Mauricio Pochettino is looking to “build a team that can match the mentality” of Chelsea after his side reached the Carabao Cup final with a 6-1 semi-final second-leg victory over Middlesbrough.

Jonny Howson’s own goal settled the Blues’ early nerves as further strikes from Enzo Fernandez, Axel Disasi, Noni Madueke and a Cole Palmer brace booked their place at Wembley on February 25 against either Liverpool or Fulham.

Boss Pochettino said: “The most important thing is keeping the focus, seeing reality in the way we need to see the reality and see the difference between what is Chelsea and what is the team we are building.

“They are two different things. Our challenge is the history of Chelsea, the capacity to win titles and build a team that can match the mentality of this club.”

Pochettino emphasised the difference in the scale of the challenge facing him at Chelsea to when he arrived at former club Tottenham in 2014.

Then, he intimated the Carabao Cup might not be a competition that could help Spurs reach their objectives.

At Chelsea, he reflects differently on the competition’s value to the team.

“When we arrived at Tottenham in 2014, the plan was to build a new stadium and to finish the training ground,” he said. “We had a season playing at Milton Keynes and Wembley, (before that) we played with a corner missing from White Hart Lane.

“The principal objective was to be in the top four and play Champions League. The club was fifth, sixth, seventh. That was the challenge. We put everything to try and play the Champions League because it was the way to help the club to achieve the objective of building a new stadium.

“This young team (Chelsea), with this type of experience of going to Wembley, it’s going to build our trust, our confidence, and our mentality like a team – not like a club.

“The club, the mentality of Chelsea is amazing. But like a team, we are new. We need to build confidence and trust.”

Against Boro, Ben Chilwell started for the first time since recovering from a hamstring injury and impressed at left-back.

The manager felt Chilwell and goalscorer Disasi set a standard with their performances and now wants to see such displays consistently.

“They were important today but we need to be consistent,” he added.

“Players like Chilly could do 65 minutes but the objective is to arrive at 80 minutes, hopefully do the 90 minutes, and then be consistent playing every two or three days. That is the most important thing.

“Now we need to help players like him to get their best form, but at the same time we are competing. We can think we are going to play with Chilly or Reece (James), but we know then after 10 or 15 minutes of the second half we have players that we need to change.”

Mauricio Pochettino said he is desperate to win the Carabao Cup in his first season at Chelsea after watching his team sweep aside Middlesbrough 6-1 to reach next month’s final at Wembley.

Stamford Bridge has suffered from a quiet atmosphere in recent months, often exacerbated by Chelsea failing to break teams down early, but a repeat here never looked like being a risk as they booked a meeting with either Liverpool or Fulham on February 25.

“I’m desperate to win a trophy here,” said Pochettino. “We won in three trophies in one and a half years at Paris (St Germain) and we want to win here.

“I’m desperate to win. That is the headline.

“It’s really important for us, we’re going to have Fulham or Liverpool, two amazing teams, it will be difficult. But now is the moment to believe we can win.”

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg at the Riverside Stadium, the hosts tore into their Championship opponents and banished memories of a chastening loss on Teesside.

Boro’s captain Jonny Howson inadvertently got the ball rolling by diverting past his own goalkeeper after 15 minutes, though Armando Broja was poised to tap home had the defender not intervened.

From there on, Chelsea steamrollered Michael Carrick’s side. Enzo Fernandez scored after being set up by good link-up play from Axel Disasi and the excellent Raheem Sterling, then Sterling feeding the surging Disasi to sweep home the third.

Boro caused problems for themselves trying to play out from the back, the match-winner from the first leg Hayden Hackney losing possession and gifting Cole Palmer Chelsea’s fourth before half-time.

Palmer, the top scorer for Pochettino’s side since his move from Manchester City, made it five late on before substitute Noni Madueke curled home via a deflection.

Morgan Rogers’ goal was greeted with a roar from travelling fans who had long since their Wembley dream slip away.

Pochettino added: “Now we need to prepare for Friday against Aston Villa (in the FA Cup), but this is an important step for us. The confidence and the belief in ourselves is so important.

“That is going to help because of the motivation. Players who are so close to coming back (from injury) – tomorrow, maybe a few injured players will want to come for training, seeing that the final is close.”

Boro manager Carrick reflected on a tie that ultimately proved too great a hurdle for his side despite heroics on Teesside two weeks ago.

“(The players) will learn from that after they have gotten over the disappointment,” he said.

“We had a big night at the Riverside where we managed to beat a really good Chelsea team. We just couldn’t get it done here unfortunately.”

