahl Tomasson was convinced his Rovers side should have been awarded a spot-kick, but was pleased by how well his youthful side responded to their top-flight opposition.

The Danish boss, who believes cup football is “extremely important” said: “It was a great challenge, and I think our fans will be proud of this young Rovers team playing against a top team in Europe.

“The millionaires from the Premier League against the young guns from the Championship and do a challenge and an effort like this, I think the boys will learn a lot from this game.

“When you play at this level you need to make a decision quite quick, the intensity is high, the decision-making needs to be right and I thought actually we had some great attacks on the ball as well.

“I’m sure this young group will take a lot from this game.”

Benoit Badiashile scored the opening goal as he made his first appearance of the season in Chelsea’s 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Blackburn at Stamford Bridge.

The France defender had not started a Blues match since he was injured in their draw with Nottingham Forest in May and got himself involved at both ends of the pitch in a game that also saw Reece James return to the starting XI.

Raheem Sterling fired home after the break, and while the visitors had defended well, they never looked close to coming back into the contest.

Chelsea have now reached their 24th quarter-final in 33 attempts, and are one step closer to lifting a first League Cup since 2015, when Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino was in charge of runners-up Tottenham.

Backburn had not played a League Cup contest at Stamford Bridge in 26 years and over 3,000 supporters made the trip, hoping to do one better than they did in 1997 when Rovers were knocked out after a penalty shootout.

There was little excitement inside the opening exchanges, which, save for two wasted corners for the hosts and Dilan Markanday’s left-footed effort running wide, was largely characterised by two sides simply trying find an early footing.

It took just over 15 minutes for Chelsea to finally test Leopold Wahlstedt through a drilled effort from James which the Swedish goalkeeper just managed to get enough of his body in the way to make the stop.

Badiashile did well to clear away a Blackburn chance before James tried again, this time with a low effort from distance before Enzo Fernandez forced Wahlstedt into a low save at the right post.

Blackburn continued to frustrate the Blues, winning back possession inside the penalty area, while Wahlstedt was able to palm away Conor Gallagher’s dangerous cross, but the rebound somehow sailed between a sea of bodies.

It eventually landed at the feet of the fortunate Badiashile, who dutifully finished to open the scoring after 30 minutes of a half that also saw penalty shouts from both sides brushed aside by referee Tim Robinson.

Harry Leonard fired inches wide of the right post to start off the second half, while Fernandez could only send his next effort straight into the arms of Wahlstedt, who would soon have no chance of stopping Chelsea’s second.

After some good work by Cole Palmer to win the ball deep inside Blackburn’s half, Sterling latched on to the ball at the edge of the area and powered a shot into the top right.

Both managers took the opportunity to make changes, and the visitors were prevented from conceding a quick third when Palmer’s effort took a dangerous deflection off James Hill and whizzed toward the goal before Blackburn were saved by the left post.

Chelsea pushed for a third with both Gallagher and Sterling sending efforts across the face of goal as the clock wound down on Blackburn’s cup campaign, though not before substitute Arnor Sigurdsson came close to firing in a stoppage-time consolation.

Mauricio Pochettino defended Nicolas Jackson after the misfiring Chelsea striker was criticised by supporters during the Blues’ 2-0 home defeat to Brentford.

Jackson has scored two Premier League goals since his summer move from Villarreal.

Pochettino clarified that a fan had told the striker to “wake up” after a poor first-half display.

Ahead of their last-16 Carabao Cup clash against Blackburn, the Chelsea boss supported his player.

“We cannot abuse, even if you say ‘wake up’, because I think it’s not right,” Pochettino told a press conference on Tuesday.

“He suffered an injury (to his hand during the last international break), it’s difficult to train, to keep fit and to score goals.

“Nico (Jackson) needs support.

“He wants to help the team and for different reasons he’s not performing. He played with a cast after he broke his hand.

“Fans can criticise us and they’re frustrated but they need to analyse the situation.

“Jackson is young, he arrived this season and there are circumstances that didn’t help him perform his best.

“You think we should throw him into the bin and say he’s useless? We have to give the confidence.

“He’s our striker, he’s our player and it’s about supporting the player.”

