LONDON — Chelsea inflicted the first Premier League defeat of the season on London rivals Tottenham Hotspur as manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side deserved the win.
Chelsea came away from Spurs with a 4-1 victory in a chaotic game where they went behind early and then stormed back after two red cards for the home side.
“What I can say is this type of game is about tactics, it’s about form, the approach of the game and also it’s to control the emotion,” Pochettino told a press conference ahead of table-topping Manchester City’s visit on Sunday.
“We played 10 to 12 minutes not in a good way, when we conceded the goal it was a big hit for us and we provided them the possibility to play. Then we started to control the game, force them to make a mistake.
“I have learnt how to keep the players calm in tough moments, to force the opposition to make a mistake, and to then win the game.”
It was a match where VAR again stole the headlines, Spurs had Cristian Romero sent off, which led to Chelsea’s penalty and both sides had goals ruled out but Pochettino believes VAR got it right.
“All the decisions from VAR were fair. Tell me one decision that was not fair and even a few more decisions Tottenham were lucky.
“We played 120 minutes and I think we deserved to win. Crazy but fair.”
Before the Spurs win Chelsea had struggled for goals, scoring just 13 in the opening 10 games, and Nicolas Jackson had netted just twice before his hat-trick on Monday, but his manager is not getting carried away.
“It’s easy to say okay he scored three goals. It’s a process. He’s still young, needs to improve.” Pochettino said according to Reuters.
“Okay, he scored three goals, should have scored six. The most important thing is to keep calm and relaxed and he is going to improve with time.”
Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling was again left out of the England squad by Gareth Southgate on Thursday and Pochettino believes hard work is the only way to improve his chances.
“It’s difficult to talk because I don’t want to say anything against the decision and I respect the decision.
“The only way to change the situation is to work hard with your club. It’s in your hands to perform, but not after.”
Chelsea next face Manchester City at Stamford Bridge and Pochettino is full of admiration for Pep Guardiola’s side.
“For me it is the best team, the best coaching staff, the best manager, it is the best, or one of the best, organisations in the world.
“They have shown they dominate English football because they deserve it. They are the team you want to beat, you want to challenge.”
Chelsea is 10th in the table on 15 points, 12 points behind City.