Mauricio Pochettino said he is desperate to win the Carabao Cup in his first season at Chelsea after watching his team sweep aside Middlesbrough 6-1 to reach next month’s final at Wembley.

Stamford Bridge has suffered from a quiet atmosphere in recent months, often exacerbated by Chelsea failing to break teams down early, but a repeat here never looked like being a risk as they booked a meeting with either Liverpool or Fulham on February 25.

“I’m desperate to win a trophy here,” said Pochettino. “We won in three trophies in one and a half years at Paris (St Germain) and we want to win here.

“I’m desperate to win. That is the headline.

“It’s really important for us, we’re going to have Fulham or Liverpool, two amazing teams, it will be difficult. But now is the moment to believe we can win.”

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg at the Riverside Stadium, the hosts tore into their Championship opponents and banished memories of a chastening loss on Teesside.

Boro’s captain Jonny Howson inadvertently got the ball rolling by diverting past his own goalkeeper after 15 minutes, though Armando Broja was poised to tap home had the defender not intervened.

From there on, Chelsea steamrollered Michael Carrick’s side. Enzo Fernandez scored after being set up by good link-up play from Axel Disasi and the excellent Raheem Sterling, then Sterling feeding the surging Disasi to sweep home the third.

Boro caused problems for themselves trying to play out from the back, the match-winner from the first leg Hayden Hackney losing possession and gifting Cole Palmer Chelsea’s fourth before half-time.

Palmer, the top scorer for Pochettino’s side since his move from Manchester City, made it five late on before substitute Noni Madueke curled home via a deflection.

Morgan Rogers’ goal was greeted with a roar from travelling fans who had long since their Wembley dream slip away.

Pochettino added: “Now we need to prepare for Friday against Aston Villa (in the FA Cup), but this is an important step for us. The confidence and the belief in ourselves is so important.

“That is going to help because of the motivation. Players who are so close to coming back (from injury) – tomorrow, maybe a few injured players will want to come for training, seeing that the final is close.”

Boro manager Carrick reflected on a tie that ultimately proved too great a hurdle for his side despite heroics on Teesside two weeks ago.

“(The players) will learn from that after they have gotten over the disappointment,” he said.

“We had a big night at the Riverside where we managed to beat a really good Chelsea team. We just couldn’t get it done here unfortunately.”

Chelsea striker Cole Palmer squandered a hat-trick of chances as Hayden Hackney handed Sky Bet Championship Middlesbrough a priceless first-leg lead in their Carabao Cup semi-final.

The England international, who had earlier been denied by Boro keeper Tom Glover, passed up three opportunities either side of Hackney’s 37th-minute strike, which ensured Michael Carrick’s men will head for Stamford Bridge in a fortnight’s time with a 1-0 lead.

On a night when the 2004 winners managed to frustrate the side who beat them in the 1998 final for long periods, the big-spending Premier League club failed to find top gear despite boss Mauricio Pochettino naming Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher, Raheem Sterling and Palmer in a strong starting line-up.

For their part, the Teessiders were organised, dogged and a threat on the break, and reaped the rewards three days after suffering a heartbreaking late defeat by top-flight Aston Villa in the FA Cup.

The visitors’ goal came under threat within seconds of kick-off when Colwill’s poorly-directed header delivered the ball straight into the path of Emmanuel Latte Lath, although the striker scuffed his shot straight at keeper Djordje Petrovic as defender Axel Disasi tried desperately to close him down and caught him in his follow-through.

The Boro frontman struggled on after treatment, but eventually limped off to be replaced by Josh Coburn with just five minutes gone.

Palmer forced Glover into a full-length save as Chelsea responded, but with widemen Isaiah Jones and Alex Bangura – whose evening was ended prematurely minutes later by a hamstring injury – enjoying the space afforded to them, the Teessiders made early inroads.

The occasional flurry from Noni Madueke aside, neither team was able to create a chance of note until Colwill headed over from Palmer’s 29th-minute cross, but Jonny Howson was fortunate to get away with a dreadful crossfield pass which put Palmer in on goal two minutes later, only for the 21-year-old to drag his shot wastefully wide.

Chelsea were made to pay with eight minutes of the first half remaining when Dan Barlaser played Jones in behind Colwill and he crossed to Hackney at the near post to stab past Petrovic.

Palmer had two glorious opportunities to level in stoppage time when he spooned the ball over the top after Glover had spilled Enzo Fernandez’s shot from distance, and then failed to beat the keeper after cutting inside from the right.

The visitors remained patient on their return but largely played in front of Boro, who looked comfortable in their shape as they protected a precious advantage with little fuss.

