Football News

Mauricio Pochettino insists Chelsea are ‘working’ on their late goal problem

By CJ Smith

Published: 14:00, 9 April 2024

Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Sheffield United at Bramhall Lane on Sunday was yet another setback in a miserable season, but as the clock ticked into second-half stoppage time with the Blues trying to defend a lead, supporters will be forgiven for knowing what would happen next.

Oliver McBurnie’s 93rd-minute strike ripped two points from Chelsea’s grasp. But worse for the London side is that it was the 17th time they’ve conceded beyond the 76th minute and the 14th time after the 80th minute in the Premier League so far this season. For the latter, only three sides (Burnley, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United) have a worse record, while only Crystal Palace (18) and Sheffield United (17) are worse off in the latter.

It’s a problem that’s cost Chelsea time and again this season, costing them numerous points and no doubt a major reason why they currently sit ninth in the Premier League table, a whopping 16 points off the top four and even five points behind Manchester United in sixth.

Mauricio Pochettino was quizzed about Chelsea’s bad habit during Sunday’s post-match press conference and insisted he’s ‘working’ on a solution for the problem.

“We are talking a lot. It is a new team with profiles in the squad that we are learning. The combination sometimes, that is why the process always takes time. It’s not a magic thing. It’s a project, a three or five-year process to build a team,” said Pochettino. “We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup. We were not in a good position in the beginning. It is a normal process that has happened, we need to accept. We are working to try and fix this type of problem.”

The Argentine also expressed frustration at his team allowing another late goal but did give credit to Sheffield United who, with 11 shots and 1.38 Expected Goals to Chelsea’s six and 0.24, were well worth their point, if not more.

“Very frustrating because we conceded in the first half after we scored. Then you concede in the last few minutes, you always feel very disappointed and frustrated,” Pochettino said, adding: “I want to say the draw is a fair result. Even if we control and have possession, we didn’t create enough. We didn’t show the capacity to be solid and be strong. That is the painful situation.”

Up next for Chelsea is a home tie against Everton before they travel to Wembley to face Manchester City in their FA Cup semi-final.