Chelsea’s lack of cutting-edge in front of goal saw them beaten at home for the third time this season.

Argentinian Pochettino wants his young team to be more “aggressive and nasty”,  but noted that will come with experience.

He added: “We didn’t score because we need to decide ourselves.

“We were not aggressive enough and that’s why they had their chance in the second half and we conceded.

“We need to improve and to be more competitive, more nasty.

“That is experience, team experience, as a team we need more patience.

“We need to be competitive; I feel the responsibility and we are Chelsea, we need to win this type of game.”

Mauricio Pochettino said Chelsea must rebuild trust with their fans if they hope to reverse their woeful home form that has seen them win just one of their last 13 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge.

That run dates back to a 1-0 win against Leeds in March, since then they have picked up a single home victory against newly promoted Luton in August.

The 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday was their third home loss in six this season, and saw them revert to the hesitant, goal-shy habits that have been a feature during owner Todd Boehly’s 18 months in charge.

At one stage in the first half Pochettino was drawn into a confrontation with a supporter who challenged the contributions of striker Nicolas Jackson, and there was a notable souring of the atmosphere once Brentford took the lead just before the hour mark.

In all there have been just three home league victories in 2023, with the team having failed to score on 10 occasions in all competitions.

“The key is to create a good atmosphere,” said Pochettino. “I think you need to be in the right way with the fans, with the team. The team need to translate to the fans the idea that they can trust them.

“I think it (takes) time. We have many talented players but still they are so young. I’m not talking about the mentality of the club or the badge because Chelsea is about victories and a strong winning mentality.

“The team is young and we need to match this level of capacity to compete always at your best.

“We can talk about Cole Palmer who arrived in the last moments (of the transfer window) who is showing character, taking the responsibility to take penalties. It’s always about getting a good balance.”

Pochettino had 10 first-team players unavailable from the start against Brentford, with the in-form Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez joining a lengthy injury list before kick-off with minor knocks.

Captain Reece James was for the second consecutive game fit only for a late cameo for the bench, whilst Ben Chilwell was also absent.

“Not to complain or make excuses, but we need all the squad fit,” said Pochettino. “We have too many circumstances at the moment where we are competing but we are missing things. When we have all the players fit, I think the team is going to find its balance.

“It’s not easy to build trust (with the fans) and be mature and to accept sometimes that the game is going in a direction that you don’t want.

“You need to be calm in this moment to have the character, to be mature enough and to have the capacity to say ‘we play in (our) way’. You need time. It’s about the maturity that we need to get.”

Chelsea fell to a third home defeat of the season as Brentford maintained their 100% winning record at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League with a deserved 2-0 victory.

Ethan Pinnock took advantage of non-existent marking to head the visitors in front shortly before the half-hour mark after Mauricio Pochettino’s side had failed to take advantage of a first half in which they dominated.

Thereafter there was little genuine attacking threat nor hope of salvation, as the hosts took a worrying backwards step towards the goal-shy, hesitant play that characterised the manager’s early games.

Robert Sanchez was embarrassed in added time after joining his team’s attack for a corner, failing to catch Neal Maupay in a foot race as he broke with the ball, allowing Bryan Mbeumo to score in an empty net to compound home fans’ woes.

Chelsea’s dire form at Stamford Bridge now stands at one win in their last 13 games in the league, with August’s victory over Luton their only success here in seven months.

They were without Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk, key components in their recent uptick in form, with neither player risked after picking up knocks in training on Friday.

In place of Mudryk came Noni Madueke, in for his first start under Pochettino, and he wasted little time in staking a case to his manager, standing up Vitaly Janelt on the right of the penalty area and opening his body to unleash a wicked, bending effort that thumped the crossbar.

It was a busy start from Chelsea. Conor Gallagher, captain again with Reece James fit only for the bench, stung the palms of Mark Flekken when he shot low at goal from 30 yards.

Marc Cucurella found space from a wonderful ball into the box from Cole Palmer, but the defender could summon neither power not placement with his right foot.

Raheem Sterling looked in electric mood. His dazzling burst through the middle saw the ball break to Madueke, who shepherded it inside for Palmer to return for Sterling who had continued his run. The move deserved a goal; instead the England forward ballooned his shot into the Matthew Harding Stand.