Madueke headed straight at Glover from Fernandez’s 53rd-minute cross and then flashed the ball dangerously across goal after worming his way in from the right, and Gallagher fired wide on the turn eight minutes later amid relentless pressure.

Mykhailo Mudryk and Armando Broja were introduced with little sign of an equaliser imminent and after Barlaser had shot high and wide from a pacy counter-attack, Glover needed two attempts to collect Mudryk’s 73rd-minute attempt.

However, that was as good as it got for Pochettino’s misfiring side, who have work to do on home soil in the deciding leg.

Mauricio Pochettino warned his Chelsea players they will come unstuck in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough if they begin the game as they did Saturday’s FA Cup meeting with Preston.

The Sky Bet Championship side did a comfortable job of containing the Blues during the first half at Stamford Bridge, with the hosts displaying little attacking threat against a team currently 14th in the second tier, before clicking into gear after the break to claim a 4-0 win.

Three goals in 11 second-half minutes from Armando Broja, Thiago Silva and Raheem Sterling ultimately broke the resolve of Ryan Lowe’s side, before Enzo Fernandez added a fourth in the final moments.

It was a far cry from the stolid performance given in the first 45 minutes, with home supporters forced to endure another listless display in the final third, where Chelsea’s build-up play typically broke down.

And Pochettino said a repeat performance at the Riverside against Michael Carrick’s team on Tuesday could see his side miss out on the opportunity to claim their first trophy since 2021.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “Middlesbrough is a very good team that we need to respect. (Saturday) was a great example that we need to respect the opponent if we want to beat them.

“If we start the game like (against Preston), we will find it difficult. We need to use this as an example that we need to start like we played the second half.

“We need to be respectful, not to approach the game showing not the right attitude. (The first half) upset me, but the players were disappointed also at half-time. The attitude was completely different in the second half.”

Chelsea last lifted silverware in December 2021 when they beat Brazilian side Palmeiras to win the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, seven months after victory in the Champions League final against Manchester City in Porto.

Pochettino said he is not allowing his players to think about the Carabao Cup final at Wembley while there is still a final hurdle to clear.

“I don’t want to think on (the final),” he said. “I prefer to think only about Middlesbrough. I know that it’s important for the club and for this team because it’s going to be a boost of energy if we get to the final.

“But we need to go step by step because if we think too much long-term, even if it’s only two months, I think we will expend energy and we will be not right.

“What the group needs is to build their confidence step by step. (Saturday) is a good example, in a good way but also not in a good way. We need to realise that on Tuesday we need to play 90 minutes like we played in the second half.”

Mauricio Pochettino lamented Chelsea’s lack of ruthlessness in front of goal after a flurry of missed chances contributed to a 2-1 defeat to Wolves at Molineux.

Mario Lemina headed the hosts into the lead early in the second half, rising to nod Pablo Sarabia’s corner into the far corner after the visiting defence had failed to make a serious attempt to clear the ball.

It was fair reward after a first half in which Gary O’Neil’s side held Chelsea off well, though they were helped significantly in their task by wayward finishing, most notably from Raheem Sterling who spurned a golden chance when he shot straight at Jose Sa instead of playing in Cole Palmer for a tap-in.

It was an inexplicable lapse in judgement from the England forward, who after a lively start cut a frustrated figure for the rest of the game, culminating in a yellow card for simulation in the final moments as he appealed for a penalty.

Chelsea had 16 shots on goal but tested Sa only infrequently as once again this season possession around the penalty area and decent sights of goal were not capitalised upon.

Matt Doherty added a second in the third minute of added time after Benoit Badiashile’s atrocious attempted clearance.

By the time substitute Christopher Nkunku headed his first Chelsea goal on his Premier League debut, there were few away fans who had remained inside Molineux to see it.

“We made a mistake, we need to blame ourselves,” said Pochettino. “That’s why we didn’t win today, because in the first half we had the chances to score. In the Premier League if you’re not clinical enough when you have chances, always you can concede.

“We didn’t compete in the first five minutes of the second half, we conceded too many corners. In these moments it’s about competing better and being stronger.

“I agree we’re our own enemy. I don’t want to take credit away from Wolves. They scored and they did their job. But in the first half we were the better side. And because of lack of capacity to score, we didn’t win the game.

Wolves had been tipped to struggle after O’Neil replaced former boss Julen Lopetegui days before the start of the season, with financial constraints placed on their transfer business by Financial Fair Play regulations over the summer.

They now sit level in the table on points with Chelsea boasting a near identical league record, despite Pochettino’s side having spent upwards of £1billion on recruitment during the last 18 months.

