Paris Saint Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has taken fire at Chelsea for being a ‘defensive team’.
Answering questions about his PSG sides lack of defensive solidity, Pochettino branded Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea a defensive team.
Via The Athletic, the former Tottenham manager said: “Chelsea have a defensive team. They play in transition and on the counter.”
Pochettino cited the acquisitions of two attacking full backs as one of the reasons behind his own team’s defensive shortcomings: “We have signed two attacking full-backs, Hakimi and Nuno Mendes. The club (PSG) has the ambition of playing attacking football, we are going to have to find the defensive balance that allows us to control the ball well to be able to attack well.
“It is true, we are conceding a high volume of shots, but that is one of the characteristics of attacking teams,” he added.
Chelsea’s superb defensive record would certainly support this to an extent, with The Blues conceding just four times in the Premier League this season, and conceding four fewer goals in the Champions League than PSG’s superstar squad has.
However, for Pochettino to label Chelsea as a ‘defensive team’ does them a great injustice and does not reflect the true nature of the London club.
While there no questioning Chelsea’s defensive solidity has come in part down to the extra defender they deploy when defending, the three back system also provides them with additional attackers in the form of wingbacks, which have been used to great effect this season with both contributing to a large number of Chelsea’s goals this season.