As the half wore on Chelsea became increasingly camped in the visitors’ half, shifting focus from probing for the critical pass in central positions in favour of balls down the channels, where Madueke and Sterling would not allow Brentford peace.

But there was a feeling of old habits creeping into Chelsea’s play, with the creative fluency of recent weeks not so forthcoming. The period ended with Pochettino remonstrating with a fan who questioned Nicolas Jackson’s lack of involvement, the manager of a mind that only supportive voices were welcome, but doubtless aware privately of his team’s shortcomings.

There was almost a goal within minutes of the restart, Janelt left to rue profligate finishing after he was left free 12 yards out but fired straight at Sanchez. It was a stark warning, but one Chelsea’s defence would not heed.

On 58 minutes, their generous marking struck again and this time Pinnock readily accepted the gift.

It was a smart link-up between Kristoffer Ajer and Mbeumo from a throw-in on the right that began the move, with Mbeumo given space to run the ball to the byline and hoist a cross. The delivery hung high in the air, finally dropping into the six yard box where Axel Disasi did little more than observe as Pinnock powered beyond him and beat Thiago Silva to the ball to thump his header home.

The shock jolted Chelsea from whatever rhythm they had inherited from the first half. Still they hogged the ball, but rarely was Flekken tested as they toiled in vain for an equaliser.

Substitute Yehor Yarmolyuk should have made it 2-0 on the break in the final minutes, he was denied point-blank by Sanchez, before Mbeumo lashed millimetres wide of the post.

Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez was sent off with frustrations between the two benches boiling over, and it got even worse for the home side with Mbeumo’s tap-in and the end of Chelsea’s mini-revival.

Mauricio Pochettino empathises with supporters angry about the Premier League’s decision to move Chelsea’s trip to Wolves to Christmas Eve, admitting it has thrown his festive plans and anniversary celebrations with his wife into chaos.

The league confirmed on Thursday that the fixture, which has been pushed back 24 hours to accommodate TV coverage, will be the first played on December 24 since Manchester United played Leeds in 1995, a move that has drawn a backlash from fans.

Scheduled for a 1pm kick-off, it could leave supporters struggling to make travel arrangements with train timetables typically amended or curtailed the day before Christmas, while there are also concerns it will impact time supporters traditionally spend with family.

Pochettino is set to be doubly affected by the move, as not only is it Argentinian custom to begin Christmas celebrations late on December 24, the previous day also marks his and his wife’s 31st wedding anniversary – which he will now spend travelling to Wolverhampton.

Despite not being consulted by the league he conceded that the club has little choice but to go along, but backed objections by supporters who have spoken out.

“It’s a little bit strange but we need to accept the rules of the Premier League, that we need to go there and to play,” said Pochettino.

“(In Argentina) we celebrate on the night of the 24th. At 12 o’clock on the night we start to celebrate Christmas. More than the 25th because you’re asleep nearly all day. Here it’s different because you celebrate on the 25th with the family.

“I need to see things in a different way. For sure our fans are not happy but we need to accept this new era in football.

“(The Premier League) didn’t ask us. They wanted some meeting with me and all the coaches one week before the season. I said I’m more than happy to share time with you, but it’s better if you prepare the meeting before the end of the season to prepare the next season.

“If they ask me I will give my opinion, but at the moment we are not involved in the decisions.”

He added: “I don’t know what to do (with my wife). I need to find some ideas to compensate. (Search online for) ‘unhappy wife’.”

The Wolves game is the first of three in seven days for Chelsea over the Christmas period, with Crystal Palace due at Stamford Bridge on the evening of December 27 before visiting Luton on December 30.

The Palace game has been moved from Boxing Day in order to accommodate the controversial Christmas Eve fixture.

Pochettino reiterated that supporters’ concerns must be paramount in scheduling decisions.

“We play and we work and all that we are doing is for our fans,” he said. “Without fans, football (is nothing). We need to protect, and to care, and to look after our fans.

“Of course I agree with them, that I am not happy if they are not happy. It’s common sense. I can understand.