One of the summer’s big-money buys Nicolas Jackson, who cost £32million from Villarreal but has scored only seven times in the Premier League, was greeted with ironic cheers from visiting supporters when he was substituted, with frustration growing with his patchy, inconsistent form since arriving at Stamford Bridge.

“I didn’t hear the fans,” said Pochettino. “(But) always it’s about expectation, how you manage that. A striker that arrives at his age, a new league like the Premier League, it’s (important) not to blame him.

“The frustration from the fans you can accept. But we need to blame all together. Football is a collective sport and we cannot blame only one.

“But he is young, it’s his first season in the Premier League and  the expectation is massive. There is pressure to play for Chelsea.”

Wolves boss O’Neil reflected on a game that his side deserved to win despite having to name an inexperienced bench with players unavailable.

“It was a tough day for us with a call from the doctor this morning around illnesses,” he said. “I had to call up some young lads last minute to make up the squad.

“Going against what Chelsea had, especially late on in the game, I thought it might have been tricky for us once we started to tire.

“But the lads manage to produce another fantastic performance here in front of the home fans and we deserved the win really.”

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.

Jude Bellingham has been awarded the 2023 Golden Boy award for the best player in Europe aged under 21.

The prize was established by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport 20 years ago and is voted for by 50 sports journalists across the continent.

In a video message on tuttosport.com, England star Bellingham said: “I just wanted to thank everyone who voted for me for the 2023 Golden Boy. I really appreciate it.

“I’d like to thank everyone that’s been part of my journey so far at Birmingham, Dortmund and now Madrid. It wouldn’t be possible without them. There’s so many, I’d be here for hours naming them all.

“Lastly and most importantly my family, who give me the support and the motivation and the love every day to keep striving.

“Now that I’ve got this beautiful award, I want to keep going and keep pushing the limits of my potential and hopefully many more trophies to come.”

Bellingham has made a huge impact since moving from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid in the summer, scoring 13 goals in 14 matches, including both in a 2-1 victory over Barcelona last month.

The 20-year-old was awarded the Kopa Trophy last month for the best young player in the world at the Ballon d’Or ceremony.

He is the third English player to win the Golden Boy after Wayne Rooney in 2004 and Raheem Sterling in 2014. The award will be presented at a gala in Turin on December 4.

Chelsea could be dealt a major blow ahead of their clash against Manchester City this weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino will welcome the Premier League champions to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon as either side looks to secure three crucial points ahead of the international break.

While the Blues head into the blockbuster tie on cloud nine following a triumphant win over Tottenham, they could be without Raheem Sterling, who's started all but one of 10 English top-flight fixtures this season.

The 28-year-old appeared to throw a missile back into the crowd during Chelsea's dramatic victory on Monday night.

The incident occurred moments after Cole Palmer had equalized for the west Londoners from the penalty spot in the first-half after Cristian Romero's red card for a dangerously reckless lunge on Enzo Fernandez.

The former City midfielder, who joined Chelsea in the summer, celebrated by putting his finger to his lips in front of Tottenham supporters.

Palmer was quickly joined by his teammates. As the Blues celebrated, a video posted on Chelsea's own TikTok account shows an object being thrown from the Spurs stand and striking the England Under-21 international's leg.

As they returned to their own half for the restart, the same video posted on Chelsea's TikTok appeared to show Sterling bend down and throw the item back into the crowd. According to the Daily Mail, an FA spokesperson has said that the incident is being reviewed before deciding whether to take any action or not.

Richarlison was handed a one-match ban by the FA for throwing a lit flare back into the crowd after scoring for Everton against Chelsea in May 2022. Didier Drogba was issued a three-match suspension back in 2008 after throwing a coin during the Blues' defeat to Burnley on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

Chelsea are currently 10th in the table with 15 points from 11 games, 12 points behind the current league leaders who they’ll welcome to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

 

Gareth Southgate insists Raheem Sterling and Ben White have been left out of another England squad purely due to football reasons, but claimed the door is not closed on either.

Southgate named a 25-man group on Thursday for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers with Malta and North Macedonia.

John Stones was left out after he suffered an injury in Manchester City’s midweek win over Young Boys and Eddie Nketiah was also absent with an ankle knock, but Southgate declined the chance to recall 82-capped Sterling or Arsenal’s versatile defender White.

Both players have failed to feature in an England squad since the World Cup, where White headed home early after the group stage and Sterling briefly left the camp after his family home had been burgled.

Southgate said: “The door is 100 per cent open not only for Raheem but for other players. There’s no doubt about that.

“We don’t need to know about his quality, his personality. He is a crucial part of why we’ve had the journey we’ve had over the last few years.

