Pochettino warns referees not to get caught up in Klopp hype

Peter Staunton
  • Updated: 24 Feb 2024 15:28 GMT
  • 3 min read
Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea
© IMAGO

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has ratcheted up the pressure on the matchday officials ahead of the Carabao Cup against Liverpool on Sunday.

Pochettino, 51, was left raging following the pair’s recent Premier League match, won 4-1 by Liverpool, as he claimed a number of decisions went against his side.

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In his pre-match press conference ahead of the final, he suggested sentiment got in the way of impartiality as the officials were responding favourbly to Liverpool given Jurgen Klopp’s recently announced departure at the end of the season.

And with the two teams set to collide for the first silverware of the season, the Argentine warned the officials - led by referee Chris Kavanagh - not to make the same mistakes again.

Chelsea not given penalties at Anfield

“I think we need to be sure we are going to compete and be fair in every single decision,” Pochettino said on Friday.

“I think when we played against Liverpool at Anfield, I think too many decisions … not one key decision was for us. Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, were always for another colour -- always red. I want to be treated in a fair way.”

The Chelsea boss elaborated on the Anfield game, pointing out that Conor Gallagher should have been awarded a penalty in the opening exchanges when he was checked by Virgil van Dijk inside the box.

And he also referenced a second-half incident involving Christopher Nkunku and Van Dijk, another Blues' penalty shout that went unrewarded by referee Paul Tierney.

“They were better than us, of course, but the first decision after five minutes was a clear penalty,” he said.

“In the second half, it was a penalty then on Nkunku.

“After you see the VAR that was interfering in many situations that were maybe similar, so give a penalty; why not? We are Chelsea and we need to compete with the same tools. If they are better, well done, and we congratulate them, but be fair in every single decision.”

Cole Palmer Raheem Sterling Conor Gallagher Chelsea
© IMAGO - Cole Palmer Raheem Sterling Conor Gallagher Chelsea

He then urged the officials to ignore the “hype” around Klopp’s Anfield farewell tour and ensure they deliver a fair performance for both teams.

“The pressure is about not delivering the job for Klopp; no, the pressure is not to be part of the hype.”

Read more about: Premier League, Chelsea, Liverpool

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