“I don’t know what is behind it. I don’t know why. No one explained. I cannot tell. I hope it’s one time and never again, but we’ll see what happens.

“People love football in England and they are going to be there. Our fans are going to be there supporting the team. But I don’t know if it’s going to be a regular situation.”

Asked whether the club would offer a new contract to Conor Gallagher – who has captained the side in the absence of injured pair Reece James and Ben Chilwell – Pochettino likened the situation to the balancing act he now faces on the home front.

“It’s like how we were talking about my wife,” he said. “It’s about to match and to feel good being together. It’s like a marriage with the club. They both need to feel good, then you can drive at a good deal.

“He is a player that is doing fantastic. He’s an amazing player and we’re so happy with the way he is doing things.”

Mauricio Pochettino called on his players to make better decisions to see games out after they let slip a two-goal lead in the final 13 minutes to draw 2-2 with Arsenal on Saturday.

Chelsea had been comfortably the better side against last season’s Premier League runners-up when goalkeeper Robert Sanchez gave the ball to Declan Rice with a careless pass in the 77th minute, allowing the Arsenal midfielder to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Substitute Leandro Trossard netted with six minutes to play to snatch the visitors a point, robbing Pochettino’s side of a third straight league win.

Earlier Cole Palmer, from the penalty spot, and Mykhailo Mudryk had handed Chelsea a commanding lead for which they were good value entering the closing stages.

Their recent good run has come despite still having a number of players out injured, including captain Reece James who was fit only for a late cameo at Stamford Bridge, and fellow England full-back Ben Chilwell.

Afterwards, the manager challenged his team to uphold the standards they had shown in stymying Arsenal’s threat for much of the game if they are to continue their recent uptick in form.

“We need to take the positives from 77 minutes,” said Pochettino. “If not, you need to ask (every) other coach how they concede two goals. That is football.

“We were facing a team that last season were close to winning the league, then they invested to make stronger their squad.

“We’re at the beginning of our project, that’s why we need to take positive things because I think we played really well. After 77 minutes we were better and didn’t concede too many chances. That is credit to the team.

“You need to remember, when you see Arsenal’s squad, if you see 25 available players you still pick the same team that Arteta picked today. But for us, too many circumstances where we don’t have the possibility to have all the squad available. That’s another thing you need to put in your analysis.

“One criticism of us was maybe at 2-0 on 77 minutes to take better decisions in these situations, to not concede in the way that we conceded. That gave confidence and belief to the opponents to say ‘come on, go, it’s possible’.”

Chelsea started with Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in midfield with the pair having turned out for their respective national teams, Argentina and Ecuador, in South America on Tuesday night, the equivalent of Wednesday morning British Summer Time.

Pochettino added: “Caicedo and Enzo arrived after two games in South America. They were not fresh, but they’re important players for us. We have a week to work and they’re going to be better and the team is going to improve.

“It’s really tough to arrive with jet lag, but I think in a week to recover and train they will be at their best.”

Arsenal stung Chelsea with a stunning late fightback as they came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel Arteta’s side looked to be heading to a first defeat of the season when Mykhailo Mudryk’s cross-shot looped over David Raya minutes after the interval, adding to the lead given to them by Cole Palmer’s first-half penalty.

The visitors were far from their free-flowing best and Mauricio Pochettino’s side, inspired by the increasingly influential Palmer on the right of a front three, were for three-quarters of the game good value for what would have been a third straight league win.

But the pendulum swung when Robert Sanchez’s careless pass presented the ball to Declan Rice who cut the arrears, before Leandro Trossard stunned the home fans into silence with a close-range finish in the closing minutes to earn Arsenal a draw and move them level on points at the top of the Premier League.

For the first time under Pochettino, Chelsea started without a recognised striker, Raheem Sterling instead lining up centrally, flanked by in-form pair Palmer and Mudryk.

They took the lead after 14 minutes. Sterling crossed from the right into the six-yard box, and as William Saliba leapt with an arm raised, Mudryk’s header cannoned off it from close range. It took several minutes for referee Chris Kavanagh to be called to the pitchside monitor, but once checked there was little delay in awarding a penalty.

Palmer dispatched coolly past David Raya for his second Chelsea goal.