“I can only repeat what I’ve said in the last few squad selection meetings. The team are playing really well.

“We had an exceptional win against Italy last time around. Who do we leave out to put him in? It is as simple as that really.

“He wasn’t available in March or June and the team started on a good run. We won in Italy for the first time in 60 years, the two performances in June were excellent, so we stuck with that group.

“There is no question Raheem is looking dangerous for his club, he looks invigorated since the start of the season.

“(But) that is an area of the pitch where we’ve probably got as much competition for places as anywhere.

“You look and Jarrod Bowen has got seven goals this season already, Anthony Gordon is playing very well at Newcastle, Cole Palmer is starting to play well. It is just a change in landscape there.”

White has played four times for England since his debut in 2021, but Southgate again pointed to the quality of personnel in the right-back area as a reason behind his continued absence.

“I assume so,” Southgate replied when asked if White was available for selection.

“Ben’s been very solid for Arsenal. He is a different profile of full-back.

“He is a centre-back playing full-back really and obviously he’s doing a good job for his club, but he’s behind others.

“We’ve got Kyle (Walker), Kieran (Trippier), we’ve got Trent (Alexander-Arnold), Reece James, so it is a position where we’ve got strength.

“There are a couple of good young ones coming through and again we’re on a good run. The defence are playing well, so that’s where we’re at.”

Chelsea captain James is fit again after a hamstring injury, but requested to be left out of the squad after it had been expected he would replace Stones.

Southgate added: “I was hoping to call up Reece James, but he doesn’t feel he is quite ready and I understand that.

“He’s had a long path back from a number of injuries and he’s cautious in that respect. I can understand why.

“I am really disappointed for John. The quality of his play is outstanding. He’s having a difficult time injury-wise at the moment, so that’ a shame to see him out.

“As you say, it gives other people an opportunity and we do need to know a little bit more about some of the players in that area of the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Southgate paid tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton, who died last month and will be honoured in England’s home fixture with Malta next week.

“I think he is respected around the world and clearly our greatest ever player when you think of not only the World Cup, but also winning the European Cup and everything he did at club level,” he reflected.

“Very sad. We were fortunate to have met him a few times and incredibly humble, so yes our condolences with all his family but hopefully we get the chance to honour him at Wembley and it will be a celebration of life because he absolutely deserves that.”

England manager Gareth Southgate resisted the temptation to make changes to his latest squad ahead of the final Euro 2024 qualification double-header.

Southgate’s side are already assured of a spot in next summer’s finals in Germany but it was a 25-man squad of familiar names picked for the home game against Malta and a trip to North Macedonia later this month.

From the previous squad, Manchester City defender John Stones missed out through injury but was not replaced, while Eddie Nketiah has an ankle issue and Newcastle’s Callum Wilson came in to replace the Arsenal striker.

Southgate insisted the door remains open for Raheem Sterling, who has now missed the last five international camps since being part of the squad for the World Cup in Qatar last year.

He said: “Well, the door is 100 per cent open not only for Raheem but for other players not in the squad.

“We don’t need to know about his quality, his personality. He is a crucial part of why we’ve had the journey we’ve had over the last few years.

“I can only repeat what I have said in the meetings, we’re playing exceptionally well and who can I leave out?”

Southgate expressed his disappointment that Stones had sustained another injury and revealed Reece James asked not to be included in the squad after only recently returning to action after a hamstring issue.

“I am really disappointed for John,” Southgate admitted.

“The quality of his play is outstanding. He’s having a difficult time injury-wise at the moment, but it gives others an opportunity and we do need to know a little bit more about other players in that area of the pitch.”

On James, Southgate revealed: “I was hoping to call Reece James, but he doesn’t feel he is quite ready and I understand that.”

There are injury doubts over James Maddison (ankle), Jude Bellingham (shoulder), Bukayo Saka (ankle) and Wilson (hamstring).

Southgate acknowledged: “You would be amazed at how complicated it is picking a squad because all clubs are sensitive to information. I couldn’t be certain that everyone in that squad will be there on Sunday night and Callum Wilson is the biggest doubt, but equally I am pretty confident the others can get through.”

Southgate paid tribute to England World Cup-winner Sir Bobby Charlton, who died last month.

“So much has been said and it is difficult to add anything that carries further weight,” Southgate said at Wembley.

“Respected around the world and clearly our greatest ever player when you think of not only the World Cup, but winning the European Cup.

“Very sad. We were fortunate to have met him a few times and incredibly humble, so yes our condolences to all family and hopefully we get the chance to honour him in a celebration of life (against Malta) because he absolutely deserves that.”

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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