Arsenal had started sluggishly and it took until the 20-minute mark for their first opening, Martin Odegaard threading the ball into the left channel for Rice to stride onto, but his awkward right-footed effort clipped towards Sanchez’s far corner zipped wide of the post.

Palmer has been one of the catalysts of Chelsea’s sudden ascent to attacking potency under Pochettino, pulling strings whether collecting the ball deep or taking up a more advanced role. His impact was critical in consecutive wins against Brighton, Fulham and Burnley during which the team scored seven goals off the back of three scoreless matches, and here again he was the difference.

He had the chance to double the lead when Conor Gallagher, captain again with Reece James fit only for a late cameo, took the initiative and drove through the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, slipping the ball in to Palmer who found room in between Saliba and Gabriel to get off a low drive which flashed inches wide of Raya’s far post.

Chelsea might have pulled further clear in the closing minutes of the half, Sterling with a familiar burst down the right, slipping the ball to Malo Gusto who showed the finishing instincts of a full-back and ballooned over.

The second half began with a moment to forget for Arsenal goalkeeper Raya. Ben White gave the ball away to Gallagher inside the Chelsea half, and carrying the ball up the left flank he fed the overlapping Mudryk.

There seemed to be little on as the Ukrainian assessed options inside the box. Raya was positioned ready for a cross, but in doing so he left too much room behind him into which Mudryk’s ball drifted, sailing clean over the keeper, who flapped helplessly as it landed in the net.

Raya’s afternoon was going from bad to worse. Minutes after conceding, he was almost culpable for Chelsea’s third when he rolled the ball recklessly to the feet of Palmer who narrowly failed to nip around the goalkeeper and bury Arsenal.

Then, with Arteta’s side looking beaten, fortune turned in their favour. Rice hauled them back into it with 14 minutes to play and it was another goalkeeping error, this time from Sanchez.

Chelsea’s summer signing has repeatedly been culpable in recent games of conceding possession with poor distribution. Here, under little pressure, he passed the ball straight to the feet of Rice, who with quickness of thought thumped it first time from 30 yards beyond the stranded keeper.

Then the final sting for Pochettino.

Bukayo Saka was given time on the edge of the box to shift the ball from right foot to left, and with vision and precision, he picked out the run of Trossard who stole in behind Chelsea with a lunging right leg to divert it past Sanchez.

Mauricio Pochettino highlighted his respect for Mikel Arteta and believes the Arsenal manager is “one of the best in the world”.

Chelsea boss Pochettino faces off with his former Paris St Germain team-mate for the first time on the touchline when the Blues host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

And the Argentinian lauded Arteta, who took Arsenal to a second-placed finish last season, and is not surprised by the Gunners boss’ success since becoming a manager in 2019.

“We respect Arsenal, they are a great team,” Pochettino said.

“They have Mikel (Arteta) who is part of my family. It’s going to be tough because they’re doing a great job with a great squad, they are a contender to win everything, the Premier League and the Champions League.

“It does not surprise me with what he’s doing. He’s great, he’s really young, he’s improving every day and he can be one of the greatest managers in the world. I’m going to be proud to see him.

“I think when you are a coach at Arsenal and the team is showing what they are showing it’s because you are one of the best.”

Arsenal failed to finish in the top four during Arteta’s first three seasons prior to their title challenge last season, finishing eighth in both 2019-20 and 2020-21 and fifth the following season.

And Pochettino credited Arsenal for showing their faith in Arteta and highlighted the strong relationship between club and manager which has allowed them to “fight for big things.”

“At the beginning for him it was really tough. For maybe a year it was tough but it was a good thing that they put trust in him,” Pochettino added.

“They gave him all the tools and really believed that he was able to rebuild.

“I think you have to give credit to the club and Mikel because they have created a bond between each other which is really class and now the results after three or four years (have improved) and now at Arsenal they are fighting for big things.”

Right-back Malo Gusto is in contention to start for Chelsea after he served a three-game suspension for a sending-off against Aston Villa.

And Pochettino is happy with the new signing’s progress after he replaced Reece James in the XI after the Chelsea captain picked up a hamstring injury in August.

Pochettino said: “I think he is really young but he is also really talented. Tomorrow he has the possibility to play.

“It is difficult to judge because he is 19 years old and came from France and he needs time to adapt to a club like Chelsea where the history is to win and it’s not just about competing.

“We are happy, we believe in him but give him time because I know he will perform in the way we believe he can.

“He’s going to be good for the club for sure.”

Pochettino said James’ availability will be assessed ahead of Saturday.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hailed Mauricio Pochettino as a “big brother” and believes he is already turning things around at Chelsea.

The pair played together for a year at Paris St Germain, both arriving in 2001 and striking up a friendship that lasts until the present day.

They have since gone on to become top coaches – but their meeting at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will be the first time they have faced off as opposing managers.

Pochettino, 51, is 10 years older than Arteta and while they may have signed for PSG at the same time, the Arsenal boss credits the Argentinian for taking him under his wing.

“First of all, it was my first professional opportunity in Paris and we arrived at the same time and lived together in a hotel for three months,” Arteta explained.

“He was critical, has been one of the most influential people in my career. Firstly as a player, he took me under the arm and looked after me like a little child, a little brother, and he was a big part of the success I had in Paris.

“It was because of him because he really looked after me, gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of advice.

“He has been a role model for me since that day, not only when I was a player but as a manager as well, when I had to make the decision to leave playing and start my coaching career he had a big say on that and I will always be grateful.”

Arteta has been in charge of Arsenal since December 2019, just a month after Pochettino was sacked as head coach at north London rivals Tottenham.

Pochettino returned to the Premier League when he took the reins at Chelsea in May and, despite a turbulent start, Arteta feels his old colleague is starting to turn things around.

Asked if he felt Pochettino could rise to the challenge, he replied: “Yes, you can see already that something has changed very quickly.

“It’s a big game and there is a big history between the two clubs. We know the types of games we’ve played together with them in the past but this is a different one. I’ve been really impressed by Chelsea.

“I think they deserve much more than what they’ve got in the table. What Mauricio has done in a short time is phenomenal. We’ll be have to be at our best.”

Arteta also revealed the best advice Pochettino had offered after he had hung up his boots: “’Don’t go into coaching — it’s too hard’!

“That is the first thing. I knew he was going to be a coach and I followed him very closely because as a player he was already a leader.

“The way he understood the game was phenomenal. I used to have him at my back and he was constantly coaching me. Very proud of what he has done and the way he has done it through his coaching career.”

Mauricio Pochettino believes Raheem Sterling can prove Gareth Southgate was wrong to leave him out of another England squad after the Chelsea forward inspired his side to a 4-1 come-from-behind win at Burnley.

Days after Southgate left him out of the squad for next week’s internationals, Sterling took his frustrations out on his old Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany and Burnley, having a hand in all four Chelsea goals, scoring one.

Sterling has not played for England since last year’s World Cup, and although fitness accounted for his absence in March and he asked not to play in June while he focused on getting fully back up to speed, Southgate has now chosen to leave him out of the last two squads.

But at Turf Moor he showed what England are missing as he was the man to open up Burnley after the Clarets had taken a surprise early lead through teenager Wilson Odobert.

Sterling’s cross deflected off Ameen Al Dakhil for the equaliser and he then won the penalty which Cole Palmer scored for his first Chelsea goal at the start of the second half. Sterling got his own goal in the 65th minute before having a hand in the fourth, finished by Nicolas Jackson.

“I think a player with his experience knows he needs to perform and to show the manager of the national team he was wrong in the decision,” Pochettino said. “Only with performances and scoring goals is he going to show he deserved to go.”

Although Sterling stole the headlines, Pochettino was keen to talk up the overall team performance as Chelsea made it back-to-back league wins for the first time since March, scoring four or more goals for the first time since thrashing Southampton 6-0 in April 2022.

“It was a fantastic performance, they deserve it and I’m happy for them to go into the national break with a different feeling,” Pochettino said.

“We need to be consistent. We have good competition, a very talented squad but at the moment for different reasons we cannot use all of the potential from the squad. But I think with time we are going to be in the position we want to be.

“With all the players fit there will be massive competition and that’s going to be good for the team to keep the level we need to fight for big things.”

Burnley’s worries are different. They have now equalled the record of five straight home defeats to start a top-flight campaign, joining Manchester United (1930-31), Portsmouth (2009-10), Bolton Wanderers (2011-12) and Newcastle United (2018-19) on the unwanted number.

Of the other four, only Newcastle avoided relegation in the same season.

“We had a very solid foundation defensively (last season), the best defence in the league but it’s a different level now and everybody has got to level up,” Kompany said.

“I wish there was a magic wand to solve everything but it’s a lot of work on the training ground to get the basics right. We’ve done it in games and done it well but it’s been spells and that’s our own mistake and we have to work on it.

“It’s extremely difficult against teams like this. We need a little bit of luck and we need to take chances…Performances have not been the issue, just the different calibre of players. A couple of them I’ve played with myself and I know what they can do to teams.”

Kompany, who was part of two title-winning City sides with Sterling, could only puff out his cheeks when asked about his old team-mate.

“He’s a top player,” he said.

Raheem Sterling made a point to Gareth Southgate as he sparked a Chelsea comeback in a 4-1 win at Burnley, who slumped to a fifth consecutive home defeat to start the Premier League season.

Burnley stunned Chelsea 15 minutes in when 18-year-old Wilson Odobert became the Clarets’ youngest Premier League scorer.

But Sterling, again snubbed by the England boss for next week’s internationals, helped turn the game around either side of half-time as Chelsea maintained their long unbeaten record at Turf Moor, where they have only once dropped points in nine visits in the Premier League era.

It was Sterling’s cross that deflected off Ameen Al Dakhil for a 42nd minute equaliser before he won the penalty dispatched by Cole Palmer early in the second half.

Sterling then capped a fine performance with Chelsea’s third in the 65th minute, hitting a confident strike into the bottom corner before substitute Nicolas Jackson added a fourth, with Sterling again involved in the build-up.

Coming off the back of Monday’s 2-0 win at Fulham, Chelsea have won back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time since March, but these remain baby steps for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who were arguably second best for much of the first half.

Vincent Kompany showed no sentiment in making four changes to the Burnley side that took their first league win of the season at Luton on Tuesday night, and was rewarded with a surprise early lead.

Lyle Foster cut in from the right but as he saw his own angle to shoot rapidly closing, the South African unselfishly played in Odobert who threaded the ball between Marc Cucurella and Robert Sanchez.

Burnley were suddenly in buoyant mood. Fans might have been disappointed to see Luca Koleosho only on the bench but Odobert and Mike Tresor, both making their first starts, made them forget with some fearless attacking play.

The pair almost combined for a second in the 22nd minute as Odobert sent in a cross from the left and Tresor capitalised on a sleeping Chelsea defence to win the ball, then missed the target.

Chelsea, who had not won in their previous 19 Premier League games when conceding first, initially struggled to muster a response, but Sterling looked like Chelsea’s best way back into the match and so it proved.

He went close in the 37th minute, beating two defenders before trying to put the ball through the legs of James Trafford, who just about kept it out.

But there was nothing Trafford could do five minutes later when Sterling’s cross took a wicked deflection off Al Dakhil to loop into the net.

Two minutes into the second half, a sudden burst of speed from Sterling took him away from Vitinho, who clipped the Chelsea man on the edge of the box.

Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot and a lengthy check from VAR Darren Bond allowed Cole Palmer time to pick the spot for his first Chelsea goal as he sent England under-21 team-mate Trafford the wrong way.

Odobert saw a dipping, curling shot touched over by Sanchez, but it was Chelsea who scored a decisive third 10 minutes later.

Moises Caicedo won back possession with two challenges on the half-way line and Gallagher quickly picked out the run of Sterling, whose confident finish found the bottom right corner of the net.

Burnley fans started to head for the exits in the 74th minute when Sterling crossed to Palmer, who found Jackson, on as a substitute on his return from suspension, and he skipped away from Dara O’Shea in front of goal before applying the finish.

Odobert and substitute Koleosho both threatened for Burnley late on, but they became only the fifth side to start a season with five consecutive home defeats in top-flight history.

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